15 years helping Australian businesses
choose better software

Digital Signage Software

Digital Signage software allows for the creation, scheduling, and distribution of multimedia signs, advertisements, and informational content. Digital Signage solutions are suited for hotels, casinos, hospitality services, airports, shopping malls, corporate real estate managers, and any other entity that seeks digital advertisements or information boards. Digital Signage systems are related to Kiosk software, Marketing Automation software, and Public Relations software. Find the best digital signage software for your organisation in Australia.

Featured software

Most reviewed software

Explore the products reviewed the most by our users in the Digital Signage Software category

Local products for Australia

Australia Show local products
Australia Local product

Digital Signage Software Buyers Guide

Introduction

Digital signage software allows users to create, schedule and distribute multimedia signs, advertisements, informational content, images, and other digital signs. Through the use of these digital signage solutions, users are able to select the content they would like to display and then show this on digital displays screens. Generally, there will be options to display the content on a single screen—or on multiple screens—and this means the digital signage platform can serve as a central control centre for all of a company's digital signage needs. In many cases, the content that will be displayed can be taken from a computer, smartphone, tablet, or television screen.

A wide range of different content types can be displayed using digital signage software, but some of the most common examples include menus, schedules, promotional content, news, and weather information. Digital signage is used in a variety of business types, but the use of digital signage software is especially common within hotels, restaurants, shopping centres, airports, casinos, and similar settings. One of the key benefits of utilising digital signage over more traditional signage is the ability to display different content at different times of the day, and digital signage software allows for content changes to be scheduled and automated or carried out manually.

Aside from this content scheduling, some of the main features that might be included within digital signage software include multi-screen support, visual editing, customisable templates, a media library, and remote display management tools. The features and capabilities of digital signage software mean that it can be compared to presentation software, video management software, and content management systems. Digital signage solutions can be used in combination with these software packages or, in some cases, in place of those applications.

While the precise range of features included within each digital signage software package will vary. Along with the quality of those offerings, there are some core functions that help define software of this kind and which might be expected in any high-quality application of this type. Using a good digital signage package, users should be able to:

  • Edit digital signage content, using a visual editing feature, and then store content in a library
  • Display selected content on a specific screen or on multiple screens simultaneously
  • Create a schedule for when content will be displayed and when the displayed content will change
  • Manage digital displays remotely, through a web browser, or via a mobile app

What is digital signage software?

Digital signage software, or a digital signage platform, is the name given to software that is designed to allow users to create, schedule and distribute multimedia signs, advertisements, and informational content. Through the use of such an application, it is possible to manage the key functions related to the use of a digital display screen, or multiple digital displays, all from a centralised location, and some of the functions can also be automated for added convenience.

Generally, the top digital signage offerings will allow users to create and edit the digital content that they intend to display, manage the display content within an internal media library, remotely control what is being shown on digital display screens at any given time, and create schedules so that the content on displays changes according to what users want the audience to see at different times, or in different situations. This functionality means the software can be used to control the display of digital advertisements, menus, news, and other important information.

Digital signage solutions of this kind are widely utilised in hotels, casinos, shopping centres, restaurants and other similar settings. However, in truth, they can be deployed effectively by any individual or business that has any need to display content on a digital screen or on multiple screens. One of the major benefits of digital signage is the ability to change what is being displayed over time, and software of this kind facilitates the use of dynamic content.

What are the benefits of digital signage software?

The benefits of digital signage software are broadly in line with the benefits of utilising digital display screens in general because the software provides the tools for controlling and managing these displays effectively from a central location. With that being said, it is important to understand some of the specific benefits associated with using both digital display screens and digital signage software, and these are explained in detail below:

  • High-quality digital display: one of the big advantages of using digital signage software, and relying on digital displays in general, is the enhanced level of quality available. The best digital screens, including 4K screens, are able to display images, text, and other display materials at an extremely high resolution, and digital signage software allows for the creation of high-quality content. Ultimately, this results in digital advertisements and other similar materials that are more eye-catching and more likely to be seen by passers-by, which can lead to better overall outcomes and superior knowledge retention in situations where important information is displayed.
  • Excellent cost-effectiveness: the traditional method of utilising print advertisements, print or hand-written menu boards, and similar displays is not only time consuming, but it can also be expensive. It means that, for each space where the display needs to be placed, time needs to be taken to print what is to be displayed, utilising materials and ink. Additionally, if modifications are required, the entire display will need to be reprinted. By contrast, through the use of digital signage solutions, content can be displayed on multiple digital display screens at the touch of a button. Changes can be made through the software, and then the displays can be updated instantly, resulting in far greater cost efficiency. In the case of advertising, this can also allow an advertising budget to stretch much further than it would when using a print-based approach.
  • An end to static displays: another key advantage to using digital signage software is the ability to utilise video, moving images, live text and a variety of other forms of moving content. This means businesses are not restricted to using static displays and can instead utilise dynamic displays to capture attention and convey the information they want to get across to observers. In many cases, newsfeeds, live weather forecasts, live stock information and other content can be used, ensuring that the most up-to-date information is always displayed over the course of a day.
  • Control signage remotely: an extremely important advantage associated with a good, modern digital signage operating system is the ability to remotely control and manage digital signage. This means users can control what is being displayed on what digital screen, change content, or create schedules without needing to be in the same location. Remote accessibility is an especially important feature within cloud-based software solutions, and these often allow for actions to be performed using a web browser. As a result, it is possible to make changes to signage from anywhere in the world, using a huge number of different devices. This remote accessibility is especially important with the growth of remote and hybrid work models in recent times, and with the fact that 78% of staff say they’re just as (or more) productive at home, meaning businesses are likely to face increased pressure to make this an option.

What are the features of digital signage software?

The features of digital signage software are primarily designed to allow users to fully control the various digital display screens they have access to and the content that is shown on them at any given time. Generally speaking, most solutions in this category will have similar core features, providing this level of control, although the way those features are implemented may vary. Additionally, some supplementary features help to provide variation but may require a more in-depth digital signage software comparison to be carried out. The features found in the vast majority of solutions of this kind include:

  • Content scheduling: create and alter a content schedule, allowing the content displayed on digital signage to change over time. This ability to schedule content is useful in a wide range of settings and means that the right content is displayed at the right time, to the right audience. In the top digital signage software solutions, it is possible to create an automated schedule that will automatically make changes to the displayed content at chosen times or create a basic order for content while allowing for the changes to be triggered manually. Ultimately, these features are intended to grant full control over digital signage.
  • Media library: manage and store all media content in a central repository, allowing users to quickly and easily access the core items that make up digital displays. Some of the main examples of media that may be stored and managed in a digital library of this kind include videos, moving images, photographs, logos and other graphics, text, slideshow content created in presentation software, and more. New media can be added to the library at any time, while older media that is no longer required can also be removed. The centralised nature of the media library is also beneficial in situations where multiple employees need access to the digital signage software from different locations, as it allows all parties to access the exact same content.
  • Multi-screen support: control what is being displayed on multiple screens at the same time, ensuring all digital signage can be managed from the same place, without friction. The multi-screen options offered by most digital signage solutions will allow different content to be shown on different screens or display the same content on multiple screens at the same time, depending on individual requirements. The very best applications will also automatically scale content to fit the screen in question, so even if multiple screens of different sizes and dimensions are used, the content will be shown in the best possible format.
  • Remote display management: carry out all display management needs from an off-site location. The ability to access digital signage software remotely means users can control all of their digital displays, even if they are not physically present in the same place. This can be extremely useful in businesses that allow remote or hybrid working and for businesses with multiple premises, which all share the same marketing or digital content strategies. Generally, the remote display management controls available will allow for content to be edited, schedules to be created, and screens showing the chosen content to be managed.
  • Visual editor: edit the content that will be shown on digital signage through the use of a visual editor. This provides a user-friendly interface so that users can add media to a display, make adjustments, and see what the finished product will look like before it goes live. Different solutions will offer a different range of features for editing signage, but the basic options will include text editing, image editing, use of animations, and more. In many cases, the visual editor feature will resemble the kind of features found in presentation software.
  • Customisable templates: utilise a variety of customisable templates for digital signage. The inclusion of templates within digital signage software allows users to quickly and easily create content that is suitable for display using conventional layouts. However, these templates can be easily edited, allowing for the inclusion of specific images, text, video content, and other media. Templates help to ensure that even novice users will be able to create and display high-quality digital signage without specialist training. Moreover, the use of templates for digital displays that show dynamic content can help provide consistency across all displayed content.

Through intelligent use of Capterra's software directory, it is quick and easy to compare the different features offered by the available solutions and read digital signage software reviews, in order to narrow down options and get a sense of how other users feel about each product. Available programs can also be sorted based on the precise features that are included. As a result, the quality and efficiency of a search can be enhanced by ensuring only the software solutions that include the features deemed to be the most essential are shown.

What should be considered when purchasing digital signage software?

The main things that need to be considered when purchasing digital signage software are related to a company's own digital signage needs, the current display setup, and the types of content to be created and displayed. With that being said, there are some other important factors to take into account when trying to select the right solution. In general, it is a good idea to ask the following questions in order to make a more informed choice:

  • What do I need for digital signage? The first question to be considered should be: what is actually needed for the digital signage intended for display? This is important because the needs of a restaurant displaying menu items may be substantially different from the needs of a business using digital signage for display advertisement. Some of the solutions on the market are also geared towards specific uses, while others are intended for more general digital signage needs. As an example, if looking to display advertisements, investing in specialist digital signage advertising software may ensure access to some additional features that may be useful. Think about how advanced the needs are, prioritise the right features, and pick the option that is best for the business.
  • How much does digital signage software cost? Next, give careful consideration to the cost of the different solutions. The best way to approach this is to establish a budget based on the entire cost of ownership. This could mean factoring in upfront purchase costs, ongoing subscription fees, setup costs, training costs, data storage costs, as well as any costs that may be associated with things like keeping the software updated or accessing technical support when issues arise. Giving consideration to the total cost of ownership, rather than the cost of purchase, also helps to ensure that unexpected costs are not encountered at a later date.
  • Where is digital signage used? It can also be important to think about where digital signage is going to be used. If planning to have signage within a single location, where users will also be based while using the digital signage software, requirements may not be particularly advanced. However, if planning to have multiple digital screens—displaying different content—across multiple locations, options will necessarily include remote accessibility. In order to make sure a purchase is as future-proof as possible, also think about what digital signage needs may be in the years ahead too.
  • What are your training requirements? Introducing new software into a workplace requires employees who know how to make effective use of it, and that means providing the necessary training. With this in mind, give some careful thought to who needs to use the software, what current competency levels are, and how many people are going to require specific digital signage software training. Training requirements are also likely to increase if a more advanced solution with a wider range of options and features is selected.
  • What is the best deployment option? There are two main deployment options for digital signage software, and the best one will depend on specific needs and circumstances. On-premises solutions are deployed on-site after purchasing the software, and users take responsibility for keeping software updated and storing any associated data. By contrast, cloud-based solutions are typically offered by third-party service providers. With this approach, the service provider is responsible for providing the software, keeping it up-to-date, and securely storing associated data in the cloud, and users pay an ongoing subscription fee. This lowers upfront costs more predictably.
  • Who needs access to digital signage software? Finally, it is important to think carefully about precisely who is going to need access to the digital signage software, and how they work. If a company has remote workers who require access, a solution that offers robust support for remote display management should be prioritised. Also, think about the devices employees use and whether they may need access while out in the field, which may necessitate a cloud-based option or a solution that offers a companion mobile app.

The most relevant digital signage software trends also need to be included within any good decision-making process because companies need a solution that provides the most up-to-date features and accommodates the most up-to-date needs. On top of this, wider software and technology trends can also play a significant role when carrying out a robust digital signage software comparison to find a solution that is compatible with existing processes. Some of the most important trends to be aware of are outlined below:

  • Demand for interactivity: A growing area of interest related to digital signage is the concept of interactive signage, which allows an audience to select different options on the screen, interact with chatbot technology, or use voice commands to interact with dynamic content that is able to respond accordingly. This could necessitate finding a solution that delivers in this area. For example, a restaurant may wish to find digital menu software for TV screens, which will allow customers to view the menu and interact with specific items on it to learn more. Similarly, some digital signage advertising software may allow users to see information about a product and then interact with it to learn more, access a QR code, or place an order.
  • Audience analytics: Another key trend is a gradual move away from digital signage consisting simply of digital content being displayed on a screen towards the screens having additional functions. A good example of this is the use of cameras and artificial intelligence technology, which can be used to gain a sense of how the audience is actually responding to the signage in terms of engagement and emotional reactions. This allows digital signage to serve a dual purpose, and if this is likely to form part of a strategy, look for a software solution that supports this functionality and offers a good level of control over the analytics component.
  • Shift to the cloud: A growing number of businesses are embracing cloud computing and coming to understand the benefits of cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) deployment. These benefits can be especially significant in workplaces where remote access to digital signage software is needed and where data may need to be accessed from a variety of locations using a variety of different devices. With that being said, on-premises solutions still have their advantages, and it is important to choose the best option for a company's specific needs.
  • Conversational interfaces: the rise of smart speakers, voice assistants, transcription software, and similar technology has led to heightened demand for conversational user interfaces in other packages. Not only can this offer convenience, but it can also enhance accessibility, allowing users with physical disabilities to more easily utilise software. This makes it a good idea to try to find digital signage software that includes a conversational component, such as understanding and responding to voice commands.
  • Social media connectivity: The final trend to be aware of is the growing tendency for businesses to use social media feeds as part of their digital signage. This can be especially useful when sharing news, business updates, or brand messages. This does, however, mean that those who plan to utilise such options will need to find a software solution that includes built-in social media compatibility. It is also important to look into what this social media compatibility actually consists of and whether new updates can be posted to social media channels from within the digital signage software itself. If so, this can allow for faster updates and greater control.