We recently caught up with Chief Revenue Officer of UniLED Arran Javed.
How long has UniLED been around and what do you do?
We originally started in 2010 as a consultancy service, advising clients on digital signage technology. Fast forward 10 years to today, and UniLED is now positioned as the market leader for screen maintenance, network management, content deployment and independent play out verification. With a portfolio of over 25,000m2 of screens under our management.
As a UK-based company, do you only work with companies in that region, or do you have customers elsewhere in Europe and beyond?
Our UniLED offering sees us service thousands of digital screens across the UK and with UniLIVE, our independent verification and reporting platform, we work with a huge portion of the UK OOH market. However, we have global ambitions and this quarter we have launched UniLIVE, in the US, Ireland, Baltics and Nordics, with more markets to follow in the coming months. UK based for now, but certainly a Global offering!
Please tell us more about each of your product lines. Let’s start with uniLIVE. What type of content delivery and verification do you provide and who are some of your customers?
The UniLIVE platform is designed to provide our clients with streamlined content delivery and independent playout verification.
This technology enables media agencies, advertisers and vendors themselves, who are selling direct, to manage their DOOH campaigns in a more streamlined, aggregated way and empowers brands to monitor, measure and report on campaign performance in real-time.
We’ve built our technology on the back of the vast experience we’ve gathered over the years we’ve spent in OOH. The 3 pillars of the technology are Delivery – tracked creative distribution and verification of assets, Data – independently record and verify every play with various levels of integration with vendor partners and Performance – monitor, measure and report real-time campaign delivery.
Now please tell us about UniHUB. You described it as a service management tool that sreamlines the operation of digital signage networks. What does this mean? How does it work?
UniHUB is our service management tool which we designed to help streamline the operation, management and maintenance of digital signage networks, it provides crucial performance analysis for screen owners to track their portfolio.
The system allows the screen owners to fully utilize their inventory and to instantly access information such as screen uptime, maintenance issues and repair history. It also allows them to manage technician performance and training, as well as providing instant access to inventory reporting.
And then there’s UniLED, which you said provides 24/7 monitoring, remote and on-site digital screen support services. What type of services are you referring to? When you say “on-site” support, do you mean that you have a team that goes out and services screens?
We do indeed have a brilliantly talented team of technicians on the ground who service the UK DOOH market. We are the market leader for screen maintenance in the UK and our specialist teams install, service and monitor our client’s digital signage.
We also provide expert knowledge in the procurement and the installation of new sites, service existing sites and offer a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week screen monitoring service. Through this monitoring we are able to ensure any maintenance issues are identified quickly and can offer immediate on-site maintenance response to rectify any issues.
Many digital signage network management software systems have the features you are describing (content delivery, screen monitoring, reporting, network health monitoring, proof-of-play verification, etc.) included. Do your software products replace the digital signage software DOOH operators use to manage their networks (CMS), or do they function as addons to the existing CMS that don’t have those features?
UniLIVE does not directly replace the DOOH operators CMS systems but it does work with them to centralise the delivery of creative assets for clients. UniLIVE is an independent verification platform for advertisers and media buyers, which verifies every play, on every screen, reporting to advertisers when, where and how long their campaigns ran. UniLIVE measures the performance of a DOOH campaign by reporting plays and impressions received against the client’s target objectives.
Our UniHUB platform also does not replace existing software but instead aggregates data and information from digital signage software so that our clients can have complete transparency on the immediate performance of their digital signage network. Our teams utilise the software to effectively diagnose, manage and streamline the remediation of incidents so that we can consistently deliver the best achievable estate ‘uptime’.
What is UniLED’s competition and how do you differ from it?
The biggest competitor to independent verification is Publisher/SSP self-verification, or no verification at all.
UniLIVE has no direct competition. However, there are companies emerging as independent verification becomes more prevalent in market. In our biggest two markets, the UK and the US there is no competition with existing vendor integrations.
Globally DOOH verification techniques using HTML containers, CMS logs or SSP ‘Pixels’ exist but no other verification company deploys all three as we are able to.
Could you please describe what your UniLED technology does in one sentence?
UniLIVE streamlines content delivery for advertisers and provides standardized, independent, real-time verification for digital out-of-home, enabling more effective management of DOOH campaigns.
UniHUB is a powerful service management tool designed to streamline the operation, monitoring and maintenance of digital signage networks, providing screen owners with live case tracking and portfolio performance analysis at their fingertips.
Could you name the DOOH networks that use your software?
UniLIVE offer a white-label product and work with numerous global agencies, brands and media vendors. From an agency point of view we work with Kinetic, Mediacom, Rapport and independent agencies. UniLIVE also work directly with clients such as Sky and Amazon. We also have a range of media vendors who use our software including JCDecaux, Clear Channel and Global amongst many others.
UniLED’s clients cover anyone utilising digital signage as part of their offering, most obviously media vendors such as Clear Channel and Global but also retail, cinemas, sports stadia, theatres, distribution centers and more.
What are UniLED’s plans for 2021 and beyond?
Our vision for 2021 is to help continue the digital transformation of out of home. We want to help brands, agencies and vendors harness its full potential.
As programmatic technology enters the DOOH market giving advertisers more flexibility to buy such as by location, time of day, temperature and serving multiple creative executions dependent on these factors, it’s more important than ever for advertisers to know that what they actually booked ran and importantly how it performed. Our UniLIVE platform is designed to do just that, and we will be launching this product into the global market, across multiple territories with some of our key client partners.
Beyond 2021 will see us continue to invest in our technology as the industry evolves, to ensure we’re offering products and services that our clients see huge value in. We couldn’t be more excited about our global expansion!
Why did you join DPAA and what are you looking to gain from your membership?
We chose to join the DPAA as we believe they share our vision of continuing the digital transformation of the out of home sector. The other DPAA members, and the expertise the team at DPAA have, will help both the DOOH sector and UniLED grow! We look forward to working with them to realize this and will be taking advantage of the many benefits our DPAA membership gives us to help us achieve our shared vision!