It’s coming up on a year since we declared that the digital signage industry is broken and introduced our new service model: Digital Signage as a Service, or DSaaS.

Since then, we’ve talked to hundreds of customers, prospects and industry analysts and influencers about DSaaS, how it works and the results it brings to an organization’s bottom line – both in terms of expenditures and sales uplift. In the many conversations we’ve had about DSaaS, one question we hear frequently is, “Why shouldn’t I just lease my equipment from a vendor? Leasing doesn’t seem any different from DSaaS.”


Actually, the two couldn’t be more different.

Consider this comparison between leasing a car versus using Uber. Leasing makes getting a car easy because your payments are low. But you still have to pump gas, drive, perform maintenance and pay for parking – and at the end, you turn the car in, with nothing more to show for your money.


With Uber, other people do all the heavy lifting. They pump gas, they make repairs, they keep the cars clean, and the car that picks you up is always new to you.

The same is true with DSaaS. It’s a turnkey, fully managed solution; we take care of management, maintenance and upgrades and you reap the benefits. Upfront costs are minimal and overall costs are easy to manage, thanks to the simple monthly fee that’s part of the concept. All in all, the technology commitment and risk you undertake with DSaaS is far less than that under a lease. To be more specific:

Taking advantage of new features requires you to buy out the lease on existing equipment and begin a new lease, which is costly and impractical New platform features are always available, and new hardware features can easily be added with an extension of service

You can downgrade any time after the first year with no penalty and up to 25% each year after

Each solution is unique, so new solutions have potential issues and problems are resolved by trial and error Solutions are standardized, tested and certified for proven reliability and performance, and are backed by industry-leading service level agreements
Every customer solution has different tools and procedures, making it difficult to provide high-quality support A standardized solution using a provider-grade monitoring and support platform ensures a consistently high level of support
No plan or process exists to improve the solution over time, increasing the rate of obsolescence Platform improvements are constant and available to all, so your solution is always up-to-date
You’re stuck with the same equipment for entire length of the lease term, unless you pay a stiff penalty You have the freedom and flexibility to turn in equipment for the latest equipment with the latest features…all without a penalty

And just as a car lease doesn’t absolve you of responsibility, let’s not forget that there are other significant commitments that come with leasing your equipment and taking care of your network yourself (as we pointed out in last week’s blog on the perils of DIY digital signage). Leasing doesn’t mean you get out of all the work necessary to support the solution, for example. There’s still content to create, manage and distribute, and the amount of resources that takes can come as a surprise to many organizations.

In the end, you have a lot to consider when planning your digital signage solution: finances, technology, scalability, resources, uptime and ultimate measures of effectiveness. Leasing only addresses one of them (the financial element); DSaaS addresses them all.

Look at it another way: DSaaS is patterned after Software as a Service, and judging by the size of and growth in that market – $31.57 billion in 2015 and projected to hit $172 billion by 2025– we’re all familiar with it by now. If your organization already is taking advantage of the SaaS licensing and delivery model, then making the decision to go the DSaaS route with your digital signage shouldn’t be difficult.

Just as SaaS transformed the IT industry and Uber the transportation business, we’re looking to radically change digital signage with our DSaaS model. The question for you is: when it comes to digital signage, do you want to stay ahead of the curve on your own, or leave that to an experienced partner who can manage your network – while you manage your business?

Want to know more about important points to consider when developing a digital signage solution? Download our Digital Media Iceberg whitepaper.