How Control Play's Digital Signage Passed the ROI Test

Here at Control Play, we push to go above and beyond to help our subscribers exceed their guests’ expectations. We’re confident in our music playlist, video, and digital signage service, but we understand the hesitations that might come with investing in a new technology like ours. 

After all, at the end of the day, you need a financial return on your investment (ROI)—and that’s exactly why our senior Business Development Executive, Adam Melrose, issued what came to be known as the “saucy signage challenge.” 

Before working here, Melrose was a DJ and bar manager—so he understands the pains of restaurant/bar owners. I sat down with him to get this story because I think it highlights an important aspect of our service and speaks directly to potential concerns regarding ROI. 

“One of our subscribers was a little cautious getting started with us,” Melrose begins, “They’re a chicken-wing focused sports bar—I’m not gonna say their name on the record right now,” he chuckles. “They called me up and were like, ‘We don’t really get this digital signage piece. How is this gonna make any money? How do we even measure ROI on this?’

“So, my challenge to them was this: I said, “Tell ya what, add a couple new wing sauces—just one or two—and only promote them on the screens. Don’t put them on your menu and don’t have your staff talk about them with guests. We’re just gonna promote them on the TV screens and you tell me on Monday how many of those you rang in this weekend.”

This sports bar, like many modern venues, has a POS system that’s able to specifically track this kind of thing. It takes some participation on the staff’s side to play along, but when that works out, you can see how it effectively measures the return on this one feature of the service. 

“We chatted about it that following Monday,” Melrose continues, “[the owner] had about half-a-dozen locations they were managing at the time. He said, ‘Wow, we actually brought in around 40 of those in each location and we definitely only promoted them on the screens.”

The subscriber and our team at Control Play now had a measurable result directly regarding the impact of digital signage—and it turned out as predicted, with increased awareness and engagement from guests that resulted directly in boosted sales.

There are countless bars and restaurants using in-house digital signage to promote drink specials, menu items, and events—but how they use it differs from place to place. See, you need to give people a reason to look at your screens. You need a strategy that gets patrons’ eyes on the signage, or else it’s not going to have the desired effect. 

That’s why we put digital signage in your music video system. When the music matches the visuals on screen, people are much more likely to watch, compared to a muted network television station just playing whatever. Unless there’s a big game on, people are more likely to be glued to the screens in their pockets (their phones) than the ones in your venue.

What the data shows, however, is that people are paying attention to music videos. According to one of, if not the, biggest online hosts of music videos, Vevo, the average amount of user time spent watching music videos per month is 1.1 billion hours. That’s with 97 million people in the U.S. watching their videos monthly (and 25 million daily). 

Your guests are already consuming video—it’s a part of their daily lives. Offering this aspect as a part of your brand experience creates engaged guests, rather than passive ones, when it comes to your valuable ad space. 

While their eyes are on the music videos, Control Play allows you to pop in digital ads that actually get seen. Our video-override feature—available to Video+ subscribers— allows you to display your ads whenever you want, and if an artist hasn’t produced a video for a particular song, it’s a great chance to run a rotation of displays promoting various events, specials, social media pages, etc. Regardless of how you approach it, combining music videos and digital signage has a significant impact on sales. 

We call this approach “Infotainment.”

To learn more about using your TVs to generate more revenue, download our whitepaper guide:


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Kevin Avram

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