Depending on your needs, digital signage can set you back only a couple of hundred dollars a year, or tens of thousands.
It all depends on how many screens you want to display content on, what features you need in your digital signage software, and how frequently you plan on updating the content displayed.
Below, we're helping you take everything into consideration.
Keep reading for the main factors that go into the cost of digital signage, how much you should expect to spend, and recommended products. We also share example calculations of the total investment.
How much does digital signage cost?
Digital signage typically costs around $240 per screen per year. Add that software licensing fee on top of the cost of your TV, content creation, and graphic design for an average annual cost of $500-800 per screen, considering that TVs can last 5 to 10 years.
If you do your own graphic design and don't need to change your content very often and keep using the same old TVs, then all you have to pay is that software licensing fee for $240 per screen year.
Components of digital signage costs
So what goes into the total digital signage investment?
You need to weigh in all of these factors:
- TV screens
- Digital signage players
- Mounting hardware
- Installation and one-time fees
- Content curation and creative work
- Ongoing maintenance
Let's dive into the details.
First up, you can't have any sort of digital signage without the right screen software to make everything work.
Digital signage software allows you to play a static image (such as a menu) on a screen. It can also play your own videos, slideshows, audio files, as well as display widgets such as the weather, your social media content, or company news via an RSS feed.
Juuno costs just $20 per screen per month. Other digital signage software can cost far more, especially if it's designed for enterprise companies seeking uptime monitoring and notifications, advanced user permissions, and user activity logs. But if you just need simple digital signage that works, you shouldn't be paying more than $30 per screen per month.
Make sure to choose a platform that will simplify the entire process for you.
Some software platforms require you to purchase their hardware players (which we discuss later on). This will increase your overall costs and complexity.
With Juuno, all you need is a smart TV that can access the web (the vast majority of smart TVs today have web browsers).
2. TV screens
Of course, you'll need a high-quality TV screen for your menu, announcements, or other content.
Smart TVs can range from $200 all the way to $15,000 and above. If you're getting a medium-sized TV, expect to pay at least $500.
Your TV screen will need to be the right size for the space. Most businesses will use a TV screen that is between 40 and 70 inches.
If people need to read news and announcements or menu items from far away, make sure that the TV screen will be large enough to support this.
If you're playing your own commercials or product cinematography, then make sure the TV will capture the appropriate amount of attention in your store—whether that's a little more subtle or very noticeable.
Samsung is a very reliable manufacturer of smart TVs. We recommend getting a Samsung Crystal UHD 4k TV for a high-quality picture at a reasonable price.
3. Digital signage players
A digital signage player is essentially a piece of hardware that connects to your smart TV and enables the software to play your content on your screen.
Fortunately, you probably don't need to pay for this, as Juuno works without any special hardware.
Most digital signage companies that require you to use their player require you to pay extra for it. The cost is typically $400 - $1,000. You'll need to purchase one player for every screen.
You can choose a software provider that works without extra hardware. Some software companies, like Juuno, only require you to have a smart TV. They might operate with your TV's web browser or they might have their own apps available in the app stores of your TV brand.
4. Mounting hardware
Businesses nearly always want to mount their digital signage TVs on the wall, so you'll need to purchase mounting hardware to make it happen.
Mounting hardware will set you back anywhere from $40 to $150 per screen. Tilting and moving wall mounts cost more than static ones
Make sure to choose hardware that has lots of positive reviews and will support your screen size.
We like this Rocketfish Tilting TV Wall Mount. It works for TVs that are 32 to 90 inches, and costs $99 at Best Buy when not on sale.
5. Installation and one-time fees
This category is a catch-all for fees that your software provider or TV installer might charge. If you can't mount the TV yourself and don't have someone on staff to help you, then you'll need to hire a maintenance person or handy-man to help.
The software provider you work with might also have one-time setup fees for onboarding or for their media players (item #3 above).
The cost of installation services can vary widely by city, but expect to pay around $100 to $300 for the service.
The one-time fees charge by a software can vary widely as well. Software companies might provide hands-on onboarding, staff training, or graphic design services.
Consider what's important to you,, what you need help with, and what you can do in-house yourself or with your existing staff.
You might find that you have a handy person on staff and you don't need to pay extra for setup.
6. Content curation and creative work
You've got your TV and your software. But what about the content?
Are you going to create a slideshow in Google Slides or PowerPoint and play that? Are you going to display a static menu? Will your menu change monthly or seasonally?
Your content costs can boil down to:
- Graphic design for menus
- Graphic design for a screen with various widgets
- Cost to access the widgets (often free, for example a weather widget)
- The cost of videography
Depending on what you want to play on your digital screens, you might be able to pay a graphic designer a one-time fee of $1,000, or you might produce a product video for $100,000.
Most businesses have simple needs when it comes to content and design.
Make sure to choose a software provider that makes it easy for you to affordable display great-looking content.
Juuno offers social media integrations so you can easily add your content. Or, you can upload menus and announcements with PNGs, PDFs, and PPTs.
We recommend using Canva, a design tool created for non-designers. It's really easy to make your own announcements, menus, slides, and all sorts of other high-quality content. Best of all, it's free for most uses.
They offer tons of templates for all sorts of things. Here's an example of some of their menu templates:
Make sure to Google the best image dimensions based on your TV screen size and use those correct dimensions before designing.
7. Ongoing maintenance
Each year, you might have varying costs depending on what aspects of your digital signage need to be improved.
Let's take a look at the other categories above and how you might need to maintain them.
The software that you choose should provide all software updates as part of their service. But keep in mind you'll pay more for advanced features like uptime monitoring and down notifications.
You might need to pay for additional TVs or installation or service work, as things break down or become outdated.
Another ongoing cost could be additional creative or graphic design work, such as redesigning your menu or creating a new style for your announcements.
Protect your business against unforeseen costs.
To do this, use a simple digital signage tool without additional hardware or maintenance fees. You can also try designing your own content with Canva (mentioned above) and using free widgets to pull in content from social media, news sites, and more.
Example digital signage cost calculations
Here are some example calculations of what digital signage really costs.
Small business with 1 screen
With just 1 screen, digital signage won't cost very much.
- Smart TV - $500
- Wall mount installation hardware and service fee - $200
- Content created with Canva or from Juuno's integrations - free
- $20 per screen per month with Juuno
Medium-sized business with 20 screens
Here's what a business with 20 screens would pay:
- Smart TV - $500 x 20 = $10,000
- Wall mount installation hardware and service fee - $100 (bulk discount) x 20 = $2,000
- Graphic design work - $5,000
$20 per screen per month with Juuno
Total: $400 per month
The final word
As you see, digital signage costs vary widely. You have the power to save money by using simple yet effective digital signage software that doesn't require complicated hardware in order to work and by doing some of the work yourself, such as wall installation, graphic design, and content curation.