How Much Does Digital Signage Cost?

From superior versatility to dynamic messaging to more integrated communication, the advantages associated with digital signage are numerous. Understanding the fundamental digital signage costs is critical to making the right purchase decision. Since we’re talking about modern technology tools, the cost factor includes hardware, installation, software, tech support, and more.

Some companies might wonder about the average cost for digital signage, but averages can be deceiving. A better way to look at it is based on your signage needs and the different options available. In this article, we’ll break down digital signage cost categories one by one. This will help you make more informed investment decisions to maximize value.

Elements that Impact Digital Signage Price

Some buyers have a misconception about what digital signage actually is. They believe digital signs are nothing more than large TVs or computer monitors. The reality is that digital signs are a specialized type of technology. They are designed for a specific purpose: to improve communication for an organization or brand.

Remember, a poor-quality display may make images and text appear blurred or fuzzy, and their screens can have a lot of glare. Instead of focusing only on low cost, it’s better to choose the package that gives you the most value while fitting within your budget. Here are some of the elements to consider in terms of price, performance, and other factors.

Digital Signage Display Screen

Obviously, the digital signage display screen is the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to digital sign pricing. What should you consider when looking at digital displays and digital signage display prices?

Consumer vs. Commercial Displays
A household smart TV model will be less expensive compared to a commercial-grade display. Still, there are some things to keep in mind when comparing consumer vs. commercial products.

Your signage will likely see heavy use, and commercial models are designed to be more durable. Plus, commercial displays come with longer warranties. Warranties are important since they are a hedge to cover against unforeseen equipment failure repair costs.

Finally, commercial displays usually have more processing power, which is important for more advanced messaging. This can impact how well your signage gets the message across, especially if you plan to use a lot of video imaging.

Screen Size
The display size depends largely on the screen location, and where the screen will be placed (as well as potential viewing angles) is important. You want it large enough to ensure visibility, but the display should also blend in well with the surroundings. For high-impact signage, you may even opt for a full wall-sized screen.

More Advanced Options
The type of digital signage you implement will depend on your needs and objectives. Features such as touch screens and full-wall-sized displays are available but come at a higher cost. If a high impact is what you want, then it might be worth looking into one of these more unique options.

Digital Signage Media Player

All digital signage requires a digital signage media player to stream content. Memory, processing speed, and different features come with each player. This is important to consider when deciding on a media player as all these factors can be impacted by your signage. Are low-cost digital signage media players worth it? It depends. Remember, the cost can influence performance. Media players are essentially computers designed for digital displays.

The player might be built into the unit, on more advanced display screens. Also, like displays, commercial-grade players are built for long play times and come with extended warranties.

Players with Bundled Software is the Way to Go!
Some players come pre-loaded with free digital signage software. This can reduce the cost of purchasing each component separately. Digital signage software bundles make it easier to get your digital signage displays up and running.

The Mini-PC as a Player
A mini-computer can be mounted near or on the back of your digital sign display. Two advantages of mini-PCs are they are versatile and customizable. So, if your needs are more complex, such as with advanced messaging, multimedia, or marketing integration, you may want to consider this alternative.

Digital Signage Cabling & Display Mounts

It’s difficult to quantify display mount costs as it depends largely on where the signage will be placed. For example, for displays mounted higher up on the wall, an angled mount will be needed. In other cases, requirements maybe include movable mounts with hinged arms.

Digital signage mounts can cost anywhere from $50 to $350+. In every case, it makes sense to go with high quality and a low profile as possible. After all, the signage should get the attention, not a big, bulky mount. Meanwhile, digital signage cabling should use high-grade cables, which are more durable and improve transmission speed. A 4K Displayport to HDMI Cable costs about $13 for 6 feet of cable.

Digital Signage Pricing for Software Licensing

Depending on your signage needs, you have two licensing options:

  1. Cloud-based software license fee – payable monthly
  2. Non-cloud installable software – one-time fee

There are several advantages to cloud-based software. Maintenance and updates are included in the cost, which is a huge benefit. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is another name for cloud-based software. Installing dynamic digital signage software on your own requires some tech expertise, plus you have to do all the troubleshooting on your own. In both cases, there may be some IT training involved.

For SaaS options, training will be minimal since backend upkeep is done by the provider. If you purchase and install the software yourself, you will have to manage in-house training as well.

Installation & Provisioning Costs

Labor costs may vary widely by region and provider. Plus, there’s a huge difference between installing a simple 55’ wall-mounted display vs. an entire wall-sized screen.  Also, make sure your installer has digital sign installation experience since factors such as wiring, mounting, and screen angles should be considered.

Provisioning is the process of connecting and configuring your displays and players so that they can be used for digital signage purposes. This process requires specific expertise in the digital signage field. So unless you have the right tech staff, you’ll probably want to outsource this job.

Cost issues such as Internet access and networking all come into play at this level. A ballpark figure for provisioning costs may be $250-$350 per display in addition to any broadband access costs. Other issues to consider here are networking and IT requirements. This will vary depending on what content you intend to stream and how it will be integrated with your communications systems. Finally, the ADA signage requirements should be kept in mind as regulations continue to become more stringent as time goes on.

Content Creation

This might be the most variable cost of signage factor of all since it totally depends on the digital signage content you plan to transmit on your digital signs. For example, static text vs. fully interactive touchscreen content will have a huge price difference. The content you choose on your information screens must make sense and align precisely with your brand and the message you want to transmit.

The reality is that an entire content creation team, calendar, and strategy should be deployed to get the most out of your signage. This implies weighing the costs of having the work done in-house, by freelancers, or through a professionally managed service/agency. Content creation costs should be included in the monthly budget for your overall digital signage campaign costs.

IT Support & Maintenance

Every digital system will require maintenance and troubleshooting from time to time. Consequently, capable and experienced in-house IT teams might be able to handle this on their own. If not, it makes sense to outsource it. The advantage of outsourcing is that digital signage specialists know exactly how to approach a problem. They can fix issues faster, and in most cases, have a lower overall cost.


For digital church sign costs, digital menu board costs, or any other organization’s digital signage costs, it makes sense to consider depreciation. Depreciation is an accounting method of allocating the cost of a tangible or physical asset over its useful life or life expectancy. This method helps you cushion the economic impact of buying digital signs as well as taking into account the normal wear and tear of the hardware.

Depreciating digital signage assets helps companies earn revenue from an asset. You can do this while expending a portion of the signage cost each year the signs are in use. Especially for larger projects, if depreciation isn’t taken into account, it can significantly affect profits. Businesses can depreciate long-term assets for both tax and accounting purposes. For example, you can take a tax deduction for the cost of your signage fleet, thus reducing your taxable income.

Tips to keep Digital Signage Costs Down

Leveraging Dynamic Content

Making sure the right content goes out at the right time to the right audience improves message impact and conversions. Methods to improve content dynamics will improve the content ROI.

Professionally Curated Content Feeds

Content curation finds and selects high-quality, relevant content for a specific industry or topic. One can pay to purchase these services, which will likely result in the conservation of in-house resources and time.

Independent VLANs to Reduce IT Expenses

VLANs can keep network applications separate. Whether they are in the same physical network or not. Therefore, avoiding the need for multiple sets of cabling and networking devices to be deployed.

Technology Lifecycle & Obsolescence

Hardware doesn’t last forever. Moreover, software updates are important. This is because it will eventually become outdated if it’s not. This means you need to plan ahead for replacement.

Optimize Technology Refresh Costs

The key here is to plan for this from the moment you install the technology, or even sooner. This is why it makes sense to standardize (buy all the same model) if possible. It will allow you to better predict the product lifecycle. Also, you might plan for a phased approach to refresh your hardware, perhaps starting with media players and then later video displays in a stepwise fashion. As a rule of thumb, major pieces of technology usually last between 3-5 years. In addition, this varies depending on hours per week of use and environmental factors (outdoor vs. indoor, etc.).

Are the Digital Signage Prices Worth It?

It’s plain to see that digital signs are a business investment. However, the question remains: will your return on investment (ROI) be worth it? Our world increasingly uses visual methods of communication. The value of having signage that appropriately transmits your organization’s message has become more important than ever. Plus, digital signage offers a wide range of advantages, such as:

  • – Ability to adapt message & content quickly
  • – Craft signage to match special events, seasons, or promotions
  • – Integrate signage with an organization’s digital messaging campaign
  • – Respond to health and security alerts faster
  • – Modify messaging in real-time
  • – Ensure messages are current and relevant
  • – Stand out from the competition

In the end, each business must decide for itself if the advantages are worth the cost. In addition, with the right amount of planning, nearly any organization can find a digital sign solution that fits their needs and budget.

If you’re interested in how Livewire can help provide digital signage solutions to your business, please contact us today!