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Pioneer Two: Digital Signage from Bow to Stern

Bonn | A media ship is an unusual idea. But the concept of a floating newsroom, a stage for live journalism, and a digital signage location for events has proven itself. The Pioneer One has been sailing on the Spree in Berlin for three years. Now, a sister ship, the Pioneer Two, is following suit – larger, more spectacular, and equipped with digital signage from stern to bow. invidis attended the launch on the Rhine river.

Not far from the former German federal capital, the Lux shipyard is hidden in the middle of a residential area. The shipyard is specialized in the construction of passenger ships for inland waters. Last week, capital city journalists, publishing managers, and digital signage experts met for the launch of the second media ship “The Pioneer Two”.

The 52-meter-long inland ship is the successor to the Pioneer One, the world’s first media ship completed in 2020. Both ships are developed and operated by Mediapioneer, a digital media house led by Gabor Steingard, podcaster and former boss of the German business newspaper Handelsblatt. Europe’s largest publishing house Axel Springer Verlag is also on board as a shareholder. The concept of transparent editorial work on an open stage is a success: The daily publication, The Pioneer Briefing, has over 200,000 subscribers, and all Pioneer podcasts receive around 1 million streams per week.

In addition to housing the editorial department, both ships are rented out for events, providing the media house with its most important revenue source after subscription fees. The new sister ship is approved for 200 passengers who can get informed and celebrate in a large space under a hydraulically retractable roof and on the outside deck.

Swing without wobbling

The Pioneer Two’s digital signage partner is Samsung, who equipped the electric ship from stern to bow with screens and LEDs. Design, integration, and operation was carried out by Berlin integrator Audioone and its business unit “Video, too”. Even the batteries for the electric drive come from Samsung – not from Samsung Electronics, but from sister company Samsung SDI.

The highlight on the ship are two swivelling The Wall LED screens which can combine to one large screen thanks to massive swivel arms. A custom-made product made of solid metal and with pins to connect the two high-resolution LED screens to form a homogeneous screen. A masterpiece of German engineering that impressed all visitors of the launch event. The Samsung The Wall IW012A offers a width of 6.5 meters in UHD resolution.

High-level visitors attended the launch event in Bonn – not only the Samsung Germany management and the entire Samsung display management team, but also the CEO of Thyssenkrupp. The Pioneer Two was the first ship ever to be built with green steel – climate-neutral steel produced with green hydrogen instead of coal-fired blast furnaces.

After the ship’s christening, the 150 guests – many of them Samsung’s digital signage partners – put the media ship through its paces during a Rhine cruise lasting several hours. The silent electric drive was almost as fascinating as the many digital signage installations in and on the ship. The Pioneer Two is also equipped with two 15-square-meter outdoor LEDs (Samsung XR039B) to communicate with citizens on the shore.

The Pioneer 2 is now sailing on the Spree and other German and European inland waterways.