Since June of last year Jamie Fox, a Market Research Analyst at IMS Research has been tracking the digital signage market and collecting data for a new report.
Here in his own words is a summary of some of his findings, Ed…
In 2009 the market for digital signage continued to grow (but only slightly) despite the recession according to data from leading digital signage suppliers. This is based on revenue reported to us here at IMS Research by many hardware and software suppliers during 2009, who told me (often informally) their 2008 revenue and how it was set to change in 2009 (sometimes fairly precisely, and sometimes an approximation).
Several vendors were able to report to me that while the economic climate had affected some of the more established areas, newer areas, such as health and education, had a higher growth rate for them.
Conclusion of the analysis was that the market size for digital signage worldwide reached USD 3.94 Billion in 2009, 2% higher than 2008 when it was USD 3.87BN.
In EUROs this was a 7% increase from €2.64 to €2.83BN; as GBP 20% from GBP 2.11 to GBP 2.53BN.
These numbers are for the market for all products for digital signage (counting revenue when sold by a hardware or software supplier, not by a systems integrator). Displays make up the largest part of it.
Growth was higher for media players and set top boxes (2009 was up 9.5% vs 2008) and software (13%) and lower for flat screen displays (7%).
Some software and media player manufacturers enjoyed much higher growth rates than others – some saw very high double digit growth (such as 50%+) in 2009 while others saw a decline.
There are so many companies active at the moment in digital signage, particularly as software providers, that some people speculated in discussions with me that many of them might not remain in the market and we may see consolidation to a list of main suppliers in the coming years.
Having said that, some suppliers will continue to have a niche in one country or one market segment.
Flat screen display manufacturers (LCD and Plasma) reported to IMS Research a flatter market in 2009. This is a more established market due to the fact that digital signage is a secondary business for well established display companies with a more mature business in home displays and portable displays as well as commercial displays.
LED arrays, which are included in the report, actually experienced a negative growth in 2009 vs 2008 (-4.5%) due to the impact of the recession on outdoor advertising in North America and worldwide.
In conclusion, the fact that 2009 saw greater revenue than 2008 is great news for the digital signage industry.
In a year where many things (car sales, mobile phone sales, semiconductors – just a few examples there) were heading in the wrong direction, digital signage continued to grow.
In truth, this is almost certainly due to a higher underlying growth rate rather than the fact that digital signage is immune to economic difficulties. However it still seems to me to have been a satisfactory result for the industry.
The fact that any sort of growth at all has been seen in 2009 in such a tough year is surely a strong indicator of double digit growth ahead when things are more ‘normal’.