The Human Cost Of The Industry Shakeout
Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief
After the week we have just had one thing is for sure – a lot of small and some not so small vendors are now going to have to drop the word ‘GLOBAL’ from their press releases and web sites!!!
It’s been a particularly bad week for LOTS of individuals in the digital signage software / solutions provider market with layoffs, redundancies, job cuts, downsizing (however you want to word it) hitting folks in San Francisco, London and elsewhere,
We could have run headlines like “xyz Lays Off Staff” but we didn’t think that helped the industry nor MORE importantly the folks involved. None of these recent layoffs are personal. The folks involved are often good people caught up in events outside of their control.
Mind you, it’s not all gloom and doom. There are a lot of good companies recruiting – indeed we have run a couple of posts over the last few weeks for folks like Headland Media and Arqiva who are and have been searching for new blood – indeed tomorrow we have another ‘recruitment’ post up; this time for Mood Media who are looking to fill a digital signage position in the UK.
We guess at the end of this period of shrinkage and consolidation, the brave will have survived (especially those with a good business plan) and will come out the other end bigger and stronger.
As we say to the folks we talk to 1:1, now is the time to be bold, to really market yourself AND to cement your position in the industry – OF COURSE that’s if you are any good (and have faith / belief in yourself)!!!
December 5th, 2008 at 13:25 @600
It is a real shame the industry is taking such a very short-sighted view and it clearly doesn’t have any confidence in itself. We are at a point where Digital Signage is, to use a cliche, crossing the chasm. Clearly a lot of frogs are being kissed out there, and the large deals take time to close but I genuinely feel that organisations are ready to embrace DS. Most traditional POS print media and outdoor ad businesses are desperate to pick up their existing clients digital work as they know they wont have a business in ten years time if they dont. These opportunities demand a huge leap of faith from the end customer and take time, but I am 100% 2009 will see these big deals start to happen.
December 5th, 2008 at 14:13 @634
It is quite obvious that a few Europen countries are miles ahead of most countries when it comes to rolling out large DS networks and establishing a viable DS industry. I believe that the global DS industry won’t really start to lift off until several major retailers in the United States start rolling out large DS networks and have proven success and verifiable metrics with their respective DS networks. Once media buyers and advertising agencies from the United States start seeing verifiable proof that DS is worth their clients investment they will start embracing DS as a viable advertising medium. This will result in creating enough of a critical mass and a ripple effect needed for the rest of the world markets to embrace DS. Given the current economic conditions in the United States I don’t see this happening for at least 3-4 years. Until then weak DS software vendors will perish and only the strong will survive. This is the law of the jungle.
Vice President Sales
Nuva Technologies Inc.
December 5th, 2008 at 15:08 @672
Having just spent several days with investment banks and private equity firms in the City my inclination is to…. buy a gun, build a wall around my house and start growing my own vegetables…. HOWEVER!!! Our revenues are 75% up quarter on quarter, our bookings for the next 6 months look healthy and…… clearly digital OOH is growing ….(whether by way of intrinsic growth or substitution of moving posters for paper…we don’t really care!). We, therefore, are buying new offices and have vacancies in: national brand sales (2), local advertising sales (4), content production (flash, studio max or maya)(2) and support(2). Email email@example.com if interested.
December 7th, 2008 at 19:10 @840
The economic downturn is very hard here in North America. For example, the lead in the top story published in this weekend’s editon of the Wall Street Journal, states:
“The U.S. lost half a million jobs in November, THE LARGEST ONE-MONTH DROP SINCE 1974 [Bill Collins emphasis] , as employers brace for a recession that’s expected to stretch through much of 2009.”
As was the case in 1974, there is no way for any industry to escape the effecs of this economic recession. However, there are bright spots in our industry in various places, and, as Adrian said, some companies are hiring.
If any of you out there live in North America and are looking for opportunities after being laid off, please don’t hesitate to E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. From time to time, employers in our industry will ask me to recommend people for openings. So, if I can, I’ll be happy to help.
Bill Collins | Principal | DecisionPoint Media Insights | 5040 Eastwood Circle West, Cincinnati, Ohio 45227 USA | Bill@decisionpointmedia.com | http://www.decisionpointmedia.com | LinkedIn profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/billcollinsdigitalsignage
DecisionPoint Media Insights is a research consultancy that designs and produces custom consumer research on digital media networks that are deployed at retail and out of home.