Our View on the Frost & Sulllivan 34% Scala Figure

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Here’s our take on the Frost & Sulllivan claim that Scala have 34% of the digital signage market (previous post on the subject here).

First, we need to better understand what Frost & Sullivan are reporting. It’s obviously all signage – so corporate and non advertising installs (what they, we and iSuppli tend to call the “Real Estate Classification”) as well as what is also called “Advertising Classifications”. This includes self-financed networks like in retail, fully fledged advertising networks like those owned by Avanti Screenmedia or Neo Advertising and ‘hybrid’ networks – a mixture of the two (so a bit like Remote Media’s Thomson Travel Poster network).

We also need to understand what is being measured. Is it installs per venue or installs per screen? What we really want to know of course is whether one measure is better than the other?

In the UK we know in an incredible amount of detail, pretty much the exact make up of the Advertising Classification networks.

We know that Scala have 28.39% of the UK market as measured by the amount of screens installed and 21.39% as measured by the number of venues.

To put that in context we also see that EnQii/DIgital View Media have 27.32% and 20.37% by screens and venues respectively.

Novra, because they have many of the Avanti Screenmedia installations have 22.09% by screens and 15.1% by venues

In the UK, Scala, EnQii and Novra are clearly the big three in Advertising Classifications in terms of ‘installed base’.

A number of (different types) EPOS based systems, if grouped together, are in 4th place (showing a growing trend in attaching advertising screens to a retailer’s EPOS till system) otherwise Dynamax are next in line with 6.22% by screens and 13.97% by venue. This much larger 2nd number is due to the widely deployed SubpostmasterTV / Community Channel venues.

Now remember that this is all advertising classifications! There is no doubt that Scala have a lot of corporate installs – though this number is much harder to measure.

By the way, we have always estimated that the Real Estate classification makes up well over 50% of an individual geography’s digital signage market.

As we said in an earlier post we are happy that Scala’s Advertising Classification figures together with figures for the Real Estate Classification would give them a good 40% of the UK Digital Signage market in total.

In that sense, at least for one country, then Frost & Sullivan have under-called it.

In France we see a very, very low penetration by Scala in the Advertising Classification arena – their biggest network is Futuramedia‘s Pharmacie Channel, which has a lot of screens and a lot of venues but even with a few other networks we estimate that Scala does not even have 15% of the French market place.

Unfortunately we have no sight of the French Corporate Market but Scala would need a lot of installs to average out at 34% in this country.

The other big market in Europe is the Netherlands – it’s still probably just the largest as well. There are a lot of networks (95+) and a lot of big networks and there is a lot of competition in particular from the likes of Broadsign.

By the number of venues in the Advertising Classification in the Netherlands we reckon that Broadsign is the market leader with almost 40% of the market. Scala has, wait for it, we think 34% of the advertising classification market!

Again, like France we have no sight of the Real Estate market in the Netherlands.

So, let’s summarise for just a minute with the three biggest ‘digital signage’ countries in Europe – in the UK we are saying that Scala has a good 40%, in France in advertising only it has 15% and in the Netherlands it has 34% in advertising only plus of course in these last two countries whatever figure in Real Estate.

Where we think the percentage figures really fall down is in Germany (we believe Germany will be the largest market in 2008) and Scandinavia – in both geographies there are lots and lots of home grown and bespoke solutions, in the Emerging Markets (where Scala is often quoted as being ‘too expensive’) and where Far Eastern software solutions are making major inroads and in places like India (again where home grown systems are being used as well as a lot of Australian and New Zealand solutions).

We could go on; we don’t see Scala having a third of the market in the Middle East, nor in Italy, Spain or Switzerland so unless the percentage figure is INCREDIBLY high for the US foor example or China (areas we do not cover) then we are unsure how a worldwide figure of 34% could have been arrived at. Remember that the US does not have the monopoly on really large rollouts so any aggregation of venue and screen numbers world wide in order to arrive at a percentage figure does not work either.

On our travels we have seen very few large Scala based networks in the Emerging Markets (Digiboard in Istanbul being an exception for example)

Without wanting to be too derogatory about the report – we have said that we are big fans of Frost & Sullivan reports and their market data has always been accurate – we believe that the ‘headline figures’ given by Frost & Sullivan and used by Scala in their Press Releases are misleading and most probably best seen as figures from the US plus (some) established geographies rather than world wide AND are figures that take into account an awful lot of corporate ‘Real Estate’ installations – many of which will go back up to 10 years.

Our summary is that the figure of 34% market share is absolutely NOT a reflection of the digital signage industry that DailyDOOH covers and sees within EMEA at the moment.

4 Responses to “Our View on the Frost & Sulllivan 34% Scala Figure”

  1. Philippe Lemaire Says:

    Just for our understanding can you please be precise on how you can measure the market share in a country like France for example.
    You said that Scala has about 15% of the market in France in advertising. Does it mean you have exactly the number of project and deployment each of scala’s competitor have ???
    Futuramedia as you precised is only one of our major network in the french market.
    Fortunatly we have more than one network using Scala (i.e Citroen more than 400 locations, Phox more than 200 locations… MSA ( Insurrance) etc…)
    Based on the number of project our competitors deployed in this “advertising arena”, I am a little bit concerned on how you do your maths. Just curious !
    I would very please to share with you our information about the market, the real projects compare to the pilots most of our competitors use to communicate in the press. It might help to clarify your numbers….

    All my best

    Philippe LEMAIRE
    Director, France Channel Sales.
    SCALA Broadcast Multim├ędia France

  2. Rufus Connell Says:

    Rufus Connell, VP ICT Research from Frost & Sullivan here, I thought I would post a very brief comment here. I won’t get into discussion of our numbers on your blog, but if you would like to contact me directly I will be glad to discuss.

    The market share numbers you are attempting to analyze are 2006 CY world wide revenue market share numbers specifically for digital signage software. It is a fallacy to draw a one-to-one correlation between installed base of displays or networks as you are trying to and even more risky to draw world wide conclusions based on EMEA only data.

    To use our numbers correctly, you need to understand their context. Anyone who is interested can find the report here:

  3. Adrian J Cotterill Says:

    Philippe, we do indeed have a long list of digital screen networks in France, complete with number of venues and number of screens for each – there are of course some ‘pilots’ in that list but the top 10 alone by size sees almost 20,000 screens in operation – Futuramedia, Citroen, Phox arfe of course included in that list.

    We have just over 70 ‘Advertising Classification’ networks listed in France in total at the moment.

  4. Kim Zetterberg Says:

    Why at all measure the amount of screens? For digital signage deployments, this must be totally uninteresting. For media companys selling commercials very interesting.
    But in discussing who has the largest deployments it must be measured in amounts of Channels and stores. Exampel: 100 stores and each has 2 channels would then simply be 200 units.
    Frontcast would never say we have over 3000 screens as we have in Sweden.. That is totally uninteresting as we have about 200 mediaplayers sending to those 3000 screens.
    Another reflection to make, and that would be more interesting to find out is who are the fastest growing digital signage companies? Since the markets are picking up pace, it must be interesting to see how all these new companies are doing? Is Scala really keeping their lead? Or are they losing to all new companies?
    I would suggest that we all in this business report in how many deploments have been made and were once every quarter so we ourselfes know the staus. Since, at least here in Sweden every one with an installation says they are market leaders… this would be good to have.
    Marry Christmas and a Happy New Year from us in Sweden. The REAL homecountry of Santa…
    Kim Zetterberg
    Frontcast Media AB

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