South Korea’s ICT ministry said Monday it will spend 78.9 billion won (or $ 67.3 million USD) to nurture the digital signage industry in that country, apparently seeing the sector as a growth engine.
The report, in the Korea Herald, says that the ministry will, through 2018, plans to expand support for start-ups involved in the business, and abolish unnecessary regulations.
While two of the giants in LCD displays are based in S. Korea, the country is not known – really at all – for other aspects of the signage eco-system – hardware, software or creative. I was there for a week, about a year ago, and was somewhat mystified about how undeveloped the signage market was in the land of Samsung and LG. This, for example, is how wireless carriers in Seoul market products, plans and services at their stores (below). All paper. No screens. I was told that was the norm, and this was at Seoul’s main rail station.
If it is real money and not just tax concessions for the big guys, it could be very good news for some smaller firms trying to get R&D money. How the government settled on signage as a key driver – and not a pile of other emerging technologies – is a bit of a mystery.
Whoever controls these dollars could probably use some good consulting advice from someone who really knows the business. Nudge. Nudge.