Here’s A Glimpse At The Crappy Digital Signage Market Analyses From A Junk Research Factory

Not a real place.

It irritates the hell out of me when I see another member of the trade press giving any attention to companies that are peddling crap research about this industry – quoting market analysts from these research factories in Pune, India who are pulling numbers out of their collective butts to forecast industry growth and value.

Because I get lots and lots of press releases and other pitches, I also see lots of vendors quoting these forecast numbers and treating them as real. I’m not really sure how a $XX billion valuation of an overall industry is relevant to an individual company, particularly a start-up, but I guess BIG numbers look impressive in a pitch to investors/shareholders and prospective customers.

The press releases that roll in like waves from these companies – which generate market analyses on pretty much anything they can think, across every industry they bump into – tend to all look the same. But I was intrigued by one from last week about transparent digital signage, which provided more narrative than usual and insight into what a user would be getting for his or her $3,500.

Yeah, $3,500.

I quote:

Commenting on the report, an analyst team said: “The latest trend gaining momentum in the market is Popularity of 3D displays for advertisements. Advertisements are shown in the two-dimensional interface. However, transparent display ads have started displaying 3D content. 3D advertisements change the way people communicate their ideas using an interactive interface. Also, there are multiple tools that allow easy communication and engagement in a 3D environment. 3D advertising is helpful in getting more customer attention. It also helps in creating a real-time experience.”

According to the report, one of the major drivers for this market is Minimum amount of power consumption. A transparent digital signage screen is the combination of touchscreen and a glass window. Transparent digital signage screens have transparent components such as cathode, anode, and substrate. When a transparent digital signage display is turned on, the display allows the light to pass in both the directions. These display screens are manufactured based on the ultra-thin design and are more flexible compared to the normal screens. The advantage of transparent digital displays is that they consume a minimum amount of power. Transparent digital signage consumes only 10% of the power needed to run a conventional LCD screen. These displays are not used on TV, but they are used in signage applications.

Further, the report states that one of the major factors hindering the growth of this market is Hardware limitations and the lack of quality content for advertisements. The transparent digital signage technology is fascinating and has long ways from its roots in digital signage. The technology is dependent on the development of devices and digital networks. Rendering digital data into meaningful images while satisfying the perspective of the visual field is challenging various applications of the digital technology. Transparent digital signage faces the limitation of limited processing power, with a small amount of memory and storage. The devices do not have enough power to process heaps of real-time data. Portable devices need to have powerful hardware to produce high-quality images. This challenges the advertisement developers to create new ads with multimedia software platforms such as Adobe Flash. For instance, the ad development should support the drag-and-drop option to place portable network graphics (PNGs) and joint photographic expert groups (JPGs) on a plain platform to make a fully rendered ad-object.

The analyst/author, very clearly, hasn’t even the vaguest idea what he is blabbering on about, and is just cherry-picking and blending in phrases into a report salad. In my old newspaper editor days, we called this stuff Whipped Air.

There are VERY few research companies – IHS Markit and Futuresource come to mind – that have analysts focused on the digital signage ad display business. Their numbers and insights are the ones with value. The other stuff is junk.

Your clue, apart from the press release summaries that say very little, is the head office location of the company. There is usually a US address listed as the head office, and then there is an office in Pune, India (where all the “analysts” work). The US office is more often than not in a strip mall far away from anywhere and probably just a maildrop or virtual office.

Buyer beware.

Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than a decade. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He's based near Toronto.
Dave Haynes

@sixteennine

11+ year-old blog (and now podcast) about digital signage and related tech, written by industry consultant, analyst and bullshit filter Dave Haynes.
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2 Comments

  • Robert Lewis says:

    Thanks for making me laugh on a Monday! Adobe Flash, eh? What will they think of next?!

  • Ken Goldberg says:

    The “research” is limited to doing half-assed interviews with any people they can find on LinkedIn with digital signage in their profile who are willing to accept a Starbuck’s gift card in exchange for their valuable time and insights. You can imagine the quality of those discussions from both ends of the phone. The Whipped Air is the result of a clueless 20-something writer trying to take snippets of these discussions off of legal pads and reach a word quota for their section. You do a service warning people about these leeches.

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