Digital Signage Market Stats: Gerba Looks At The Actuals

January 26, 2012 by Dave Haynes

The very expensive reports that roll off the assembly line of research mills everyday – digital signage one day, bull semen the next – all highlight a BIG number that talks about the growth of a sector. There’s always the “Digital Signage will be a $19 gazillion dollar market by 2016” number that is abstract and almost entirely meaningless, but lovingly embraced by the trade press and people who get excited by PowerPoint charts.

I was thinking it would be great to look at the predictions of total market value by some of the genuine research firms that looks with some or a lot of knowledge of this specific sector, but also thinking that would probably take a lot of work. Happily, I just noticed Bill Gerba did the work for me.

The CEO of the software firm WireSpring Technologies took a look at the numbers produced over the last few years by three firms that follow digital signage and digital out of home, and compared projections against actual in his long-running blog:

As you can see, ABI Research, who had the biggest chronological gap between comparable data sets (4 years), actually underestimated market growth in 2008 — to the tune of 32.5% in 2010 and 35.8% in 2011, assuming the methodology remained the same.

If the trend holds and their future predictions are reasonably accurate, the market will continue to outperform their original expectations for the next several years. IMS Research, on the other hand, had highly consistent results, with predictions from their 2011 survey differing by only a few percentage points from their 2010 numbers. Given that their data sets are only one year apart, that is not at all surprising.

Finally, in the DOOH space we see PQ Media showing bullish predictions for 2009, only to have the economic realities and corresponding growth challenges cause a massive 22% correction once the numbers were considered again in 2011. The rest of the overlapping data was much closer, and PQ’s ongoing CAGR estimate of around 10% is considerably more conservative than earlier predictions.

The three research firms study somewhat different things, but they’re all tempered by the overall market penetration of digital signage systems. Consequently, we can observe that PQ was generally bullish, ABI was generally bearish, and IMS was somewhat neutral. (In each case, we’re talking about the precision or conistency of their predictions, rather than accuracy, since we don’t have any way of verifying how their historical data is being calculated.) Generally speaking, then, the research firms are not putting out wildly hyperbolic data. 

There’s more in there, as well as a survey Gerba would love you to take. Well worth a read if you want a sense of what’s actually happening versus the hype and BS.

Bill, by the way, has kindly stepped up as a Preset DSE Mixer sponsor, though he is pushing relentlessly for a the mixer offering an honorary flaming cocktail he wants called the FireCast.

Re the Mixer, we have 6/10 sponsors lined up already, so if you are interested, I need to know probably today or tomorrow.

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