Digital signage excites channel

Digital signage excites channel

Positive forecasts suggest that the digital signage market is about to experience a massive increase in demand

A market forecast by Decision Tree Consulting predicts exciting growth for the digital signage market, driving a massive uptake in demand for flat screens.

Since demand could be met by both business-to-business and retail outlets, the channel must stake its claim to this market, according to DTC consultant Chris McIntyre-Brown. “The lines are blurring between what is a consumer and what is a business flat panel,” he explained.

“Gone are the days when a plasma screen for business was 60 per cent more expensive. The upshot is that businesses are just as likely to source that advertising screen that runs in reception from Dixons as they are from an AV specialist.”

According to DTC’s figures, sales of plasma screens could leap by 50 per cent between 2007 and 2008.
The explosive growth in plasma screens is a sign that digital signage technology is experiencing a second wind. “It is digital signage 2.0. A problem was that people tried to be too ambitious over the content. But for the moment they have discovered that static content works well,” said McIntyre-Brown.

Just as web advertising went from zero to 50 per cent of many media campaigns, we could see the same growth in digital signage advertising, he argued.

At AV distributor Midwich, displays product manager David Phillips said the displays business had grown significantly. “The displays are being snapped up by people such as estate agents and shops as easy attention grabbers,” he said.

However, now that plasma displays are nearing a commodity sale and businesses are tempted to buy direct from retailers, Midwich has moved to create a channel-only product area.

In February, Midwich signed exclusive rights to distribute the Philips 3D, a three-dimensional display that demands specialist knowledge of content and installation. “That is strictly an audio visual specialist’s domain,” said Phillips.