It has become important for IT directors and tech managers to become educated about digital signage – and that’s sort of a new thing.
It wasn’t that long ago that digital signage (maybe you call them digital signs or electronics displays or digital communication) was a retail thing – a cool way to advertise. That has changed with corporate and education customers, by far, the most likely candidates to purchase digital signage, according to a survey of integration firms by sister site Commercial Integrator.
Now, if you’re in the tech-decision-making business for any company, enterprise or education facility, you’re most likely considering digital signage to communicate messages to employees or students.
To help you make decisions around digital signage in 2019, we’ve rounded up some trends as determined by digital signage guru Alan C. Brawn of Brawn Consulting and a columnist for Commercial Integrator. Brawn’s piece, “Digital Signage Market Trends: The State of Signage in 2019,” runs down how digital signage is evolving and tech managers should take note.
— Tom LeBlanc, Editorial Director, MyTechDecisions
2019 Digital Signage Market Trends
Demand for Digital Signage Is Explosive
While retail and advertising applications still dominate, information-based applications for digital signage are growing at an increasingly rapid rate. The digital signage market size is predicted to grow from where it was in 2017, at $21 billion USD, to $32 billion USD in 2023 (an estimated CAGR of just under 8 percent).
Onset of Omnichannel Marketing
New trends in advertising will include multimedia ads, native advertising, and influencer advertising. There is also a trend for companies to focus more and more on the brand rather than specific products. The most pervasive trend we see is not about the ad itself but the business model of how it is delivered. This is commonly referred to as omnichannel marketing.
With the advent of the Internet and smartphones bolstered by other media venues,as well as brick-and-mortar businesses,customers interact with a given business in a multitude of ways.
Omnichannel marketing focuses on providing a seamless experience across all channels from website to smartphone to brick-and-mortar store.
According to AdWeek, 62 percent of companies have, or plan to have, an omnichannel marketing strategy. Additionally, 70 percent of businesses say that omnichannel strategies are important, very important, or critical to their success.
The seamless transition between desktop, mobile, and in-store experience is a model that many brands will increasingly try to emulate.
Big Data and Digital Signage
In this era of Big Data, the concepts of privacy and security have come to the forefront. Who “owns” the data, how should it be used, and how do we protect it, are but a few of the questions to keep in mind.
In May 2018 in the EU the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and went into effect.
The GDPR sets out data security principles including:
- lawfulness and transparency
- purpose limitation
- data minimization
- data quality
- security, integrity and confidentiality
Businesses must ensure that customers’ personal data is processed in a manner that ensures its security, including protection against unauthorized or unlawful processing, and against accidental loss, destruction or damage.
The regulation says a number of measures can be used to achieve data protection, including encryption.
Expectation of Interactivity, Personalization
The following predictions are based on conversations with digital signage experts and will contribute to how digital signage solutions are deployed in 2019:
- When it comes to digital signage, analytics will dominate ROI considerations and become the bedrockof any content strategies.
- Predictability of behavior applications will increase.
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning will considerably accelerate personalization of content.
- Virtual assistants will expand and become a differentiator.
- In all applications, interactivity will increase.
Hardware and the Shape of Digital Signs
From the hardware perspective, we are in an evolutionary phase. Think in terms of how displays, mounts, media players and signal distribution amplify and accentuate the content on screen and support the objectives of a digital signage network. What work do they do and how well do they do it?
- LCD flat panels will continue to dominate as the displays of choice.
- Yes, we will see more 4K screens above 32 inches and no, 4K content will not become the defacto standard.
- Thin bezels will get thinner to “near” zero and video walls will experience double-digit growth.
While on the topic of video walls, direct view LED (dvLED) both indoor and outdoor will continue to grow as prices lower in response to what seems like overwhelming onslaught of competition, with so many jumping on the bandwagon. Time will tell.
Electronic paper, or e-ink technology, will become more of a “player” in certain applications such as informational signs and transit applications that don’t require full-motion video but do require low power, high contrast and good visibility in high ambient light. We will finally see full color versions make their way onto the scene to help drive this use.
Use of Projection and Holographic Images
Projection will remain relevant in some applications. Four factors keep it in play:
- First is the ability to edge blend displaysfor a massive video wall effect
- Second is pixel mapping with special effectsthat can’t be accomplished any other way
- Next are ambient light rejection(ALR) screens that will continue to make it possible for projection to be used in brighter environments
- Finally, solid-state illumination eliminates brightnessdecay of lamps and the need to frequently replace them
In what can best be described as a non-traditional display, holographic images will become more popular.
They look like a thin bladed fan with embedded LEDs. These then spin at a very rapid rate to create the image,which will appear as a floating display that can mimic 3D if done correctly.
You can add more devices to the matrix to do multiple images or make the images larger. File this under an experience enhancer!
One thing is certain as we look backward at lessons learned and look forward to new developments and opportunities in 2019: digital signage is alive, well, and expanding its influence.
If you are not there yet, you soon will be. The water is warm so jump in and join the ever-expanding digital signage market this year.