We just marked the 10th anniversary publishing the definitive Directory (www.digitalsignagedirectory.com/dir) matching buyers and sellers of digital signage products and services. Yes, I can boast that we knew digital signage was the future, long before the lollygaggers jumped on the bandwagon. Ten years ago, digital signage was an esoteric offshoot of the AV market, and Brands and retailers were barely aware of the coming changes. Flat panels were still expensive, so spec’ing a 60 plasma or LCD screen into a hotel lobby or airport required big bucks.
Fast forward to today. Joe sixpack is watching TV at home on a 50 inch flat panel. Kids stream movies to their cell phones. Your thirteen year old nephew knows what 1080P means. But while the technology tools are coming down in price to the affordable range of most any company, the challenges of launching a successful rollout are still daunting. Not to mention trying to ascertain that the rollout will still look good -with fresh content- a year after the launch.
So much has happened in ten years– huge advances, and yet still some hurdles not overcome– that it can be hard to sort out the trends. To help put things in perspective, I invited some top industry executives and analysts to share lessons learned in the ten-year path to the healthy, growing market we are now experiencing. In the special Industry Roundtable in the Directory issue (www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newbay/ds_20110910/), Laura Davis-Taylor, Jeff Dickey, Four Winds’ David Levin, Lyle Bunn, Cisco’s Janice Le Litvinoff, Brad Gleeson of Chilin Solutions, MediaTile’s Simon Wilson, and Richard Cope of NanoLumens sort through the complexities of a paradoxical industry– one seeing double digital growth year after year yet still not meeting the very high expectations of even greater growth spawned by a perfect confluence of social, technology, and marketing trends.
I guess it’s a nice problem to have– having to deal with 15-20% industry growth, while planning for the 30-40% growth for which the digital signage industry is poised.