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Editorial: Digital Signage Future Is Bright

Mark J. Pescatore
(Image credit: Future)

The forecast for the digital signage market is bright, with nary a cloud in the proverbial sky. According to AVIXA’s (opens in new tab) Industry Outlook and Trends Analysis (IOTA), it’s one of the largest solution areas in the Pro AV industry, with an estimated value of $35 billion this year and growing to $44.7 billion in 2026. Numbers vary among market research organizations, of course, but analysts generally agree that digital signage (opens in new tab) will continue to grow over the next several years.

So, why is digital signage trending up? Researchers point to its increased use in commercial applications (opens in new tab), such as retail, entertainment, and hospitality. Sean Wargo, senior director of market intelligence for AVIXA, told me the digital signage market—like so many other segments of the Pro AV industry—was negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. “Certainly consumers are becoming more mobile and have an increased willingness to spend,” Wargo said. “As they recover, digital signage is also able to recover. It all equals return to growth.”

March is SCN's Digital Signage issue. Get your free subscription here.

March is SCN's Digital Signage issue. Get your free subscription here (opens in new tab). (Image credit: Future)

Remember, hospitality essentially came to a grinding halt in 2020. For almost two years, hotels were focused on pandemic-based safety protocols, not enticing you to try the fish at the restaurant downstairs. In fact, on-prem restaurants were closed or had very restricted offerings. Even some self-serve hotel breakfasts were reduced to brown bag distributions by masked and gloved employees, because congregating in common areas was discouraged. With few customers, as well as limited opportunities to present them with information, digital signage was far from a priority.

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Now, the hospitality is redirecting its efforts again, this time toward filling rooms and improving the guest experience. That means digital signage is off the “good enough” list. Expect to see more installations, from the lobby to the valet stand, as properties increase their digital signage investments.

You can see a similar resurgence in retail (opens in new tab). Consumers are returning to in-person shopping, and brick and mortar are businesses are using digital out-of-home (OOH) advertising and other digital signage solutions (opens in new tab) to differentiate their offerings from the online shopping experience. And you can’t miss the push by quick serve restaurant (QSR) chains to adopt digital menu boards, both inside the store and at the drive thru. Self-serve ordering kiosks will be unavoidable in the very near future.

From dynamic dvLED displays to more utilitarian LCD/LED flat panel installs, from wayfinding kiosks to immersive entertainment experiences, expect plenty of new digital signage on the horizon. Companies just need to keep the clouds away with engaging content.

Mark J. Pescatore
Mark J. Pescatore

Mark J. Pescatore, Ph.D., is the content director of Systems Contractor News. He has been writing about Pro AV industry for more than 20 years. Previously, he spent more than eight years as the editor of Government Video magazine. During his career, he's produced and hosted two podcasts focused on the professional video marketplace, taught more than a dozen college communication courses, co-authored the book Working with HDV, and co-edited two editions of The Guide to Digital Television