The Fourth Screen

The number of public displays is forecast to grow by 44% in 2009 reports Chris Connery,Vice President of PC and Large Format Commercial Displays at DisplaySearch. But this increase to the 900,000 displays of 27” and larger already installed is the tip of the iceberg, since smaller displays are typically used for elevators, shelves, service counters and other uses. “Digital signage is accelerating rapidly, even in the midst of a recession in the larger economy” explains David Keene, Executive Editor of Digital Signage magazine, “because Money is shifting into more ‘TiVo-proof’ places where consumers commute, wait, shop and gather, prices for LCD displays and related technologies have declined.

Add to that, a demographic shift toward younger consumers with mobile technology devices, and you have the ingredients for the kind of technology boom not seen since the birth of the Internet.”

Beyond the “three-screen” world of televisions, computers and mobile devices, National Datacast, Inc. a subsidiary of PBS, sees digital signage as the “fourth screen”.

PQ Media, providers of media econometrics are bullish on digital out-of-Home. “Despite severe economic headwinds and declining traditional advertising spending, the U.S. digital out-of home (OOH) media industry grew 12.3% in 2008 to more than $2.4 billion
and is on pace to grow 9.1% in 2009, according to PQ Media research. Digital out-of-home accounts for almost 30% of the overall out-of-home advertising market, which grew 5.0% in 2008 to $8.31 billion. “Economic crisis are resulting in a seminal transition across the media landscape,” says Patrick Quinn, president & CEO of PQ Media. “This will likely be the first recession in which advertisers not only spend less, but also spend differently.”

We believe affordability is and will remain a determinant of adoption rates for digital signage systems. As systems proliferate, and when the economy improves, the cost for some of these hardware and software packages – internet based or not – will be close to free. The X factor will be content. That’s where we hang our hat.

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