DOOH is on the rise

Both desktop monitors (DTMs) and TV forecasting have been fairly negative processes in recent quarters. In all three of the markets that we track, larger sized sets are growing in share, but in Public Displays, the rate of growth is higher than the fall in pricing that we expect, so the value of the market should rise. That’s not the case in TV or in monitors.

Part of the problem for DTMs and TVs is that there is a change in the behaviour and usage of the displays and in both cases, the competitive display device is a mobile device, whether a phone or a tablet. On the other hand, for digital signage, the possibility of tieing in large and public displays with personal devices using wireless, QR and NFC technologies actually expands the opportunity rather than threatening it. The strongest view that I have heard on this over the last few months from Ronni Guggenheim at the Munich Digital Signage conference. He re-positioned digital signage as ‘just a part of the mobile market’, a view that was echoed at the event in London this week that we report on in this issue.

Those that sell large FPDs typically see their big displays as being the main display in an area, but the reality is that for many people, their own personal display is the key one. The BBC reported a survey from Seattle that showed that even when crossing roads, a very dangerous activity, 23% of pedestrians were using their phones. Even those just listening to music were slower to cross and less diligent in looking for traffic. If the mobile display is such an attraction even in such a ‘life or death’ situation, how much more important is it when waiting in an airport or grabbing a coffee in a shopping mall?

The challenge for those running DOOH networks may be as much about getting people to look up from their phones as simply being bright and large enough to impact their visual field. It’s not obvious how to do that without irritating people, but it’s worth a try. I suspect that those that solve that problem may do very well.

Getting interaction with the user is also an important development because if that can be done, the interaction can be tracked and analysed. That’s critical because, as I have written before, one of the challenges of digital signage is that by bad luck, the technology has developed just as the other main new medium for advertising, the internet, has developed. The internet has no end of data and analysis of clicks, dwell times, etc. In contrast, tracking who has seen a particular out of home digital presentation is a tricky job.

Anyway, it was a real pleasure this week to generate a positive forecast for a display technology market in Europe!