Digital signage booming with social media opportunities looming

Digital signage offers many potential benefits to both advertisers and the companies that own the white space.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

If you live in a major urban area, you've probably already seen digital signage start to trickle in and replace their dated paper counterparts at bus stops and other points of interest.

It looks like the digital display and advertising markets are only going to get bigger and better over the next four years, according to a new report from IHS iSuppli.

Specifically, IHS analysts expect digital and professional signage display shipments to reach 17.3 million units by the end of 2012 -- up from 15.4 million units in 2011 and 13.5 million units in 2010.

By 2016, analysts expect that figure to topple approximately 25.8 million units.

Considering that digital signage is so much more expensive than traditional billboard and display advertising methods, it might come as a surprise that digital signage is going to be adopted so quickly.

Nevertheless, IHS analysts found that the prices of LCD displays in 40-, 42- and 46-inch sizes are decreasing each year, helping this uptick for digital signage to continue.

Right now, the most common digital displays range in size from 40- to 49-inches. But not only will the market get bigger by 2016, but also the screen sizes themselves as analysts predict that advertisers will tend to favor 50- to 59-inch group of displays.

Digital signage also does offer many benefits to both advertisers and the companies that own the white space.

Primarily, everyone in the digital advertising space is looking at a faster turnaround time, whether it be keeping one ad up (such as a movie poster) for weeks at a time and then instantly changing it, or having a rotation of digital ads that flip through every few minutes, offering the potential to sign on more advertising accounts than ever before.

In the report, Sanju Khatri, director for signage and public information displays at IHS, also pointed towards connecting with retail customers using "local intelligence" for more optimized, targeted experiences.

That could open up another door for social media partners (so long as they mind privacy concerns) in the way that digital wallet providers are looking to offer mobile deals and ads to consumers on their smartphones based on where they might be.


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