The Digital Signage Insider

Digital Signage Sentiment Index for Q1 2012: Cautious Optimism

Published on: 2012-02-01

Two weeks ago, we called upon members of our industry to spend a few seconds filling out a three-question survey on the health of the digital signage sector. We gathered a pretty respectable 155 results and ran the numbers, and now the results are in. The good news: there's reason for optimism. The majority of folks not only said that they're better off this quarter than they were last quarter, but they also think next quarter will bring even more growth. Let's take a look at our first Digital Signage Sentiment Index and see what else we can learn from the responses.

Charting the results

A picture's worth a thousand words, so here are 3,000 words worth of pictures:

To begin with, the majority of the respondents describe themselves as digital signage services companies or network operators, which matches the sort of folks we expected to fill out the survey. In assessing their expectations for the current quarter, just over half indicate that this quarter will be stronger than last quarter. While about 30% expect modest growth of 1-20%, about 11% expect to see growth of 40% or more -- quite a feat if it comes to pass. What's more, when asked to prognosticate about next quarter, an overwhelming 75% expect additional growth, with 10% predicting growth in excess of 40%. (While I didn't do a proper cross-tabulation, a quick-and-dirty analysis does show that today's biggest optimists are also most optimistic about the future).

In both cases, those who don't expect to grow much in the near future expect to stay mostly stable, with only 9% expecting a decline this quarter and a bit less than 10% expecting a decline next quarter. While there's not much more to be gleaned from these results right now, I think they'll serve as a great base when we repeat the exact same survey next quarter and begin charting the trend over time. Plus, I'm really looking forward to seeing if our findings with this quick-and-dirty industry poll wind up mimicking the curve we've been tracking by plotting the predictions of professional analysts who follow the digital signage segment.

Finally, I would like to point out that while the digital signage sentiment index may seem similar (though much more simplistic) to industry barometers regularly released by both the Platt Retail Institute and Exponation (the folks behind the DSE), our methodologies are completely different. Our little survey is meant to be a quick gauge of optimism, and with time will hopefully illustrate whether our collective predictive abilities are any good. And who knows -- maybe this effort will spur the other two groups to do some retrospective analyses of their own data, since both have been conducting surveys for years now.

Looking forward to the next installment

If you were one of the 155 respondents who took the survey last month, thanks! And if not... shame on you! But you'll have a chance to make amends in a few months when we do the whole thing all over again. And if you didn't contribute (or just have something to say), feel free to leave your own predictions in a comment below.

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