Oh, how time flies when you're having fun! It seems like only yesterday we were discussing the results of our Q2 Digital Signage Sentiment Index survey, but it's been a whole three months, so we're once again ready to take the pulse of the industry. If you're not familiar with the DS Sentiment Index, it's our grassroots attempt to try and keep the big research firms honest about their estimations of market size and growth potential. While guessing at market size and predicting how it will change is as much art as science, it's not surprising that many research firms have under- or over-estimated the size of the digital signage market (quick recap: most have been underestimating so far, but they may be overestimating going forward). Since our reader base is pretty large and quite diverse, it's our hope that your honest answers to our quick, 3-question survey will give a genuine perspective on how the digital signage market is really behaving. And of course, if the good karma of helping out fellow industry folks isn't enough, we always publish the results, including simple regressions against past data, for free right here on the blog.
Take the 30-second survey! (and read on below for a summary of past results)
Help us find out if any of the first two quarters' predictions came to pass. At only 3 questions long, this survey is super-quick to complete, and will continue to serve as a free and open barometer for the industry -- as well as a source of historical data.
If you're reading this article in a web browser, the survey should appear below. If you don't see it, simply click this link to take the survey.
What has the Digital Signage Sentiment Index taught us so far?
As we analyzed the Digital Signage Sentiment Index for Q1, we learned that the majority of our 155 respondents were digital signage services companies or network operators. Just over half felt that Q1 2012 would be stronger than Q4 2011. About 30% expected modest growth of 1-20%, while about 11% expected to see growth of 40% or more. Additionally, 75% of respondents felt that growth would continue through Q2 2012, with 10% predicting growth in excess of 40%. In both cases, those who didn't expect to grow much expected to stay mostly stable, with only 9% expecting a decline in Q1 and a bit less than 10% expecting a decline in Q2.
However, whereas most Q1 respondents felt that business was "about flat", during Q2 more respondents suggested that things were picking up, with about 27% saying business was up 11-20%, and another 25% or so saying it was up 1-10%. Optimism during Q2 was more tempered, though: 30% expected to see growth of 1-10% in the coming months, and another 27% expected growth of 11-20%. Additionally, about 11% expected growth of 21-30%, 8% expected growth of 31-40%, and 3% expected growth of 41% or more. Interestingly, though, despite the differences in distribution, the average growth forecast for the coming quarter was almost exactly the same (about 10%) during both of the previous surveys.
When does the data get published?
We'll publish the results of this survey in the next week or so (along with comparisons to previous quarters), and we'll keep running follow-up surveys about once every quarter. With this information in hand, we will continue to gauge the level of industry optimism at any given time, and see how the current levels compare to how we've felt in the past -- and what the "professional" researchers have been telling us!