The global provider of end-to-end networking solutions for both business and consumers is exhibiting at Interop 2008 (Booth 1813) in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center this week and will be demonstrating both large and small digital signs and a back-end content and advertising delivery system ideal for businesses and system integrators who serve that market.
The average annual growth rate for digital signage is forecasted to be 22 percent for the next four years, according to the latest survey from PQ Media's Alternative Media Forecast through 2012. The industry research firm predicts that market revenues will reach more than $160 billion during that time, representing 26.6 percent of all advertising and marketing dollars.
Driving this market is the ubiquitous use of plasma and LCD TVs and the Internet, as more and more ad presentations are showing up in shopping malls, transportation centers, grocery stores and even gas stations. The technology of digital signage now allows for a new level of interaction and service to marketers and businesses looking to offer engaging content to customers. The technology also serves a market niche for businesses looking to share visual content from office to office using secure Internet tunnels to send and receive. An example of this application would be real-time sharing of x-rays between two remote hospitals for collaborative diagnosis of an injury and proposed treatment.
Oh, where to start... First of all, we're as optimistic about the digital signage market as the next guy, but it's patently absurd to think that we'll ever garner more than a quarter of all ad dollars spent (in the US or anywhere else). We're cautiously forecasting mid single digits a few years from now, up from essentially zilch at the moment (dollar-wise, anyway). So if D-Link's financial models are based on the aforementioned growth targets, they're going to be sorely disappointed.
Secondly, we suppose that D-Link is jumping in because of a) the ridiculous amount of hype in the industry, and b) the fact that Cisco's already involved with the market, but honestly, how many more digital signage solutions can the market support?