ICIA says audiovisual industry growth driving digital signage demand

The International Communications Industry Association’s 2005 Market Forecast Survey predicts significant growth in demand for audiovisual products and services such as digital signage
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The International Communications Industry Association (ICIA), the organization that puts on the annual InfoComm conference, released its 2005 Market Forecast Survey assessing the audiovisual (AV) industry. According to the report, the increase in new high-definition technology, and the proliferation of new and creative ways to use it, has given birth to a renaissance fueling product sales and related industries such as digital signage.

ICIA also listed streaming media, plasma displays and interactive whiteboards as other examples of AV-related applications that will soar. The report noted that demand for professionals to help select, integrate, install and service AV products for optimum performance will rise as new HD visual graphics and services will be used from the classroom to the boardroom to the living room.

With 75 percent of the AV companies surveyed in the report forecasting revenue and profitability increases over the next few years, many markets are poised to emerge. Beyond the top markets, such as business, education and government, AV technology is making significant gains in other areas, such as retail, sports arenas, museum exhibits, meetings and conventions, healthcare and the worship market. More than 25 percent of the dealers surveyed plan to enter new markets as awareness of AV technology grows, the report said.

Among the most positive trends respondents indicated was the increased use of digital signage, particularly in the retail sector, for delivering a message, selling products or simply providing information. ICIA cited increased competition leading to lower prices and increased demand from businesses and universities as reasons the market for large information displays is growing at a tremendous rate.

The report noted that increased technical knowledge within IT departments will drive further adoption for internal corporate communications applications within offices and across global networks. Survey respondents noted some growing pains as IT professionals gain the knowledge and technology needed to host AV solutions, such as streaming media, on their networks. AV/IT convergence is driving the introduction of technologies supporting a number of newer applications, including streaming media, Webcasting, and wireless and software - all relative newcomers in the AV space. Currently these segments have low penetration rates, but are expected to grow significantly as products continue to Web-enable technologies.

For more information, visit www.infocomm.org.

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