The steady change in retail, workspace and classroom environments that is driven by the need to improve customer service or/and collaboration efficiency has resulted in another positive quarter for sales of large format displays (LFDs) through distributors in Western Europe (WE). The latest results from an impressive 2019 show fourth-quarter growth of +13% year-on-year for the category, according to the latest data published by CONTEXT, the IT market intelligence company.
The period was particularly strong for displays that enable interactivity and collaboration: sales of these were up by over 30% in Q4 2019. Although prices continue to decline, as a result of increasing competition between vendors trying to meet customer needs, LFDs continue to offer vendors, distributors and resellers greater value than displays sold in higher volumes. The ongoing introduction of new technologies and solutions (which lead in turn to yet more new applications) has helped revenues climb higher and higher – by almost +40% year-on-year in Q4 2019. Most countries in WE registered double-digit growth for these interactive solutions during 2019, and increasing demand in Spain led to a doubling of sales. Even so, the UK remains the biggest market for LFDs.
The dominant screen size is still 139,7cm and this is used not only for standalone signage but also for videowalls. However, there is interest in smaller sizes, too: in Q4 2019, sales of 124,5cm videowall panels grew by over +130% year-on-year and their average selling price (ASP) fell to about €1400 – almost 40% less than the ASP of 139,7cm panels sold by WE distributors. As the cost of interactive displays with new technologies drops, there is a growing market for even larger screens, and sales of 213,4cm+ displays grew by over +45% in the last quarter of 2019.
Another growth area in WE distribution is premium displays with a high level of brightness (500 nit and above) that enable uninterrupted 24/7 content delivery. In Q4 2019 these accounted for 25% of standalone signage revenues and their sales grew by +28% year-on-year with those of the highest brightness (1000 nit and above) performing particularly well. The leaders in this field are Samsung and Sony followed by LG, NEC and DynaScan. Although Sony saw a drop in sales, all the others registered double-digit growth over the quarter.
“LFDs have been around for some time now but, as sales are expected to continue growing, they remain a hot product for marketers and vendors”, said Dominika Koncewicz, Senior Analyst for Displays at CONTEXT. “This is a result of the continuous evolution of digital signs and their applications in response to new technologies that seem to appear almost every day: screens are no longer just filling up otherwise blank walls but becoming integral parts of a space. Moreover, rapidly developing signage-as-a-service offers will enable businesses to upgrade quickly by investing in digital signage without having to take full and ongoing responsibility for display maintenance and content management.”