Vibrant, high-quality images. Energy efficient. Lightweight. Flexible. Adaptable. Revenue generating. Incorporating LED displays into any venue can instantly heighten fan or customer experience. So, perhaps it’s no surprise that the LED display market continues its robust growth. According to a report by Research and Markets, the digital display industry is expected to reach a valuation of $27.34 billion by 2022. The growth of this market is being propelled by the increasing demand for digital signage in public and commercial sectors, and advances in display technology. The growth of the LED display industry is also being driven by two additional factors: The displays are affordable and attainable, and they are inexpensive to maintain. All upside. No downside.
These attractive attributes are drawing interest from venues and advertisers alike. Venue owners love how LED displays can help them turn every bit of valued real estate, and each corner of tiny, supposedly useless space, into an improved experience for their customers. Odd corners and bland concourses can be transformed by colorful, high-resolution digital displays, turning dead space into a place where consumers want to congregate.
And, unlike traditional, one-dimensional paper advertising, LED displays can handle the marketing messages of multiple advertisers, offering more bang for the proverbial advertising buck for the venue. Each LED display becomes a major revenue generator. eMarketer reports that advertising revenue from digital displays will reach $32 billion in 2016, up $8 billion from last year. And by 2019, advertising revenue from LED displays is projected to hit $46 billion in the United States alone.
The cost of ownership of LED displays is now lower than ever, due in part to low power consumption, while flexibility of design is valuable for those clients who want to get creative. High-efficiency LEDs can last up to 10 times longer than traditional lighting sources, thereby reducing waste. Conventional bulbs use more energy per watt and are more likely to malfunction due to the heat they generate. And the manufacturers of today’s LED displays are continually working to improve efficiency. Today’s LEDs use less than half the energy of LEDs available just three years ago. In short, LED screens consume 25% less power, produce just 15% of the heat and last twice as long as LCD screens.
Conventional videowalls are old hat and flat. Big rectangles just don’t cut it anymore. Consumers expect more originality. They want to be wowed and awed. With custom indoor LED screens, venue owners can heighten customer experience with displays that bend and curve, resulting in unexpected shapes with high resolution that take their breath away.
Long-term maintenance is lower than other options, as well. When non-LED videowalls such as LCD systems experience problems, they’re usually not simple to repair. Routine color rebalancing is necessary, and overall color degradation occurs over time. LED-based screens consume less power than LCD systems, with increased longevity even at 24/7 operation, and maintenance can be as simple as replacing a pixel or a small panel in a modular screen. Norman McLeod, Director of Market Research at technology research and consulting firm InfoTrends, believes that a well-designed system with good content can provide a return on investment within 18 months. That’s a strong case for increased adoption of LED-based products.
Advertisers love LED displays as a vehicle for delivering marketing messages because key audiences are plugged in and aware of digital signage. Seventy percent of 18-to-24-year-olds say they are aware of digital signage they’ve seen in the last 12 months, according to Nielsen, while 27% of them took action based on the advertising there. Intel reports that worldwide digital out of home (DOOH) advertising revenue reached $2 billion in 2011, and is growing at a projected rate of 15% annually. Plus, there is the advantage of proof of display. By utilizing digital displays, advertisers now have the assurance that the displays were functioning properly at the times their ads were scheduled to run, in addition to the conventional “proof of play” metrics.
LED displays are also incredibly flexible from the advertiser’s point of view. Marketing messages can be switched out or altered at the touch of a button. Multiple marketing messages can be tested on a single display for effectiveness. And, digital displays offer advertisers a level of messaging consistency they’ve never had before because marketing messages can be uploaded to one central location and then played across thousands of digital displays. Digital signage ensures advertisers visual consistency and compliance across potentially an unlimited number of locations.
The news is equally good for AV integrators. LED displays are simply more profitable than other forms of technology. Median profit margins tend to hover around 3.5% for this industry, leaving little wiggle room to provide benefits like service after the sale. However, because LED technology is lightweight and flexible, and the screens are easier to install than traditional videowalls, integrators can capture more business from this growing market and complete installations faster, leading to growing revenue. Intel reports that, as of 2015, there were 10 million media players powering 22 million digital screens. That adds up to more opportunities for integrators and their clients.
And the sustainability of the displays is just as much of an advantage for the AV integrator as it is for the venue owner. With their ever-increasing longevity and advances in technology that allow the displays to manage themselves for problems like overheating and voltage surges, LED displays take up less valuable time for AV integrators in terms of service calls and repairs.
The brilliance and versatility of LED displays can unlock revenue and elevate the client conversation in a way never thought possible. Show a potential client how his brand can come to life in an immersive environment that will increase buy-in from employees and customers alike, and AV integrators can see their own brands’ value rise. As the market for immersive digital environments continues to grow, LED technology is the clear path to greater opportunities for bigger profits for venue owners, advertisers and AV integrators alike. No longer merely another tool in an integrator’s belt, LED has emerged as the leading medium for merging client and integrator interests.