Commentary

38 Million Connected Digital Signs In Use, Heading To 87 Million

The Internet of Things is coming to a screen near you.

While digital signage has been around for a few decades, it’s taken quite some time for the maturing of the market of Internet-connected screens where content can be managed remotely.

By the end of the last year, there were 38 million connected digital screens in use worldwide, according to a new report by Berg Insight, an IoT market research firm based in Sweden.

The growth in the number of connected screens shows no signs of slowing, with global shipments estimated by Berg to have increased 20% to 11 million units last year.

Berg defines digital signage as a system comprising a connected display screen, a media player and a content management system, all of which are managed over a local network or remotely. Systems that require manual intervention, such as swapping a SD card in the media player to load new content, are excluded from the forecast.

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Digital or Internet-connected signage is popping up everywhere, even on the front of Budweiser beer coolers, as I wrote about here earlier this week (Budweiser Connected Beer Cooler Screens Highlighted At MIT Enterprise Forum).

Because of their cloud connectivity, content on screens in many venues can be controlled and changed in real time remotely, as in the case of the Budweiser cooler screens.

Global shipments of connected digital signs will grow 17% a year for the next five years, according to Berg Insight.

By 2021, there will be 87 million connected digital signage displays in active use, driven by annual shipments reaching 23 million units by that time.

The global footprint of Internet-connected digital signs is being put in place. That will be yet another mass IoT platform for content and marketing messaging.

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