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DSS ISE Keynote 2024: Digital Signage Trends and Hypes

Green Signage, Retail Media, GenAI – and the future of digital signage software: The invidis keynote at DSS ISE showed the most important waypoints on the Digital Signage Roadmap 2024.

The year 2023 brought various challenges to our industry. Initially, optimism prevailed, but as the year progressed, digital signage encountered harsh realities. This was evident in global figures, with the stagnation of LFD shipments and a 20 percent decline in sales, particularly in the Emea region. However, the LED market continued to grow, offsetting the overall turnover decline.

Historically, LFDs served as a market indicator, but with LED’s increasing prominence, a combination of both markets will be considered for future evaluations. Similarly, sentiment surveys like DBCI reflected high expectations early in 2023, only to see a decline by year-end.

The current business sentiment

The 2023 development, as seen in the DBCI, invdis’ regular survey on the business climate, showed high expectations initially, but the index plummeted by year-end. Looking ahead to 2024, we anticipate cautious single-digit percentage growth. In the current integrator landscape, it’s intriguing to witness the maturation of major players like Trison, Econocom, and Cancom, nearing or surpassing the 100 million euro turnover mark. Their professionalism is also increasing, bolstered by mergers or investor involvement.

In Focus: Software

One particular area that is facing major upheaval is software. With the new invidis Digital Signage Software Compass, which will be launched this year, we have collected detailed information on the products of 26 ISVs. The overall picture of the collected data shows: CMS systems are becoming increasingly similar, making it challenging for non-experts to discern differences. Some factors, however, may still be used to gain advantages, for example in the areas of sustainability, multi-platform support or IT security.

It will be exciting to see to what extent agnostic software platforms will continue to develop. All major manufacturers now offer this type of solution – from the recently launched Samsung VXT to Wave from PPDS.

These developments are putting pressure on the established software players. But where else can innovation take place? We would refer to the concept of software-defined vehicles and ask: could there not be an equivalent in the digital signage industry: software-defined spaces?

Trend: Green Signage

Speaking of future trends, green signage can not be omitted. In 2021, we at invidis started to address sustainability in the digital signage industry. Now, it’s become integral to the industry’s ethos. We have therefore compiled the new Green Signage Handbook, which provides a structured overview of the various stages of lifecycle management.

Other examples of green signage: Broadsign has committed itself to the working practices of green software and shows that there is also potential for sustainability in this area. Starbucks has launched a program for more sustainable stores, and the Academy also offers training programs for franchisees to put sustainability on the agenda

Trend: GenAI

Generative AI, known as GenAI, has proliferated since the launch of ChatGPT one year ago. However, it’s still seeking suitable business models despite promising greater efficiency, particularly in the B2B sector. Legal and reliability concerns continue to hinder its widespread B2B adoption. Moreover, customer reluctance to provide data for AI training remains a significant obstacle, as data is crucial for meaningful participation in the AI landscape.

Trend: Retail Media

The big hype in the retail environment was and is retail media: However, in order to properly classify this major trend, we must consider its context: Because 95 percent of Retail Media is driven by online/mobile.

In addition, retail media is only relevant for certain retailers, especially those with high footfall such as food retailers. On the other hand, it extends beyond traditional retail into sectors like hospitality.

So, what implications does this trend hold for digital signage? While digital signage companies play a crucial role in providing infrastructure, installation, and operation, they’re not directly involved in marketing efforts. Nonetheless, this aspect can still be appealing, especially for large-scale roll-outs.