The digital billboard market

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are competing to capture a larger portion in the rapidly growing digital billboard market by sharpening their technological capabilities.

With the development of high-definition resolution technology, there has been growing demand to replace existing large-sized displays with digital signs in public places such as shopping malls, airports, movie theaters and sports stadiums.

According to data by industry tracker Grand View Research, the global digital billboard and sign market was estimated at $18.6 billion in 2018 but is expected to grow to $31.71 billion by 2025. The market is forecast to grow at an average annual rate of 8 percent and the two Korean tech companies are at the forefront in the market, earning over a third of the market share.

Samsung occupies the largest share in the global digital sign market with a share of 26.9 percent in the first quarter of 2019, according to data by IHS Markit, followed by LG with a share of 12.5 percent.

The two companies displayed their technological capabilities in the digital sign segment during the InfoComm 2019 trade fair in Orlando in June.

At the largest trade fair in the audio and visual industry in North America, Samsung showcased its QLED 8K electronic billboards that have the highest resolution on the market.

LG also boasted its state-of-the-art technology, showcasing its Transparent OLED display, which enables viewers to clearly see objects behind the screen, and the curved display called the Open Frame OLED.

“Digital signs have emerged as an effective promotional strategy for companies who want to promote their products or services. We expect there will be more demand for the digital signs in the global market,” an industry official said.

The league leader Samsung is trying to widen the market share gap with its competitors by expanding its product portfolio into the cinema screen market for the business-to-business (B2B) sector.

Samsung said its Onyx cinema LED screens are installed at 34 theaters in 16 countries including Korea, China, India and Germany. It plans to expand the number of countries using its cinema screens to 20 by the end of 2019.

“To diversify its business portfolio, Samsung has been expanding its footprint in the business-to-business cinema screen market. We have been providing more cinema LED screens to more theater chains in the world,” an official of the company said.

To win more contracts in the North America region, the world’s second largest digital sign and billboard market after China, Samsung’s U.S. branch recently appointed Harry Patz, who worked for Microsoft for 20 years, as senior vice president and general manager for the display division. Samsung said he will be responsible for the display business, providing oversight of sales, marketing, operations, and product lifecycle management.

The company has been expanding its dominance in the U.S. market.

One of the examples showing its extensive footprints there can be seen in New York as the iconic One Times Square building replaced its electronic billboard with Samsung’s LED displays.

To attract more B2B customers in the U.S., LG also has been showing a bold move, hosting promotional tours there. Since May, the company’s U.S. branch has held LG TechTour events inviting B2B customers to offer a first-hand look at its latest digital signs.

Starting in Washington D.C. in May, the six-city tour will be held at Dallas in July, Irvine in August, San Jose and Chicago in September and New York in October. “The LG TechTour is designed to bring together partners, customers, prospects and LG representatives,” said Garry Wicka, vice president of marketing for LG’s U.S. branch.

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