According to the latest report from Futuresource Consulting, the global LED display market closed 2016 with a mounting value of $4.5 billion, up 7 percent from $4.2 billion the previous year.
Meanwhile, 2016 saw the value of the monochrome/tri-colour LED display market value fall, year-on-year by 5 percent, now contributing less than 25 percent of market value. Much of the decline can be attributed to falling pricing of LED package, coupled with wider market saturation for this more basic option.
“Several sectors dominated the LED video display market in 2016, including media/advertising, stadiums/venues and retail,” commented Chris Mcintyre-Brown, Associate Director of Professional Equipment at Futuresource Consulting. “These segments delivered over half the market value in the video display category. Notably, 2016 experienced a further drive into the retail space and a growing trend toward indoor applications. These included corporate, transport, and control room, which grew in value by 62 percent comfortably surpassing $1 billion. Much of this growth was driven by narrow pixel pitch (NPP) LED which has been hugely disruptive in the commercial display space, challenging LCD and projection platforms,” added Mcintyre-Brown.
This professional displays report maps out the LED market in terms of geography, reaffirming that the LED video display market continues to be dominated by APAC, where over half of all sales originate, largely dominated by China. Whilst not entirely surprising given its ascendancy in global production, the APAC region is regularly overlooked as large, headline grabbing ‘spectaculars’ are often found in key western markets.
According to this latest Futuresource ongoing tracking report, the LED video display competitive landscape continues to remain fragmented. Contribution from 1st and 2nd tier brands accounted for well over two thirds of total sales value in 2016, the remainder being formed of 3rd tier Chinese brands. Over 400 LED display manufacturers are located in China with many currently focused in international expansion, benefiting from driving scale in the large domestic market. “In the main, these vendors have been focused on price driven volume strategies, with incumbent LED specialists still able to hold share in key verticals via long established service and support operations,” says Mcintyre-Brown.
“Product quality is of course another key differentiator against Chinese brands but as acceptance of LED grows and new technologies open up opportunities in volume verticals, the mix of high price and high quality becomes a harder proposition to take to market. Indeed, the disruptive impact of Chinese vendors has never been more keenly felt, forcing some established vendors to exit key LED segments and others to transition more rapidly toward ‘value’ lines, something which requires a completely different operational approach,” comments Mcintyre-Brown.
“The LED space is incredibly fluid at present,” continued Mcintyre-Brown. “We expect to see a shakeout in the competitive landscape, either through vendors exiting the category, increased M&A or completely failing in the face of increasingly pressured trading conditions. The days of high margins and huge profits, at least in the key value NPP LED category, are still with us but very much numbered.”