Why Aren’t ProAV Integrators Doing DS Yet?

av-it-ds-0810Wake up!

Is anyone else [besides me] shocked that less than 20 percent of the DS market is being integrated by the ProAV channel?

Do you realize that digital signage is LITERALLY the fastest-growing segment of the AV market? And, to top that off, it’s the largest segment of the “sell AV as a service” market outside of Rental. And, it’s even more profitable than rental – not to mention the market’s 25 times as large as the AV rental market.

What’s going on here?

Why aren’t we grabbing this market and running with it?

Right now, the IT channel (and even the HomeAV channel) are integrating more DS networks than theProAV market is in almost every country in the world. Sure, we sell lots of DS displays — and some even for DS applications, but the real money’s in the content distribution and generation market (media players, the network infrastructure, the ad-based content and the after-sales support and service contracts).

Media Players: The average margin on a media player is 3 times that of a display. In addition (and the best part about media players), in nearly every DS installation, you need one media player per display installed. That’s a lot of money!

Network Infrastructure: Sure, the IT market invented this, but it’s not rocket science. In fact, the fact that it IS SCIENCE is the reason that it’s easy for us (the AV channel) to enter this market. Unlike the average AV install, the network infrastructure uses standards and protocols that make all this stuff work. There are specific standards for pushing video over a network and making this all work together. So, it’s easy to master this.

Ad-Based Content: In truth, I think this is the reason many ProAV integrators have stayed away from the DS market. They aren’t sure how to sell services, especially creative services like running and creating content for a DS network. So, we gravitate towards those applications where the client is going to do all that work themselves (e.g., a university, an ad agency, etc.). When a client who needs both the hardware as well as the creative, we tend to shy away from that opportunity since we don’t have the creative people on staff. But, WE SHOULD. Embrace this opportunity to diversity and enter a future segment of the market that’s even more profitable than systems design!

Network Management and Service: Although we’re not all network experts yet, managing an IP-based network is, in reality, way easier than managing an AV network via a control system. If you’re not already planning to attend the DSE (Digital Signage Expo) in Vegas this Winter, you should! That’s where you can learn all about this.