According to the latest report from Futuresource Consulting, the global professional LED display market closed 2016 at US$4.5 billion, a value that was up 7% from US$4.2 billion the previous year.
However, 2016 saw the value of the monochrome/tri-colour LED display market value fall, year-on-year by 5%, now contributing less than 25% of market value. Much of the decline, says Futuresource, can be attributed to falling pricing of LED packages, 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," says 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," he adds, "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 per cent comfortably surpassing US$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."
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.
The first and second-tier brands accounted for well over two thirds of total sales value in 2016, the remainder being formed of third-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.
Adds Mcintyre-Brown: "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."
He says the "disruptive impact" of Chinese vendors has never been more keenly felt as th acceptance of LED grows and new technologies open up opportunities in volume verticals, even resulting in some established vendors exiting key LED segments, and others transitioning to "value" lines.
"The LED space is incredibly fluid at present," he concludes. "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."
Sharp's 90" PN-LE901 commercial LCD TV