Digital display solutions: The big picture still looming large
By Pray Jani - April 26, 2023
Key assertions of top Digital Display Solutions companies operating in the Indian market on emerging growth opportunities.
With digital screens making a significant appearance across the Indian OOH landscape, it is safe to say that we are truly into a new age of outdoor advertising. From floating DOOH screens to the digital kiosks bordering the Western Expressway in Mumbai, the DOOH wave has enveloped Mumbai’s outdoor advertising space. A similar shift is being observed in Delhi NCR where newer players are entering the OOH market with high-resolution digital screens.
With the markets opening up, Sanket Rambhia, MD and CEO, Xtreme Media says, “We expect the DOOH industry to grow by 40% year-on-year. Following the success of the Mumbai model, other cities are likely to accept DOOH that will eventually lead to LED screen becoming the standard large format media in OOH.”
The digital formats are becoming increasingly popular among brands and government bodies, due to its numerous benefits. According to Vijay Wadhawan, Director, System Solutions Division, Panasonic Life Solutions India, “A sea of data is now available for planning and analysis as mobile and sensor data collection and visualisation continue to evolve, thus leading toward a more personalised and relevant experience for consumers in the country.” For government bodies, the digital screens add to the aesthetics of the city’s skyline.
With the digital displays exceeding brand and consumer expectations, it has compelled the digital solution providers to become more competitive with their offerings and innovate unique solutions for the growing OOH market. “Today, you see LED displays in multiple formats, taking over spaces we didn’t imagine before. In the OOH space, the media owners are conscious about their investment in DOOH displays, ensuring that they get the best, most durable product,” says Niyati Kakkar, Director, Jona LED. Indian OOH’s inclination towards digital displays has turned the gears of innovation into motion.
With governments requesting bids for DOOH-based tenders, and brands opting for digital displays over static formats, the size of the digital display solutions industry has gone up. In the opinion of Rajneesh Rawat, Managing Director, Origins Group, “The size of the digital displays’ solutions could be about Rs 100 crore right now. In this competitive space, we set ourselves apart by ensuring unmatched quality. Our first screen was installed in 2016, and it is still operating smoothly.” In a price-sensitive market like India, today’s digital displays solution providers face the dilemma of cost versus quality. In the up-and-coming business, it becomes pivotal for solution providers today to offer a unique value proposition at a competitive price point. Kalyan Bethi, Overseas Managing Director, Image Brand (USA) says, “Image Brand deals with this issue by investing in new manufacturing technologies and processes. This includes using advanced production techniques that help reduce costs without compromising quality. For example, Image Brand uses automated production lines to increase efficiency and minimise production errors, which will reduce product prices. Another way Image Brand addresses the cost vs quality issue is by using high-quality components in the manufacturing process. This helps ensure that the finished product meets the required brightness, contrast, and colour accuracy standards.”
As international brands venture into the Indian digital display solutions space, it contributes to innovative and advanced technologies being introduced on the OOH landscapes. Panasonic Life Solutions, India is yet another solutions provider engaging with the brands through their advanced technological offerings. “Panasonic’s Digital SignEdge (SDN) solution is a one-stop comprehensive end-to-end solution for Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) advertising solutions. It comprises Panasonic’s hardware like Professional Displays and Active LED type screens and offers complete flexibility, and control, while at the same time being cost-effective solutions. Through SDN, retailers and owners of digital screens are able to sell their DOOH spaces in real-time to advertisers through an online platform. Moreover, customers can expand their reach with advertisers present at multiple locations, taking advantage of dynamic pricing, and profiting from measurement metrics based on advertisement slot sales” comments Vijay.
While some are just entering the DOOH displays market, Xtreme Media has been the prominent provider of quality display screens for years. Being one of the initial players, they have a greater understanding of the OOH market in India and have built a strong network of OOH media owners. Sanket comments, “We have been in the industry for 25 years. In that time, we have catered to the Indian audience, and we know what they want. Moreover, our products are customised to be more durable in the Indian weather conditions.”
Origins Group is yet another solutions provider catering to the Indian market for years. According to Rajneesh, “The retail space is very careful in their investments. In recent times, however, they too have been investing in the power of digital screens, and purchasing better performing units because they see the returns on their investments.”
The digital display solutions market continues to portray potential for innovation and growth. The solution providers have focused on their key USPs to gain market share. According to Kalyan, “Image Brand offers energy efficient units which generate less heat and reduce operating costs. Their units are very flexible in nature, and their customisation capabilities help them stand apart. Moreover, our durability is a major factor that helps us stand apart. Our units offer a lifespan of over 1,00,000 hours.” To expand its market share, Image Brand offers product demos and customer support training to allow customers to utilise their product in the best possible way. Their financial options also allow media owners to opt for the best model while managing their costs effectively.
While they are a tech company, there are essentially solution providers. Taking a more literal perspective, Sanket says, “We strive to offer peace of mind through our solutions. Xtreme Media is the only company that offers a 7-year warranty on digital displays. Through this, we take away the burden from our buyers.”
One of the concerns that the industry faces is the lack of knowledge and information. Niyati insists that one of the primary objectives of Jona LED is to educate the DOOH industry. “We conduct many workshops to engage with our buyers to educate them about our product line, and the importance of investing in a superior quality display screen. It is one thing to purchase a digital screen but often the maintenance costs are very high if they are not of the right quality,” insisted Niyati.
Adding to this, Sanket comments, “The Indian DOOH industry is still at a nascent stage and we are working to educate our potential buyers about the complexities of buying a display screen. From their hardware capabilities to their software offerings, we are working to educate our consumers about the display units.”
The Indian DOOH scenario is gaining momentum, and with it, the role of the digital display solutions providers. In the coming years, cities like Mumbai and Delhi will be expected to introduce some game-changing media assets that will redefine the nature of OOH advertising. In such changing landscapes, media owners must strive to gain knowledge about the digital ecosystem’s capabilities. With investments expected to soar, what can the digital display solution providers do to cater to this growing market?
As things stand, the solution providers are motivated to provide the best quality products. Regional and international companies are beginning to feel the heat of competitive on the digital OOH landscape. Irrespective of the outcome, one thing is certain: the Indian Out-of-home industry is the biggest beneficiary of this heated competition.