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ONQ Digital - The Growth of Digital Signage Over The Past 20 Years

Digital signage has completely revolutionized the way we approach communications, operations and incentives like advertising and marketing. The demand and evolution of digital signage over the last 20 years have been exponential, and experts predict the global market will reach a worth of over 45 billion dollars by the year 2030. As a company owner, investor or shareholder, it’s incredibly crucial to understand the growth patterns surrounding digital signage to fully optimize your capital investment. We’ve compiled a shortlist of some of the most considerable trends and patterns that have made digital signage an irreplaceable platform in the modern era.

Why Is Digital Signage Growing?

There’s an ever-growing list of factors that have contributed to the rise and success of digital signage over the last 20 years. A wide variety of industries have adopted digital signage as their primary form of both mass and personalized communication. Below are some of the highlights from the growing trends in the digital signage industry in the last two decades:

Increase in Demand For HD Display Devices

The turn of the millennium brought with it the emergence of LCD and plasma displays: In the early 2000s, LCD and plasma displays started to become more widely available and affordable, replacing CRT displays as the dominant technology for digital signage. In the present day, developers are applying quantum dot applications in LCDs, drastically reducing their power consumption and carbon footprint. This innovation alone makes traditional CRT technology virtually redundant.

In a world where displays have become increasingly more common, display quality also vastly boosts any entity’s communication capacity. These newer display technologies offered higher resolution and brightness, as well as a thinner and more lightweight design, making them well-suited for digital signage applications. Installation and maintenance of these screens have also become considerably simpler over time, with many distributors offering valuable service plans to ensure the performance of their display units.

Improvement in Media Devices

As digital signage has become more popular, the need for a reliable and easy-to-use way to store and play content has grown alongside. Media players are small computers that store, organize and play digital media. Naturally, these devices are an exceptionally integral part of digital signage systems and help streamline the communication process regardless of application.

Media devices are constantly growing in size and performance capabilities, while also reducing in physical size and production cost accordingly. These devices also allow users to schedule and display various types of content, such as images, videos, and text for different purposes.

The majority of modern digital signage units today feature some form of onboard media device to allow for content to be uploaded and curated via direct access. These devices generally also offer remote access where content can be managed over a stable wireless network connection.

Evolution Of The Content Management Systems

We’ve just briefly covered the innovations brought about by the development of media players. However, these devices would not be able to meet their optimum performance capabilities without a solid content management system. Consider the media devices as the hardware end of this equation, and the content management system as the software.

To create and manage digital signage content, businesses and organizations rely heavily on specialized software and content management systems. These systems allowed users to easily create and schedule content, as well as track and measure the effectiveness of their messages. A reliable CMS can also offer valuable data and metrics that users can leverage to improve their content output systems.

Expansion of Digital Signage Into New Markets

As we mentioned earlier, digital signage has been adopted by a wide range of industries and sectors. This expansion has been driven by the increasing demand for more effective and engaging ways to communicate with customers and clients. Below are some examples of industries that have benefited especially well from digital signage in the last twenty years:


The majority of modern educational institutions believe that digital signage is a crucial element in improving their standard of communication. Display units have been integrated into classrooms and lecture halls to give educators a stronger platform to present their course content. Screens have also been implemented in faculties to streamline intrinsic communication amongst both staff and students. These displays could be used for general announcements, to promote school events, and even to be utilized in an emergency.

Marketing and Advertising

Digital signage’s value in the world of marketing and advertising is undoubted. Nearly 75 % of consumers remember campaigns on digital displays better than online ads. Digital billboards have been proven to vastly outperform traditional ones, due to their incredibly bright and vivid image quality. Digital display screens come with a high level of customization options, and screens can be made to fit a wide variety of spatial and design requirements.


The retail sector makes up just under half of the entire digital signage entire network. Displays offer an irreplaceable platform to exhibit any promotions or deals to customers both on and off-site. Touch screen displays provide shoppers with a handy guide to any points of interest within a retail space, as well as allow them to search and shop through any products or in-store services.

Hospitality And Restaurants/ Take Aways

Digital display units have vastly improved the reach and aesthetic appeal of menu boards in restaurant and take-out businesses. Additionally, touchscreen kiosks have completely revamped the way these businesses approach their customer service strategies. Switching to digital displays has also saved these businesses massive expenses on print and paper. These kiosks have also been used in a variety of hospitality spaces to aid wayfinding and assist with guest check-ins.

Advancements in Interactive and Touch Screen Technology:

In recent years, digital signage has become more interactive, with the adoption of touchscreen technology and other input devices. Touch screen units create a much more immersive visual experience than standard displays, and drastically drive the engagement levels of your prospective viewers. This innovation has opened up immense new possibilities for digital signage. One extremely powerful benefit touch screen displays provide is the ability to collect valuable insights and metrics on customer interactions and preferences. Touch screens also allow customers to browse products and services on their own, and can recommend the best options to them based on their requirements.

Increased Use of Analytics and Data:

As digital signage has become more sophisticated, the ability to track and measure the effectiveness of messages has also improved. Digital signage systems can now collect data on viewer engagement, allowing businesses and organizations to gain valuable insights into the performance of their messages. Businesses can then use these metrics to improve their media rollout strategies or improve and adjust their display content accordingly. In the past, this type of data would have taken considerable amounts of time and costs to compile and analyze. Through digital signage, this information is precise and practically instant.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the growth of digital signage over the past 20 years has been driven by advancements in technology, the increasing demand for more effective and engaging communication, and the ability to track and measure the performance of messages. 

As digital signage continues to evolve, new trends and developments will likely emerge, further enhancing the capabilities and reach of this powerful marketing and communication tool. It is a very exciting time for the digital display landscape, as new possibilities for innovations appear at a near-exponential rate. Perhaps you’re drafting a new ad campaign, trying to streamline your corporate communications in-house, or simply need a reliable means to display safety and emergency procedures. Digital signage offers a myriad of solutions and benefits to a myriad of businesses and industries, and it shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.

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