Bright future: Billboard and Sign Manufacturing in the US Industry Market Research Report from IBISWorld Has Been Updated

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The future looks bright for the Billboard and Sign Manufacturing industry as consumer spending and confidence improve, and revenue will continue to grow as clients dedicate an increased amount of corporate profit toward advertising, corporate rebranding and new signage. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated a report on the Billboard and Sign Manufacturing industry in its growing industry report collection.

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Demand for digital billboards and displays will facilitate a modest recovery in revenue.

After years of steady growth, the light went out on the Billboard and Sign Manufacturing industry in 2008 and 2009. Billboard and outdoor display advertisers curtailed spending on the industry's services as total advertising expenditures dried up amid falling corporate profit. Other customers, including fast food restaurants and retail stores, also spent less on displays and signage as revenue fell. “In the five years to 2013, industry revenue is expected to decline at an average of 1.4% annually to $12.6 billion,” IBISWorld industry analyst Austen Sherman says.

Industry revenue peaked prior to the recession at $14.1 billion and then swiftly declined from 2008 to 2010, including a 10.4% dip in 2009. “The declines largely occurred when the industry's key buying industries dramatically slowed purchases,” Sherman says. As demand slowed and profit fell, operators in the Billboard and Sign Manufacturing industry cut costs aggressively, and some firms even closed their doors. IBISWorld estimates that several hundred billboard and sign manufacturers closed in 2009 alone. In the five years to 2013, the number of firms operating in the industry declined at an annualized rate of 1.6% to 5,765. Surviving companies adapted to the difficult times by slashing head counts, aggressively managing input costs, lowering prices or offering more high-margin digital products. As a result, industry profit margin has fallen during the past five years.

Market share concentration in this industry is low, with the four largest firms estimated to generate less than 7.0% of industry revenue in 2013. These firms include Young Electric Sign Company, Brady Corporation, Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings and Lamar Advertising Company. Most work in this industry is labor intensive, which prevents companies from realizing significant savings from consolidating multiple manufacturing locations into one large location and instead contributes to keeping employee head count low at most companies. This reflects the employee cuts that companies made during the recession. However, a few companies operate in highly specialized product niches, such as digital scoreboards, that offer a national customer base and lend themselves to large-scale manufacturing operations, such as major company Daktronics Inc. Unlike local operators, these companies have the financial resources necessary to support a national presence because these specialized products can cost well over $10 million.

Revenue will continue to grow as clients dedicate an increased amount of corporate profit toward advertising, corporate rebranding and new signage. This increase in total marketing expenditure is expected to cause industry revenue to increase. Additionally, advertisers will continue demanding more digital billboards and digital displays, a trend that began in the early 2000s and offers higher margins. Companies with robust digital product offerings will lead the industry's recovery as buyers remain entranced by digital products' clarity and ability to target specific demographics. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Billboard and Sign Manufacturing in the US industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

This industry manufactures billboards, scoreboards, retail store signage, and transit station advertising displays. Products may include non-electric signs, digital billboards, video screens and neon signs. The industry does not include outdoor kiosks, phone booth advertising, bus or taxi advertising and other street furniture. It also does not include any advertising or displays made from printing paper or paperboard.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.

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Gavin Smith
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