Pandemic demolishes EMEA AV market gains, a return to growth in 2022

Pandemic demolishes EMEA AV market gains, a return to growth in 2022
The AV market in EMEA is expected to drop by 9% in 2020 and, despite a return to growth next year, the market won’t exceed its 2019 highs until 2022.

After reaching its peak in 2019, the worldwide AV market has been sent into a tailspin by the coronavirus pandemic. Ahead of the release of AVIXA’s 2020 Industry Outlook and Trends Analysis focusing on the EMEA market, Inavate caught up with the AV industry trade association to find out what the next two years has in store. 

In 2019 the EMEA AV market was worth $71 billion (approximately €59 billion) and is expected to plummet to $65 billion in 2020, AVIXA says in its latest report. 

The trade association says the coronavirus shock will create a lasting effect on the EMEA AV industry, which initially will face a sharper decline than GDP due to its exposure to contractions in the live events, hospitality and retail verticals. However long-term forecasts show growth is set to exceed GDP, particularly in the EU. 

Sean Wargo, senior director of market intelligence at AVIXA, said: “pretty much no matter where you look, we think that true growth doesn't happen until 2022.” 

The forecast shows the market inching over 2019 levels to reach $71.5 billion in 2022. Long range forecasts put the market at $81 billion in 2025. 

However, he did outline some positives. “AV is nicely situated as part of the solution,” he said. “Technology is bridging the gap, whether it's remote work facilitation, whether it's content distribution for live events that have gone virtual. 

“I think that there's tremendous potential for us to actually look better than initial forecasts as we revise going into next year.”

Streaming media, storage and distribution technologies - which have supported enterprise, houses of worships, leisure and entertainment, healthcare and education throughout lockdowns and social distancing - contracted less than most product areas and should post strong growth in 2021. 

On the solutions side, conferencing and collaboration tells a similar story but is not as healthy as many watching the ‘zoom boom’ might expect. Wargo believes that with some changes as to how services are sold, these initial predictions could be revised upwards. 

He said: “The fact we’re only seeing a less than average growth for conferencing and collaboration as we go into 2021 suggests that investment was traditionally more in physical spaces; outfitting rooms with better technology for conferencing and collaboration. 

“Clearly there's so much more spent on the services and software side that our industry is going to need to figure out how to get more in front of that. That’s down to working with vendors and working with distributors. I think distributors are in an interesting position here to help integrators figure out how to package that together. And how to get in front of some of that licencing revenue, add on top of it some additional service potential.”

When it comes to vertical markets, education managed to avoid some of the heftier losses as education providers scrambled to get the technology solutions together they needed to reach their students remotely. 

Breaking the EMEA market down, Western Europe will continue to dominate with around 39% of the market. However, Sub-Saharan Africa shows the most growth with 6% CAGR predicted from 2020-2025. It’s closely followed by the much larger market of Central Europe which is set to expand at 5.8% over the same period to post revenues of $12.5 billion in 2025.

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