Earlier this month, Samsung Electronics America announced the integration of Prismview, LLC Sales and Marketing Teams into its display business, further strengthening the company’s display portfolio and salesforce. Prismview, previously known as Yesco, is a Utah-based company that manufactures and installs large-format LED video displays, and their outdoor products are recognized around the world.
Historically, Samsung remains the market leader for flat panel displays in the industry since 2009, with global unit market share comprising 25.7% in 2018.¹ A large part of Samsung’s success within the digital signage industry is having leading display technology, coupled with high quality standards. Samsung also strengthens their product offerings with the acquisition of other niche display technology companies, adding to their ability to evolve and expand into different markets. With the integration of Prismview’s sales and marketing teams to their display business, Samsung strategically positions themselves in the rapidly expanding LED display ecosystem. Additionally, Prismview brings a vast knowledge in LED manufacturing, engineering, and design to Samsung’s display business, including the ability to manufacture LED modules domestically.
Acquisitions, partnerships and channel development are crucial in LED video display success
Prismview’s sales and marketing organizations are now fully integrated into Samsung’s display business. There is a strong emphasis to leverage Samsung’s brand name and reputation across both company’s product lines. Additionally, channel sales and marketing efforts will be combined, however, each brand’s channel partners will continue to work in parallel for time being, as training and skills required for custom installation of these products is essential.
There’s a significant mix of acquisitions occurring among digital signage display companies, as well as the development of meaningful partnerships within the LED video display. With a flood of increased competition occurring in the LED market currently, it is becoming apparent that many of the larger traditional display companies are absorbing some of the existing LED video players to diversify their product offerings and expand their geographic footprint in other regions. In 2018, there were two key acquisitions that occurred, the first between NEC and S[quadrat], followed by Leyard and Planar’s acquisition of eyevis. Earlier this year in September, Barco and Unilumin also announced a strategic partnership agreement, with the news of Samsung and Prismview’s marketing and sales alignment following shortly after. Many of the leading digital signage display brands are recognizing the importance of becoming display solutions providers – providing both LCD and LED display products suitable for nearly all types of applications.
Geography and vertical market expansion
With a comprehensive product portfolio of LCD and LED video displays, these joint company endeavors make them suitable to cater to a variety of vertical markets, especially where installations require both types of display technology. Based on the latest iteration of our LED Video Displays Market Tracker, IHS Markit expects shipments for indoor fine pixel pitch LED video displays under 2mm to increase 57.4% for 2019, followed by projected growth of 32.1% for 2020. Indoor fine pixel pitch LED video displays are quickly encroaching into applications where LCD videowalls were previously dominant, especially in advertising, retail, sports and entertainment venues, and hospitality sectors such as casinos and cruise ships. In addition to vertical market expansion, these company synergies also allow for added opportunities in different regions while utilizing local distributors, partners, and support services for each brand. IHS Markit believes establishing these acquisitions and partnerships among key players is the new strategic direction to maintain leadership and uphold market share on a global level.
Diversification of LED manufacturing sites
Samsung can manufacture indoor fine pixel pitch LED video displays in both Mexico and Vietnam, and Prismview is also manufacturing large-format outdoor LED video displays in their SAMEX facilities. With the ongoing China tariff implications, Samsung’s ability to shift LED video display manufacturing to other countries, including their manufacturing plant in Mexico, directly impacts their supply chain in local markets for both North America and Latin America. Since there is less reliance on importing LED modules from China, the production of Samsung and Prismview’s LED video displays will not endure as harsh an impact from the tariff trade war.
As many other LED video display companies are still reconfiguring their supply chains or shifting production to areas outside of China, IHS Markit expects the long-term consequences from tariff impacts to be mitigated by these changes within the industry. IHS Markit believes there will be a wave of LED video companies following a similar direction as Samsung’s strategy, and establish overseas factories in Mexico, USA, Europe, or other countries in Asia to allow for tighter control on overall production schedules and quality assurance, while aiming to offset impending tariff pressures. However, it is important to note that regardless of country origin, a large portion of LED components will be impacted by tariffs since majority are often from Chinese origin and pricing will be affected if the situation persists. IHS Markit believes that LED video display brands with a global presence will benefit from an established relationship with local distributors and should be able to better withstand a severe price increase.
¹ Note: Samsung’s market share is based on the latest iteration of IHS Markit’s Public Display Market Tracker and includes both Public Display and Signage TV unit sales. Consumer TV, Commercial Lite, and Hospitality TVs used for digital signage purposes are not included in our report.