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Global LED Market Undergoes Rapid Recovery, Surpassing Pre-Pandemic Performance

The professional LED display market sustained serious damage through the pandemic, shedding nearly 13% of its value in 2020. Yet a new report from Futuresource Consulting shows that market recovery has been a lot faster than many expected.

“For LED displays, the dark days of 2020 are now just a dot in the rear-view,” says Ted Romanowitz, Principal Analyst, Futuresource Consulting, “and the market is powering its way towards a bright future. While many anticipated It would take two to three years before we’d see the market return to 2019’s levels, we’re already there. In fact, 2021 added more than half a billion additional dollars on top of 2019’s performance, and that’s just the beginning. As we hurtle to the end of the year, Futuresource expects to see over 20% YoY growth in 2022, underlining the rapid recovery of the LED category”

A Display Market in Overdrive

According to the Futuresource report, the total LED display market, including monochrome and tri-colour LED, and LED video displays reached $7.6 billion in 2021, representing a year-on-year increase of 19%. And this year Futuresource expects the market to accelerate even faster, with forecasts of 22% year-on-year growth, culminating in $9.4 billion in revenue by 2026. 

New LED Technology Advancements

With multiple technology transitions in progress, there is a unique power shift opportunity beginning to emerge in the industry. As investment in MiniLED CoB and True MicroLED continues to ramp up, a number of vendors are perfectly placed to take advantage of these developments and gain market share.

“We’re seeing many of the existing SMD LED players focusing their R&D on MiniLED CoB,” says Romanowitz, “as it leverages their existing manufacturing capabilities. At the same time, True MicroLED is garnering significant interest from large panel and LCD panel manufacturers. This is being driven by the huge market potential, combined with the threat that it will replace LCD and OLED technologies.”

A Shifting Competitive Landscape

“Moving forward, we expect consolidation to percolate through the industry as the competitive landscape begins to shift,” says Romanowitz. “Mainstream display brands already have an eye on the situation, and will ramp up their activities to gain extra traction. At the same time, we’re going to see other players shift their strategies to maintain market share.

“Manufacturers with a highly integrated supply chain will be at a strong strategic advantage, as they will be able to achieve the margins that would otherwise be consumed by third-party suppliers. And those brands that do not own manufacturing, component and process supplies, will be relegated to partner relationships, with a gross margin disadvantage.

“All this activity comes at a time of strategic uncertainty. The industry still doesn’t know for sure how the global health crisis has impacted the long-term performance of some verticals, and there’s a wide array of market factors affecting sub-sector recoveries in very different ways.”

An Upbeat Future for LED

Futuresource expects the total market to reach $19.5 billion by 2026, with a CAGR of 21% between 2021 and 2026. This growth has ramifications for increasingly narrow pixel pitches, as LED becomes the dominant professional AV display technology over the next five years, impacting indoor and outdoor, fixed installations and LED rentals, as well as the rise of all-in-one displays.

Futuresource also expects RPC to continue its decline and LCD to achieve very slow growth, with narrow pixel pitch (NPP) moving forward to represent 61% of the total LED market in 2026 and LED becoming the dominate video wall technology. 

The new Global LED Display Market Report from Futuresource Consulting also addresses LED system design and business management considerations for brands to compete effectively in the evolving global LED marketplace. For more information on this report or to make a purchase, please contact

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Ted Romanowitz

About the author

Ted Romanowitz

Ted Romanowitz is a visionary product leader spearheading industry transitions in the Semiconductor, Consumer Electronics, Networking and Professional Audio Visual industries.  He held increasingly responsible marketing roles at Intel Corporation over his twelve year tenure, helping drive the highly successful Centrino Mobile Technology launch and Gigabit Ethernet market transition as well as owning the global consumer processor and chipset roadmap.  

Romanowitz begin in the Pro AV industry in the 1990s expanding the Vivatek brand for Delta Products and has spent the past decade focused on LED product management with Industry leaders Leyard/Planar and Christie Digital Systems. Currently an independent Consultant and Contributing Assistant Professor at Willamette University's Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Ted lectures, writes and consults in the areas of new product planning, go-to-market strategy, product and sales management.  

In August 2021, he co-authored a comprehensive industry report on MicroLED display technology focused on the Pro AV and Consumer Electronics industries.  

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