Is the Web Replacing Security Magazines and Shows?

By: John Honovich, Published on Sep 27, 2009

While ASIS show attendance was down and disappointing for the second consecutive year, online traffic to security websites continues to rise significantly. Regular users of online security sites now likely outnumber trade show attendees. Though the recession is regularly cited as the cause for declining trade show attendance, the migration to on-line resources continues strongly.

[Update: ASIS confirms 2009 show traffic back down to 2004 levels.]

This raises questions about comparative value and worth of these different resources.

There are a number of factors driving the growth of on-line:

Breaking News

The web is the best way to find out about breaking news and important industry events. Rather than waiting weeks for the next magazine or going to a trade show, you can learn about news the same day online. Just in the last few months, the sale of GE Security, the Cisco/Pelco partnership and the HDcctv Alliance announcement are 3 good examples.

Critical Analysis

The web offers deeper debate and analysis than trade magazines or exhibitor's booths. For instance, comments offer rich and varied perspectives. Some of the best examples can be found on the debate about BRS Labs value, the accuracy of market statistics and GE Security's sale. The web allows more people to freely discuss and minimizes the power of money to control information.

Use of Video

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

The amount of security industry video produced on-line is growing rapidly. For instance, you can watch the ASIS Cisco/Pelco announcement, see demos for many cameras, or watch screencasts for any of our camera tests. Videos are clearly superior to trade magazines and begin to rival the richness of trade shows.

On-line Size Already Large

Because of these factors, the size of regular on-line readers in the security industry is already quite large. I estimate (conservatively) 50,000 - 100,000 people worldwide regularly use security industry websites. Even just for video surveillance, the number is at least 10,000 but probably more.

My estimate is far lower than statistics self-reported by many websites (which would indicate a total of 500,000 to 1 million people). A lot of people simply go to a site once in a while because of a search result or a link from a social media site. Those are not regular readers. Regular readers would be expected to visit sites frequently.

From my own statistics, approximately 5,000 people visited this site 3 or more times last month; 500 of those visited 10 or more times.  That's just 1 site that launched 18 months ago. With over a dozen major security sites worldwide, many over 5 years old, the number of regular readers is clearly in the tens of thousands - already equal or larger to show attendance which tends to be 10,000 to 20,000 per show.

Growing Quickly

In 2005, few people regularly used on-line security industry news sites. In the last 4 years, use has grown dramatically. A number of the established security sites grew 100% of more in the last year. 

Limitations Remain

However, a number of major barriers exist to the growth of on-line resources:

  • The security industry has a lot of late-adopters. Many will take years to change habits and some will only change by new people replacing retiring veterans.
  • The manufacturers still spend very heavily on trade shows and magazines. Until they change their spending habits, the tens of millions they collectively spend will bolster the traditional approaches.
  • Most of the websites are secondary properties of trade magazines and shows. They tend to be unprofitable on their own, dependent on funding from the traditional resources. If spending on magazines and shows continues to fall, this could constrain spending in developing websites.
  • Of course, shows offers personal interaction that provides richer communication for learning, deal making and building relationships. The web can marginalize the informational value of shows but the interpersonal ones.

Related Reports

IP Camera Installability Shootout 2019 - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Uniview, Vivotek on Dec 09, 2019
What are the best and worst cameras to install? Which manufacturers make it the hardest or easiest to install their cameras? We tested 35 total...
Open vs End-to-End Systems: Integrator Statistics 2019 on Nov 11, 2019
Preference for open systems is on the decline, according to new IPVM statistics. We asked integrators: For video surveillance systems, do you...
Remote Access (DDNS vs P2P vs VPN) Usage Statistics on Oct 25, 2019
Remote access can make systems more usable but also more vulnerable. How are integrators delivring remote access in 2019? How many are using...
Security Canada Central Show Report 2019 on Oct 24, 2019
IPVM attended Security Canada Central in Toronto to see what is new in the Canadian market. Inside, we share videos and dozens of images...
Integrated IR Camera Usage Statistics 2019 on Oct 21, 2019
Virtually every IP camera now comes with integrated IR but how many actually make use of IR or choose 'super' low light cameras without IR? In...
Manufacturers Unhappy With Weak ASIS GSX 2019 And 2020 Shift on Sep 16, 2019
Manufacturers were generally unhappy with ASIS GSX, both for weak 2019 booth traffic and a scheduling shift for the 2020 show, according to a new...
ASIS GSX 2019 Final Show Report on Sep 12, 2019
IPVM went to Chicago for ASIS GSX 2019, with many exhibitors disappointed about traffic and the exhibitor schedule changing next year. However,...
Top Ways Security Integrators Improve Their Careers on Sep 03, 2019
With DIY products expanding and the future of integration debated, how do integrators stay sharp so they are not left behind? 180+ integrators...
Security Integrators Outlook On Remaining Integrators In 2025 on Aug 22, 2019
The industry has changed substantially in the last decade, with the rise of IP cameras and the race to the bottom. Indeed, more changes may be...
Biometrics Usage Statistics 2019 on Aug 13, 2019
Biometrics are commonly used in phones, but how frequently are they used for access? 150+ integrators told us how often they use biometrics,...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Honeywell 30 Series Cameras Tested Vs Dahua and Hikvision on Dec 11, 2019
Honeywell has infamously OEMed Dahua and Hikvision for years, but now they have introduced an NDAA-compliant line, the 30 Series, claiming "lower...
"Good Market, Bad Business Models" - Residential Security on Dec 11, 2019
Industry banker John Mack, at his company's annual event, took aim squarely at the problems in the residential security...
IP Camera Browser Support: Who's Broken / Who Works on Dec 10, 2019
For many years, IP cameras depended on ActiveX control, whose security flaws have been known for more than a decade. The good news is that this is...
Acquisitions - Winners and Losers on Dec 10, 2019
Most major manufacturers have been acquired over the last decade. But which have been good deals or not? In this report, we analyze the...
IP Camera Installability Shootout 2019 - Avigilon, Axis, Bosch, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Uniview, Vivotek on Dec 09, 2019
What are the best and worst cameras to install? Which manufacturers make it the hardest or easiest to install their cameras? We tested 35 total...
Viisights Raises $10 Million, Behavior Analytics Company Profile on Dec 09, 2019
Viisights, an Israeli AI analytics startup marketing "Behavioral Understanding Systems", announced $10 million Series A funding. We spoke to...
Disruptor Wyze Releases Undisruptive Smartlock on Dec 06, 2019
While Wyze has disrupted the consumer IP camera market with ~$20 cameras, its entrance into smart locks is entirely undisruptive. We have...
Bosch Budget 3000i Cameras Tested on Dec 05, 2019
Bosch has long had a hole in its lineup for, as it describes, "competitively-priced cameras". Now, Bosch has released its 3000i series cameras...
Anixter Resisting Takeover From Competitor on Dec 05, 2019
Mega distributor Anixter is going to be acquired but by whom? Initially, Anixter planned to go private, being bought by a private equity firm....
Security Sales Course 2020 - Last Chance Save $50 on Dec 05, 2019
This sales course is customized for the current needs and challenges specific to professionals selling video surveillance and access control...