Is the Web Replacing Security Magazines and Shows?

Author: 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 Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

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

Axis Touts Positive IPVM Coverage and Canon 'Reverse Takeover' on Sep 19, 2016
Axis NA sales leader Larry Newman rallied his troops on the ASIS show floor, touting positive IPVM coverage and bragging about Axis 'reverse...
Weak ASIS 2016 Upsets Manufacturers, ASIS Working On Improvements on Sep 19, 2016
Manufacturer dissatisfaction with ASIS intensified this year. With survey results from 80+ manufacturers, the trend of diminishing returns from...
Hikvision Enterprise Expansion ASIS 2016 Review on Sep 13, 2016
Hikvision is treating ASIS 2106 like an ISC West-level show, showing lots of new and upcoming products, as well as hosting large customer...
ASIS 2016 Day 2 Review on Sep 13, 2016
ASIS day 2 is done. We are at the show and have coverage of the show floor, and highlights from manufacturers in this report that we will update...
ASIS Hurting, Fills Empty Space Pushing Attendees to Show Floor on Sep 08, 2016
ASIS depends on manufacturer exhibitors to make most of their revenue ($15+ million) but manufacturers are upset with ASIS poor performance over...
Get End User Leads for Just $997 A Month on Aug 31, 2016
Scam or opportunity? As trade mags continue to suffer from the decline of print media, they are scrounging for new ways to make money. Rather than...
Integrators Vs Manufacturers Direct To End Users on Aug 31, 2016
Many manufacturers have increasingly large and hungry sales forces that call on more and more end users. One recent example is Axis ~$20 Billion...
Manufacturer Trade Show Costs Analyzed - Spending Millions on Aug 25, 2016
Ten million dollars plus is spent by manufacturers at every major trade show (e.g., ISC West, ASIS, IFSEC, Essen, etc.) And the bigger booths...
Hikvision Hires Trade Magazine Editor on Aug 17, 2016
Hikvision PR challenges are increasing as understanding of the company's ownership by the Chinese government broadens and concerns about the...
External IR Illuminator Usage Statistics 2016 on Aug 10, 2016
External IR illuminators have historically been favored by many to improve video surveillance performance. But with integrated IR camera usage now...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Camio Natural Language Processing Tested on Sep 27, 2016
The ex-Googler led team from Camio has advanced its video monitoring offering to include natural language processing. Camio ingests video,...
Hacked Dahua Cameras Drive Massive Cyber Attack on Sep 27, 2016
Cyber attacks are accelerating and IP cameras are behind many of them. Worse, last week, a 'massive' attack was carried out using numerous Dahua...
Axis Secretly Paid Anixter Sales People To Push Axis NVRs on Sep 26, 2016
Internal Axis communication shows how Axis paid Anixter and Tri-Ed sales people with secret bonuses to push Axis NVRs. In this report, we examine...
VLANs for Video Surveillance on Sep 26, 2016
Many people confidently say to 'use VLANs' as an answer to IP video networking problems and as a way to signal expertise. But how should VLANs be...
Ambarella CEO Admits H.265 and 4K Not Popular on Sep 26, 2016
Ambarella is the main chip provider for high-end surveillance cameras driving higher resolution and new CODECs. While Ambarella has been pushing...
Nest Cam Outdoor Tested on Sep 23, 2016
After years of claiming an outdoor model was "coming", addressing their biggest user demand, Nest has finally released their Outdoor Camera, an...
ACTi Refuses Race To The Bottom, Shifts To Solutions on Sep 23, 2016
The original low cost IP camera disruptor was ACTi. Back in the 2008 - 2010 time frame, Taiwanese manufacturer ACTi challenged the Western and...
You Get Robbed, Canary Will Pay You Up To $1,000 on Sep 22, 2016
Canary is trying to break the status quo in DIY security, first by raising over $40 million, and now a revamp of their monthly services package...
Milestone Ends Development of "Enterprise" VMS on Sep 22, 2016
Milestone 'Enterprise' was one of the first enterprise video management software offerings, selected by many early adopters of IP video. However,...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact