With a new year come new challenges, new market players, new use cases and new regulatory hurdles for the commercial drone industry. For this reason we’ve worked hard to develop our brand new updated Drone Market Report 2020! To mark the release of the new update of our flagship report, here are the most important market trends that you need to know about within the drone industry in 2020-2025.
1. The Drone Market will Grow to 42.8 billion USD by 2025
The big picture, the most important figure to take away, is 42.8 billion USD. That is what the drone market size will be in 2025. From generating 22.5 billion USD in 2020 it will grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 13.8% to almost double that in 2025. This fairly stable year on year growth – seen in our graphic – is also a reflection of the ongoing high investments and the consolidation of the commercial drone market. It is a less optimistic picture than what we saw in 2019, but nevertheless shows that the commercial drone industry remains resilient in spite of emerging challenges. The drone industry has matured from explosive and exponential growth to steady returns, increased adoption and a step up from the so called trough of disillusionment.
2. Energy is Still the Largest Industry, but Transport is Growing Rapidly
The Energy sector is the largest industry on the commercial drone market in 2020 and will continue to be so in 2025. However, the Transportation & Warehousing industry will continue to be the fastest growing. This is partly because, as defined by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), this vertical includes industries providing transportation of passengers (although air taxis still will not sell for some time) and cargo, warehousing and storage for goods, and support activities related to modes of transportation like inspection and maintenance of infrastructure. While Agriculture and Construction currently follow energy as the top industries in the drone market, the growth of the Transport sector will mean that by 2025 it will be the 2nd largest industry within the market.
3. Asia is Now the Biggest Regional Drone Market in the World
Currently, the national drone markets in USA and China currently dominate the commercial drone market – together their revenue makes up over two thirds of the global drone market size and this does not look likely to change in the foreseeable future. However, regional shifts in drone market dominance have been more common. While back in 2018 North America was generating slightly more revenue than Asia, thanks to the growth of not only China, but also Japan and especially India (since the legalisation of drones there in December 2018), Asia pulled ahead already by the end of 2019. The region will continue to build on this growth and be the leading regional market by some margin in 2025.
4. The Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic will be Felt by the Drone Industry
Few industries will emerge out of the COVID-19 pandemic unscathed. The global health crisis has resulted in a worldwide contraction of several markets as almost three months of respective quarantine in major economies has seen major rises in unemployment, slowdowns of supply chains and reduction in demand for goods.
However, it is important to note that the commercial drone has also already made gains during the pandemic – thanks to medical applications of commercial drones amongst many other automated solutions provided (mapping, surveying, broadcasting etc.) drone companies like Zipline and Wing have been able to deliver and scale their solutions quicker than previously expected. As a result, the industry as a whole is likely to feel the economic effects of the pandemic, but
5. Drone Sales will Double from 2020 to 2025
By 2021, the commercial drone industry will be selling 1,000,000 drone units per year. Looking at the growth between 2020 and 2025, unit sales will have more than doubled in this time period. Notably, while overall drone unit sales will increase this will be down to commercial drone unit sales growth as private or hobbyist drone unit sales will decrease in 2020-2025.
For more insights, see the entire report here.
Lukas Schroth holds a degree in Aerospace Engineering as well as a Masters in International Business Administration and Engineering. During his education he was involved several consulting and process optimization projects at MTU Aero Engines AG. At DRONEII he’s the go to voice on drones and AI.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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