The market growth is driven by increased demand for applications such as oil and gas (energy) sector management and natural resource management. Insurance, real estate and city planning and fleet management are emerging as potential commercial applications for satellite imagery market.
Globally, this market was valued at $2,054.5 million in 2012 and is forecast to grow at 13.9 CAGR from 2013-2019. The data collected by satellites images has commercial value across industries, including commercial enterprises, civil engineering, military, forestry & agriculture, energy sectors and insurance, among others.
Global commercial satellite imaging market in 2012 was dominated by the military segment, which accounted for 29.2 percent revenue share. It is due to quick adoption of this technology by major countries particularly in the defense sector, where high resolution satellite imagery is being implemented to develop their security programs and bolster vigilance systems.
This technology is mainly used in the energy sector, geospatial technology, natural resources management, construction & development, media & entertainment disaster response management, defense & intelligence and conservation & research among others. Geospatial technology, energy and natural resource management are emerging as promising applications for satellite imaging industry. These three segments together accounted for approximately 41.8 percent of market revenue share in 2012.
Governments purchase commercial satellite imagery in order to support national security reconnaissance activities, climate change research, weather prediction, and land management activities. Growth of the commercial satellite imagery is driven by increasing demand from defense sector, predominantly by countries with large imagery intelligence (IMINT) requirements. Currently, due to rising terrorism concerns, defense and intelligence departments all over the world are seeking ways to support their security initiatives using satellite imagery.
Geographically, North America is expected to remain largest market for commercial satellite imagery followed by Europe. North America and Europe collective had revenue share of 70.7 per cent in 2012. Commercial satellite imagery market in North America has been world-leading, and is expected to dominate the global market during the forecast period in spite of reduction in government funding. Europe is showing slower growth due to lower economic activity and turbulent budgetary situation, due to which large finance activities have been withheld or suspended for short term.
Market participants include renowned companies such as Digital Globe Inc., GeoEye Inc., Astrium Geo, who are currently dominating the market space. GeoEye and DigitalGlobe represented approximately 65.1 percent of commercial satellite imagery market in 2012. New participants are expected to face stiff competition from existing players, and will have to focus on service differentiation and quality, so as to sustain growth in the long run. Other players in the market include ImageSat International N.V., BlackBridge (RapidEye) and Skybox Imaging, Inc. among others.
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