Drone spending earmarked to smash £12 billion this year

Spending on drones will total $16.3 billion (£12.6 billion) in 2020 and is forecast to grow at a 33.3% CAGR, one of the world’s most prominent analyst firms has declared.

According to IDC, spending on drones will continue to be dominated by hardware purchases with more than 90% of the category total going toward consumer drones, after-market sensors, and service drones in 2020.

Drone software spending will primarily go to command and control applications and drone-specific applications while services spending will be led by education and training.

Software will see the fastest growth (38.2% CAGR) over the five-year forecast, followed closely by services (37.6% CAGR) and hardware (32.8% CAGR).

Consumer spending on drones will total $6.5 billion (£5 billion) in 2020 and will represent nearly 40% of the worldwide total throughout the forecast.

Industry spending on drones will be led by utilities (£1.5 billion), construction (£1 billion), and the discrete manufacturing and resource industries (£924m each).

IDC expects the resource industry to move ahead of both construction and discrete manufacturing to become the second largest industry for drone spending in 2021.

The fastest growth in drone spending over the five-year forecast period will come from the federal/central government (63.4% CAGR), education (55.9% CAGR), and state/local government (49.9% CAGR).

Stacey Soohoo, research manager, customer insights and analysis at IDC, said: “We expect to see some price increases as drone manufacturers pass on the cost of tariffs imposed on the import/export of drones.

“The construction and resource industries will particularly feel the effects of these price increases. In contrast, many consumer drone manufacturers have chosen against raising prices and are absorbing the additional costs in order to maintain supply and to satisfy continuing consumer demand for drones.”