The global market for drone and the commercial applications of drone technology is booming.

Grand View Research estimates that the size of the global drone market is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 16.9% through 2022, from a base of $552 million in 2014. Grand View expects the value of the US drone market alone to be worth more than $1 trillion per annum by 2022.

PricewaterhouseCoopers meanwhile believes that the size of the global market for commercial applications of drone technology, currently estimated at $2 billion, will balloon to as much as $127 billion by 2020, a CAGR of 182% or a compound annual growth rate of 6,000%.

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Macquarie is predicting that the total addressable market for drones will exceed $60 billion by 2020, CAGR of 52%.

Broken down, analysts at the bank see China as being one of the key drivers for drone market growth through the end of the decade. Based on the fact that the country has a non-existent during population at present, it is expected that the number of drones operating in the country will grow at a CAGR of 100% through to the end of the decade. The number of drones shipped globally meanwhile is expected to increase at the slower rate of 37% on a compound annual basis to 2020. The size of the consumer drone market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17% to just under $3.5 billion by 2020.

drones photo
Photo by mail111 (Pixabay)

The drone market is set to be the growth market of the decade

Macquarie’s figures are somewhat different to the rest of the industry. It appears that the Australian bank is taking a more conservative approach to its analysis of the growth of the global drone market. Considering the market is in its infancy maybe this conservative approach is the best way of looking at things.

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Nonetheless, all the data points to the same conclusion: the drone market is set to be the growth market of the decade.

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While it appears that analysts can’t seem to agree on how big the opportunity will be, it is clear that by 2020 the global drone market will be big enough to be a dominant force in the world of manufacturing and aviation. Trying to get in on the action may become a key consideration for investors looking for growth in a low growth world.

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Unfortunately, trying to get in on the action isn’t easy for investors. There are hundreds of drone manufacturers and suppliers out there, each of which performs a critical part of the manufacturing process. The key global drone brands according to Macquarie are Parrot, GoPro, Protocol, 3D Robotics, Microdrones, AeroVironment, Rakuten, Amazon, Google, CJ Korea Express and Korea Aerospace Industries.