2021 drone industry is “a less optimistic picture,” research suggests

The impact of coronavirus was a mixed bag for drone companies in 2020. Some companies actually grew, as people’s new, socially-distanced lifestyles prompted landmark opportunities for drone delivery and or got people picking up largely solo hobbies that mesh well with nature (aka drone flying). Still, the 2021 drone industry is a less optimistic picture than what people had expected prior to coronavirus becoming a word in our vocabularies.

The drone industry is expected to be worth $42.8 billion by 2025, according to a new report from German-based drone research firm Drone Industry Insights.

2021 drone industry insights

While that figure might sound eye-popping, it’s actually “a less optimistic picture than what (the firm) saw in 2019,” according to their report.

In fact, in the same report from Drone Industry Insights done last year — which also set predictions based on data for how the drone industry would look five years out — the firm said they believed the drone industry would grow to be worth $43 billion by 2024 (that’s a compound annual growth rate of 20.5%).

Now the drone market will be worth slightly less in 2025 than what it was expected to be worth by 2024 (not to mention it will take an extra year to get there). For context, the drone industry generated $22.5 billion in 2020.

Still, the size of the drone industry is expected to be almost double its current size by 2025.

“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,” according to the report.

Other related industries that have seen explosive growth like real estate (largely due to flexible work-from-home situations and low interest rates) have also led to an increased demand for drones to do work like creating aerial home tours.

Much of the growth in the coming years is expected to be in energy, transportation and warehousing. With all that growth, it also means drone sales will increase. By 2021, DII predicts that the commercial drone industry will be selling 1,000,000 drone units per year — about double what it’s doing now.

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