The latest published statistics reveal that the drone industry is here to stay in a very big way.

Guest post by Tim Jennings, President of CCG, maker of DroneHangar

Screen Shot droneWe all know the drone industry has had a bit of a PR problem from the start, particularly because “the start” mainly involved unmanned war machines. But as more people discover the amazing things drones can do—like facilitate incredible aerial photography, improve business logistics and deliver all kinds of fun—public opinion is beginning to shift. The eight drone industry stats below offer up some perspective on the magnitude of this shift.

1. $127 billion — That’s how much the drone industry could be worth by 2020, according to recent reports by consulting firm PWC. It also reported that some of the greatest increases could be in business, farming and special effects applications.

2. 7 million drones — According to the FAA’s newest estimates, we can expect about 7 million drones to ship to the U.S. by 2020. The group expects sales of commercial drones to rise as high as 2.7 million (from 600,000) and that of hobbyist drones from 1.9 million to 4.3 million between now and 2020.

3. The U.S. controls 35% of the global drone market — And, according to KPCB’s 2014 estimates, that makes America the largest drone market in the world. Europe controls 30%, China has 15% and everyone else controls the remaining 20%.

4. $8 billion — This is the astonishing worth of DJI Innovations after funding in May. The company has said that its valuation could exceed $10 billion following the next round of funding.

5. $40 less than a GoPro — Thanks to intense competition and less expensive components, drone prices are falling fast. In regards to our stat, tech company Xiaomi just launched a 4K drone that costs $40 less than GoPro’s 4K-capable Hero 4 camera.

6. 325,000 — That’s how many drone registrations the FAA received between December 2015 and the beginning of February of this year. As a side note, the FAA also reported that 325,000 is not even a third of the number of drones sold during the holidays last year.

7. 130 successful deliveries — Earlier this year, shipping company DHL conducted a pilot program, making 130 deliveries between two villages in the Alps. The company says their drones fly as fast as 45 miles per hour carrying as much as 4.5 pounds. In the U.S., Amazon is busy working toward their goal of total delivery automation, as well.

8. $1.9 billion — According to AngelList, that’s how much venture capital has gone to drone industry start-ups so far. The three most promising of these start-ups (in order of valuation) are Skycatch (a commercial logistics company), DroneDeploy (a company developing drone mapping and analytics) and Matternet (a maker of smart drones). AngelList estimates the average valuation of all drone start-ups at $5.3 million.

Important Reminder

These stats are indeed promising, but they’re only predictions. One of the most critical factors to the industry’s success is the nature of government regulations. Should regulations become too tight, the market could suffer. And drone enthusiasts’ compliance with existing regulations has a significant influence on the tightness (or looseness) of these rules. So just be sure to keep that in mind when you’re out having fun. And if you still need to register your drone on the sUAS Registration Service, do it today!

Happy Flying!

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