Report Finds Home Audio Sales Rose 21% in 2018
Thanks in part to the popularity of smart speakers and soundbars, the home audio market saw significant growth in 2018.
Home audio products are surging in popularity, with sales growing 21 percent in 2018 and global revenues approaching nearly $15 billion, according to Futuresource Consulting.
Attributing the home audio market's growth to a couple of key product categories—smart speakers and soundbars—Futuresource says entry-level smart speakers from companies such as Amazon and Google, as well as an array of Chinese products, are forcing the prices of smart speakers down an estimated 12 percent.
"Smart speakers continue to attract consumer interest and are leading the charge in the home audio category," notes Guy Hammett, market analyst, Futuresource Consulting.
"The love affair shows no signs of fizzling out either, and we expect unit shipments to be up more than 90 percent for 2018 once the final figures have been confirmed. Activity in China has helped to boost the numbers with our estimates showing a country growth rate of more than 600 percent."
As part of the smart speaker category, Futuresource says smart-home products with interface screens are expected to grow in popularity.
The company also anticipates smart speakers with user interface screens will get used for applications including entertainment, education for children, as well as shopping aids. The products are also seeing increased use in kitchens and other areas, helping promote home audio growth.
Soundbars Prove to be a Boon for Home Audio
Another category helping to fuel the growth of audio audio products is soundbars, with Futuresource reporting a 6 percent shipment increase to finish 2018 with approximately 18 million units shipped.
"2018 also saw the release of the first soundbar with integrated voice assistance," comments Hammett.
"This new segment is likely to account for 5 percent of all soundbar shipments in 2019, and will continue to grow throughout the forecast period, out to 2022. However, smart technology won't have quite the impact on the soundbar market that it has had on the wireless speaker shipments."
The company's home audio study also provides market insights and forecasts with value and volume data for 2016 through 2022 by examining other categories such as A/V receivers, stereo components, and other components.
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The custom electronics industry saw a healthy 8 percent growth rate in 2018, down slightly from the blazing 11 percent growth in 2017 but still admiringly strong. Our 2019 State of the Industry indicates that readers expect to see even more growth in 2019. Get your copy today.
Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). Bob also serves as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons in Haverhill, Mass. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Robert at firstname.lastname@example.org
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