Earlier this month, Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) announced its second quarter figures that find consumer spending on home entertainment is strong. Rising 6 percent over the same quarter in 2015, DEG says total U.S. home entertainment spending exceeded $4.3 billion for the second quarter (Q2), and it says the year-to-date total is $8.9 billion.
Some of the most interesting data includes that purchases of physical and downloaded data was up more than 4 percent, including a 3 percent rise in physical media sales, which were led by a 35 percent jump in Blu-ray disc sales.
Perhaps not as surprising, sales of 4K Ultra HD televisions continue to surge. DEG reports that during Q2 1.4 million 4K televisions were sold, which represents a 119 percent increase versus Q2 2015.
Supporting the sales of 4K televisions, the new Ultra HD Blu-ray format is off to a good start with more than 45 titles available with sales already nearing the 300,000 disc plateau.
Other figures released by DEG show digital HD content sales up approximately 20 percent and VOD sales up 7 percent.
DEG also estimates that more than 104 million U.S. homes have at least one HDTV, and more than 85 million homes include some type of Blu-ray playback device (Blu-ray disc players, gaming systems, etc.).
Audio Component Sales Match Video's Popularity
On the other side of the A/V home entertainment equation, the research company Futuresource Consulting's latest data finds audio sales are also growing. Futuresource states that worldwide demand for home audio products grew 24 percent to sell more than 88 million units in 2015.
Driven by wireless technologies, particularly Bluetooth, Futuresource says the popularity of wireless audio streaming solutions is having a positive affect on the entire consumer audio market.
“Audio is growing strongly in all regions as consumers are relying on smartphones for storing and listening to music content. Bluetooth is included in 60 to 70 percent of audio devices, including traditional Hi-Fi systems and A/V receivers,” comments Rasika D'Souza, market analyst for Futuresource Consulting. “Our latest audio business reports revealed that shipments of Bluetooth speakers without Wi-Fi grew 72 percent in 2015. Itis very apparent that consumers [that] have both realized and are enjoying the convenience and portability that Bluetooth offers.”
Despite the overall positive numbers, Futuresource does cite the whole-house audio category as a market that could be doing better.
According to the research company, “The multiroom audio category is underperforming and not meeting industry expectations [due to] the result of limited retailer support in store, and consumer confusion due to the different Wi-Fi-enabled ecosystems in existence.”
Futuresource suggests the major technology companies, including Google and Amazon could solve the multiroom audio market's sales dilemma through technology introductions such as Google Cast. The research company says that top brands such as LG, Sony and B&O are looking at Google's wireless audio platform, and it adds that Google's goal is to have product interoperability between brands similar to what DTS has achieved with its Play-Fi whole-house wireless audio platform.
In addition, Futuresource says that voice control technologies from companies like Google and Amazon could present new opportunities for audio sales. Futuresource notes that Google will leverage its search engine strengths while promoting Google Play and Google Cast, and Amazon will leverage its retail capabilities, as well as its subscription music service.
Some of the other numbers Futuresource revealed include Harman/JBL as the top audio brand with an 11 percent unit share within the audio category, and Bose as the revenue leader with an 18 percent share.
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