The worldwide home audio market - comprising wireless speakers, speaker docks, A/V receivers, integrated audio systems and speakerbars (units containing multiple speakers intended for use with the TV) - is on target to achieve 10% growth in 2013 and continues to exert a positive force on the home consumer electronics segment according to a comprehensive new report from Futuresource Consulting.
"As consumers demand more flexibility from their music and audio - be it through music accessibility, discoverability, sharing their favourite songs or simply wanting a richer experience from their television - home audio continues to play a starring role in the Zeitgeist," says Rasika Iyer, Research Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. "This year we're going to see home audio products ship around 60 million units worldwide, with a trade value of 7.3 billion dollars. At a time when many segments of the CE industry seem to be driving with the brakes on, home audio represents an enormous opportunity for manufacturers and retailers alike."
Wireless speakers and speakerbars lead the charge, currently growing at 181% and 81% respectively. The market is also witnessing a transition away from dedicated speaker docks to wireless speakers, with dock shipments expected to decline by nearly 20% in 2013.
"There are still winners and losers in the home audio segment," says Iyer,"with traditional home audio systems continuing to lose out to speakerbars and wireless speakers, and CD playback being outmanoeuvred by the availability of wireless audio devices at affordable prices, the growth of smartphones and solid music streaming services like Spotify, Deezer and Pandora. In particular, Spotify has partnered with home audio companies such as Yamaha, Pioneer and Sonos to introduce Spotify Connect, a premium music service."
The emergence of numerous Bluetooth products will continue to bolster the wireless speaker market, currently accounting for 82% of wireless speakers and expected to continue to be a popular choice throughout the forecast period. Driving this is the fact that consumers can connect wireless speakers to smartphones for music listening, while at the same time not having to part with their smartphones; contrary to speaker docks, where the consumer cannot use the phone when it is docked. Wireless speakers also offer the convenience of portability, and multi-room audio based on Wi-Fi solutions has picked up pace in H2 2013 as Bose and Samsung introduced products in this space to offer competition to Sonos. Futuresource expects many more brands to launch multi-room solutions in 2014.
Due to its prominence in all product areas, Sony continues to remain the leading brand in home audio in unit terms, though Bose and Sonos are growing due to their strengths in wireless audio. Looking to the future, for brands to succeed they will need to focus increasingly on wireless connectivity.
The Futuresource Worldwide Home Audio Market Report provides forecasts out to 2017 and predicts that the global market will grow in volume by 13% CAGR, with trade revenues growing by 6%.
About Futuresource Consulting
Futuresource Consulting (futuresource-consulting.com) is a specialist research and knowledge-based consulting company, providing organisations with insight into consumer electronics, digital imaging, entertainment media, broadcast, storage media, education technology and IT. With a heritage stretching back to the 1980s, the company delivers in-depth analysis and forecasts on a global scale, advising on strategic positioning, market trends, competitive forces and technological developments.
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