Worldwide Home Audio Shipments Expected To Exceed 56.2 million Units
Worldwide shipments of home audio products remained stable throughout 2012, according to research from Futuresource Consulting. Although end-of-year numbers have yet to be finalised, shipments are expected to exceed 56.2 million units, with trade value expected to rise by 2% to exceed $6.7 billion, and continuing to increase throughout the forecast period to reach $7.2 billion in 2016.
"As consumers continue to shift their audio behaviour from physical media to digital files ripped from CDs, downloaded from services such as iTunes and increasingly access streamed music services, the market witnessed a step change in 2012," says Jack Wetherill, Senior Market Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. "As a result, consumer expenditure on subscription music services is forecast to grow by 36.9% from 2011 to 2016. In addition, such changes are driving demand for speaker systems that offer connectivity to portable devices and cloud-based services, rather than simple speaker dock solutions."
Futuresource estimates that demand for dedicated speaker docks and networked speakers fell by 2% in 2012 to 30.9m units, although the shift towards networked devices is expected to grow, pushing up the trade value. 24% of the worldwide dedicated dock and networked speakers that shipped in 2012 included networked features and this share is expected to rise to nearly 70% by 2016. Bluetooth continues to be a growing feature and is anticipated to be particularly attractive to the growing population of Android phone users.
Speakerbars continue to be a major growth area in home audio and shipments are estimated to have grown by 40% in 2012, driven by a growing realisation amongst consumers that they can enhance the sound of flat panel TV sets without much requirement for additional wiring or space.
While integrated audio system (IAS) shipments are expected to have fallen by 1% in 2012, AV receiver shipments will grow by 2% to over 4.1 million units.
It is anticipated that North America will remain the largest market for home audio products in volume and value terms through 2016, accounting for 39% of worldwide demand in 2012, down by two percentage points on 2011.