New Futuresource Consulting report shows home audio market outpacing wider CE market
Industry researchers Futuresource Consulting have confirmed that the success of smart speakers and the rapid growth of soundbars and Bluetooth speakers in emerging markets have helped home audio revenues grow by 20% in 2016 to €9.83bn (at trade). While the segment is on course to grow a further 17% in 2017, the rest of the home electronics market fell 2% in 2016.
Wireles s speaker s alone grew 32% and generated revenues of €5.2bn in 2016, while soundbar revenues grew 18% to generate €2.3bn. However, the news was less positive for some l ega c y categories such as hifi, loudspeakers and home theatre systems.
“While soundbar s are becoming the default TV-centric audio solution, wireless speakers in various shapes and sizes are replacing hi-fis, radios and speakerdocks throughout the home,” said Zlata Jelisejeva, Research Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. “As a recent example, we are seeing the emergence of the party wireless speaker category starting to cannibalise sales of the corresponding hi-fi systems market.”
The party speaker market i s being especially buoyed by the rapid adoption of integrated voice command software. “Despite fuelling market growth, we expect voice assistants to disrupt the audio hardware market mov ing forward, affecting prices, competition and of cour s e usage,” said Rasika D’Souza, Senior Market Analyst at Futuresource Consulting . “Meanwhile, this category is expected to become a platform battleground for the likes of Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon.”
Voice will help drive wifi penetration which will in turn benefit certain features such as multiroom, which pushed passed 10% of sales volume in Q1 this year for the first time. By 2021, Futuresource estimates that 27% of home audio devices will feature multiroom support. The demand for 3D audio (or object-oriented sound) such as Dolby Atmos is also set to increase, even if content availability and the home audio devices including 3D audio playback remains limited.
The products under review in the home audio Futuresource Consulting report include wireless speakers, soundbars, A/V receivers, hi-fi systems and dedicated speaker docks, while the outlook for smart speakers, hi-res audio and multiroom audio was also considered.