Pay TV Companies Offering Soundbars New Routes to Market

Sky’s decision to offer a discounted soundbar to its subscribers is another attempt to add value

When Sky TV recently announced its soundbar offer to subscribers, it came at an interesting time for the soundbar, sales of which have flattened following a decade of flourishing sales.

Having sold over 56 million units worldwide to date, and with nearly 16 million units shipping last year, soundbars have proved so popular that fully fledged home theatre systems have suffered in comparison – especially in the era of Netflix and Amazon video streaming.

Futuresource Consulting estimates that around 10% of TV sets in use worldwide sized 32in+ are hooked up to soundbars, A/V receivers or home theatres in-a-box, which this leaves a 90% of consumers as potential soundbar customers.

Soundbar sales have often been boosted by discounts offered by retailers when buying a large screen TV. However, sales of soundbars are now trending to higher end devices that are less likely to be appropriate for such bundling. Features such as Dolby Atmos, Hi-Res audio and HDMI ARC are increasingly featured in soundbars, meaning they match the audio experience to the latest UHD and HDR screen formats.

The question remains, however, whether content providers can further extend the sound bar boom by offering such audio devices as a discount with subscriptions.