By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Port Washington, N.Y. – Consumers are expected to spend $555 per person on new consumer electronics devices this year, a 9 percent increase over 2012, according to the 2013 Household Penetration Study from global information company, The NPD Group.
According to the report, nearly three-in-four (72 percent) of consumers expect to buy a consumer electronics product over the next 12 months.
NPD said big ticket items like flat-panel TVs and tablets are fueling the spending increase, that over the next two years, 28 percent of consumers expect to buy a flat-panel TV while 20 percent intend to buy a tablet, representing the highest purchase intent levels of all devices measured.
The news wasn’t all good, however. Purchase expectations for some other once-strong growth categories are on the decline. This includes, the Blu-ray Disc player category, which saw its intent-to-purchase numbers decline 16 percent in 2012 to 12 percent in 2013, reflecting both the maturity of the product category and competition from other devices that also deliver video content, according to NPD.
In contrast, streaming media players, which are owned by just 8 percent of U.S. households, saw Q2 2013 sales nearly equal to Blu-ray volume.
The continued sales growth of tablets and connected TVs will also challenge consumer adoption of Blu-ray, the market research firm said.
“Consumers have an abundance of devices to choose from when deciding where to watch video content,” stated Ben Arnold, NPD’s NPD Group industry analysis director. “Today, it seems that nearly any device with a screen and an Internet connection can be used as a video player. As a result, Blu-ray players are now competing as one of many options for watching video content, and sales of video devices reflect this shift.”
Other changes in the marketplace have benefited some product categories. Growing adoption of mobile devices like tablets and smartphones has helped fuel sales increases in stereo headphones with microphones, which are up 65 percent in the first half of 2013, and wireless streaming speakers, which have nearly quadrupled, according to NPD research.
In home audio, household ownership of audio systems featuring surround sound has declined to 29 percent, while soundbar adoption (now at 9 percent of households) and sales (up 54 percent compared to last year) grows as consumers gravitate to their sleek design and minimal footprint in the living room.
“As consumer electronics products become embedded with more features and evolve in design, existing product categories will continue to be challenged by new devices coming to the market,” said Arnold. “While mobile devices have been the catalyst behind much of the current shifts in the industry, more change is likely upon us as hardware manufacturers and application developers push into new usage scenarios and environments.”
NPD’s methodology included more than 2,500 members of the firm’s online panel. The survey was published in Q2 2013. For more information visit NPD.com.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.