Component Audio: Who's Interested, And Why

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Alpharetta, Ga. -- About 35 percent of households say they definitely will purchase or are likely to purchase one or more home audio components in the next year, and the top three reasons they gave are to improve the quality of music playback, replace older components, and add surround sound to their video experience, MarketSource found.


MarketSource, a market research company and provider of integrated sales and market services, conducted the nationwide on-line survey exclusively for TWICE. The company compiled responses from 387 adults, yielding a sample size considered statistically robust to provide a significance level of

+

5 at a 95 percent confidence interval, MarketSource said.

All told, 12 percent of surveyed adults said they would definitely purchase one or more audio components, while 23 percent said they are likely to purchase. A total of 40 percent said they are neither likely nor unlikely; 33 percent are definitely unlikely to purchase; and 22 percent will definitely not purchase.

The survey also found that:

--consumers who are likely or definitely planning to buy an audio component in the next year are more likely to buy speakers than any other type of component.

--a majority of households surveyed own some type of audio component.

-- cost is the reason cited by a plurality of non-owners for not considering a component purchase, but current ownership of tabletop stereo systems and iPod-docking speaker systems was also cited.

--and consumers are far more interested in buying some type of audio product that distributes music to multiple rooms of the house than they are in buying audio components in general.

In the survey, MarketSource asked consumers about their intent to buy such components as AM/FM AV receivers, preamp processors, surround-sound processors, CD players, and speakers. The survey found that 55 percent of surveyed households already own an AM/FM receiver but don't plan in the next year to replace it. (See figure 1.)

Among current receiver owners as well as non-owners,

11 percent combined are likely or definitely planning to purchase a receiver, and 24 percent say they are unlikely or definitely not planning to purchase.

Among all consumers surveyed, more are likely or definitely planning to buy speakers (19 percent) than any other type of component, with preamps and preamp/surround processors coming in second at 15 percent (see figure 2).

Among the reasons presented to respondents for their interest in purchasing (see figure 3), consumers cited a desire to improve the sound quality of music playback (53 percent) as their top reason. The second most-cited reason was to replace older components (42 percent), followed by adding surround sound to their video experience (39 percent), improving the quality of surround-sound playback (32 percent), and replacing a broken component (25 percent).

The top two reasons were the same for all components but speakers (see figure 4). For speakers, the top two reasons were improving the sound quality of music and improving the sound quality of surround-sound playback.

Cost is the reason cited by a plurality (43 percent) of non-owners for not considering a component purchase (see figure 5). Twenty-one percent also cited their ownership of a tabletop audio system that sounds good; 13 percent also cited their use of an iPod-docking speaker system; and 6 percent cited ownership of a prepackaged home-theater-in-a-box (HTiB) system. Only 11 percent said they considered components too complicated to set up, and only 9 percent said they are too complicated to use.

The survey also found that interest in purchasing multiroom-audio products and audio products with Internet-radio capability is higher than interest in buying audio components in general. Thirty-two percent of respondents said they were either definitely (9 percent) or likely (23 percent) planning in the next year to buy some sort of audio product that distributes one or more songs simultaneously to different rooms of the house. Thirty-three percent were definitely or likely to buy an audio product that streamed Internet radio (10 percent definitely, 23 percent likely).

Of the respondents, 68 percent were female. Thirty-seven percent had a college degree. Twenty-three percent had a graduate degree. Thirty percent had some college education, and 10 percent had a high-school education.

Twenty-one percent had household incomes of more than $100,000. Twenty-one percent had household incomes of more than $75,000 but less than $100,000. Twenty-five percent had incomes of more than $50,000 but less than $75,000. And 21 percent had incomes of more than $25,000 but less than $50,000.

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