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Dealers Trim HTiB Advertising As Sales Drop

Dealers trimmed their advertising of home theater in a box (HTiB) systems during 2005, but HTiB advertising frequency didn’t fall as much as sales of the systems themselves.

Beyen International, which tracks advertising in newspapers nationwide, found a 7.4 percent decrease in the number of times that HTiBs appeared in retailers’ ads between November 2004 and October 2005 (see Table 1). The number of ad placements slipped to 55,873 during that time.

Meanwhile, factory-level HTiB sales were falling at double-digit percentage rates. Sales fell during the January-August period by 27 percent in units, to 2.07 million, and by 28 percent in dollars, to $401.3 million, whereas MP3 player sales during that time grew 206 percent in units, to 11.2 million, and by 255 percent in dollars, to $1.98 billion, CEA statistics show.

While HTiB advertising frequency was declining, the five most frequently advertised HTiB brands increased their combined ad share, with Sony, Panasonic, and Bose retaining their first-, second- and third-place positions, respectively, but with Sony increasing its point spread (see Table 2).

Beyen, which will change its name to IFR Monitoring in January, also found that Best Buy was the most aggressive advertiser of HTiBs, accounting for 28 percent of all HTiBs appearances in retail advertising. Best Buy was followed somewhat closely by Circuit City, which accounted for 20 percent of all HTiB placements in retail ads. Fry’s, Sears and Rex followed Circuit in that order (see Table 3).

All told, the five biggest advertisers of HTiBs in newspapers accounted for 74.9 percent of all of the HTiB appearances in retail newspaper ads.

Beyen statistics reflect newspaper advertising in 104 U.S. newspapers in 85 major markets, capturing more than 60 percent of the nation’s newspaper readership. The company plans to complement its advertising tracking program with an in-store monitoring program that will quantify individual products’ shelf-presence in stores across the United States and Canada.

Beyen also found that:

  • The Bose 321 II was the most frequently advertised HTiB, accounting for 3.4 percent of all HTiB placements in ads. Sony’s HTDDW-670 followed closely behind with 3.2 percent share.
  • Among the 10 most-advertised HTiBs, three Sony models made the list, and two Panasonic models ranked, as did one SKU each from JVC, Insignia, Samsung and Yamaha.
  • The top 25 most-frequently advertised models accounted for 26.6 percent of all ad placements.
  • The top five advertised brands accounted for 62 percent of all HTiB placements in retailer ads, up from 59.9 percent during the year-ago period.

Sony’s share rose to 25.8 percent from 23.7 percent, and Panasonic’s share slipped to 14.4 percent from 16.1 percent. Bose gained a bit to 8.9 percent from 8.1 percent.

Share losers included Samsung (falling to seventh place from fourth), Koss (falling to 10th place from seventh), Pioneer (falling to 22nd from 10th) and Philips (falling to 23rd from 14th).

Total HTiB Ads

Top 30 Advertised HTiB Brands

By Percentage Of HTiB Ads

Top 25 Retail HTiB Advertisers

(October 2004-October 2005)