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Oct. Audio Sales Are Down Despite Component Gain

Arlington, Va. — Factory-level audio sales fell in October for the second consecutive month, but audio components continued on a winning streak, CEA statistics show.

Industry sales dropped in October by 14.6 percent to $714.2 million because of a steep double-digit portable-audio sales decline and because of single-digit drops in home system and car audio sales. Earlier year gains, however, buoyed industry year-to-date sales by 5.3 percent to $5.92 billion.

October’s standout was home components, which rose 7.8 percent to $123.4 million in October and 38.1 percent for the year-to-date to $1.05 billion. Though component sales were strong, October’s single-digit increase was significantly smaller than the double-digit gains that preceded it in each of eight consecutive months. Those double-digit gains ranged from a peak of a revised 80.4 percent in March to a low of 30.8 percent in September.

October’s home-system sales slipped 4.2 percent to $227.9 million, but cumulative sales were up 9.6 percent to $1.48 billion.

Total home audio sales, comprising components and systems, were down an imperceptible 0.003 percent to $351.3 million in October but were up 19.8 percent for the year to date to $2.52 billion.

Aftermarket car audio sales slipped 5.9 percent in October to $170.1 million, but cumulative sales were up a slight 2.1 percent to $1.86 million.

Despite MP3 portable growth, dollar sales of all portable audio products fell 36.4 percent in October to $192.7 million and dropped 9.4 percent for the 10-month period to $1.54 billion. Portable sales were off for the fifth consecutive month in October, and all five declines were in double-digit percentages.