PORTLAND, ORE. – A new CE market trends study by Quixel Research finds that big-screen TVs are following in the path of popular smartphones and tablets in helping to keep consumers engaged from a multi-screen perspective.
The second-screen revolution, in which mobile devices and TVs finally talk to each other to multitask, was the top key trend among five indentified by the market research firm for driving industry business in the coming year(s).
Other key drivers include TVs getting bigger; sound becoming important again (see p. 25 for more details); discs giving way to digital entertainment; and the rebirth of the “smart home,” with home automation and controls for the masses beginning to resonate.
Quixel said its research revealed that “improved manufacturing capabilities and the overall ‘Apple-ization’ of consumer electronics support the Top Home Entertainment Trends for 2013 and beyond. Tablets, mobile devices and apps are no longer a trend — more so enablers for many of the next big things in home entertainment,” Tamaryn Pratt, Quixel Research principal, told TWICE. “These 2013 trends will be the cornerstone for home entertainment growth and demonstrative of our future all-encompassing connectivity.”
Regarding mobile device and TV connectivity, Pratt said: “While it’s certainly true that the TV remains the centerpiece of the home, 78 percent of consumers use other devices while watching TV, but they are “watching” both devices and not really “connecting” products together. This will rapidly change due to the economic drivers for device manufacturers, content owners and distributors, as consumers push for better connectivity.”
She pointed to a recent Quixel survey showing that when consumers considered their next TV purchase, “nearly 70 percent were strongly motivated to buy a TV that could easily sync with their mobile devices.”
Meanwhile, due to manufacturing efficiencies today, TV makers can bring very large TVs – for example 55, 60, 65 inches or even larger – to the market more readily and cost effectively.
The difference from a few years ago is that consumers are “no longer bound by furniture, and further freed by the fact that these larger flat panels are lighter yet still energy efficient, plus amazingly cheaper,” Pratt said.
“As a result, consumers are migrating to larger sets in dramatic fashion. Fifty-inch and larger flat-panel TV sales will increase close to 20 percent in 2013 over 2012 and almost double by 2015.”
“Their mobile devices are driving their content and connectivity to the outside world — now consumers have more opportunity to enjoy it in an immersive environment. 2k or 4K – the TV is the center piece of the home and hearth,” said Pratt. “After several years of treading water, total DTV sales are trending up, and big-screen sales are leading the category.”
The number of offerings is increasing every quarter and price points are plummeting, Pratt observed.
“The jaw-dropping $688 Black Friday price for Vizio’s 60-inch LCD TV won’t be an everyday price at Walmart in 2013, but it is setting the stage. Even plasma TV manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon and selling 60-inch well below $1,000, and we are projecting volumes of almost 800,000 units in 2013.”
The television business is poised from a comeback, Pratt said.
“The country is heading into better economic times and we are at the crest of the next replacement cycle,” Pratt said. “Those folks who bought their first 40-/42- inch flat TVs now have a variety of TV options for far less than they paid for their first flat TV. For the first time, in 2013 sales of TVs over 40 inches will be the same or slightly more than the volume below 40 inches.”
The seamless integration of mobile and home devices, or “connecting devices vs. multitasking,” will help move the trend further, she said.
For more charts and data on the Top Home Entertainment Trends for 2013, visit QuixelResearch.com.