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Survey: Component Audio Interest Rising

ALPHARETTA, GA. – Consumer interest in purchasing
one or more separate home-audio components
rose slightly in the past year, with 39 percent of surveyed
adults expressing an interest in buying one or
more components in the next year, up from 35 percent
in a year-ago survey, a MarketSource survey of consumers

The results show plenty of potential for component
home-audio retailers despite minimal economic
growth in the first quarter.

The most potential exists in speakers. Like last year,
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.

The next highest level of interest occurred equally in
A/V receivers and preamp/surround processors, followed
by interest in purchasing amplifiers.

Compared to last year, interest levels increased the
most in speakers, followed by A/V receivers, preamp/
surround processors, and amplifiers, in that order.

The top three reasons cited by consumers for their
interest in buying a new audio component of any type
were, in order, improving music playback quality, (54
percent), replacing an older component (45 percent),
and improving the surround-sound quality of movies
and TV shows (40 percent.)

These are some of the top-level findings from a nationwide
on-line consumer survey conducted exclusively
for TWICE by MarketSource, a provider of integrated
sales and market services and market research.

For the survey, components were described as
separately purchased products such as A/V receivers,
preamplifer/processors, surround processors,
preamplifiers, and speakers that let consumers listen
to stereo music or to movies/TV programs in surround

Among other key findings:

• a majority of households (68 percent) surveyed
own some type of audio component compared to 62
percent in last year’s survey.

• among people who don’t own components and
who are not interested in buying components, cost is
cited by a plurality (36 percent) for their disinterest.

Here are some of the survey’s details:

Components of interest:

In finding that 39 percent
of surveyed adults were interested in buying one
or more components in the next year, MarketSource
combined the percentages of consumers who said
they would definitely buy and the percentages describing
themselves as likely to buy.

In breaking out the combined results, Market-
Source found that 12 percent of the surveyed adults
described themselves as definitely planning to buy
one or more components, the same as last year’s 12
percent. Another 26 percent said they would likely
purchase a component, up from the previous year’s
23 percent.

Among all consumers surveyed, interest was highest
in buying speakers. A total of 39 percent were
interested in buying speakers, up from a year-ago 19
percent. This year, 12 percent said they would definitely
buy, and 27 percent said they are likely to buy.
Both of those percentages are up from last year’s 8
percent and 11 percent, respectively.

The products with the next highest buying-intention
percentages are AV receivers and preamp/surround
processors. Each component type was cited this year
by 25 percent of all surveyed consumers, up from last
year’s 11 percent for receivers and last year’s 15 percent
for preamp/surround processors.

In breaking down this year’s levels of interest, MarketSource found that 7 percent of all surveyed consumers
said they would definitely buy an AV receiver in
the next year, and 18 percent described themselves as
likely to do so. The results were the same for preamp/
surround processors.

Like last year, consumer interest in buying a component
amplifier was lowest among all component types,
but not by much, at 22 percent (6 percent definitely, 16
percent likely). That’s up from a year-ago 10 percent.

Why buy:

The reasons that consumers say they intend
to buy one or more audio components in the next
year did not change much, in percentage terms, compared
to last year’s survey.

The reasons cited this year by respondents interested
in buying any type of audio component were,
in order, to improve the sound quality of music (54
percent), replace an older component (45 percent),
improve the surround-sound quality of movies and TV
shows (40 percent), to add surround sound (37 percent),
to boost power output (27 percent), and to replace
a broken component (23 percent).

Last year, the top reason was adding surround
sound (48 percent), followed by improving the sound
quality of music (44 percent), replacing a broken component
(38 percent), improving surround-sound quality
(35 percent), replacing an older component (29
percent), and boosting power output (22 percent).

Among those interested in buying A/V receivers and
speakers, the top reason cited for buying each was the
same: improving music playback quality (58 percent
for A/V receiver purchase intenders and 62 percent
for speaker-purchase intenders).

For A/V receiver purchase intenders, the next two
most-cited reasons were replacing older components
(53 percent) and improving surround-sound playback
quality (29 percent), in that order.

For speaker purchase intenders, the second- and
third-most cited reasons were improving surroundsound
playback (50 percent) and adding surroundsound
playback (48 percent).

The top three reasons for wanting to buy a preamp/
processor were the same reasons given by speaker-purchase
intenders: improving music quality (55 percent),
improving surround-sound quality (49 percent), and adding
surround sound to their audio system (48 percent).

Other responses for all component types included
replacing broken components and boosting audio system
power output.

Why not buy:

As in last year’s survey, price was
the reason most often cited for a lack of interest in
buying components. Among respondents who don’t
own a component and aren’t interested in buying,
price was cited by 36 percent in 2011 and 43 percent
in 2010. Other top reasons cited this year were
current ownership of an HTiB system (32 percent),
ownership of a compact tabletop stereo system (18
percent), and ownership of an iPod speaker system
(16 percent.)