ABI Research Anticipates Wireless and Multiroom Speaker Market to Surpass 90 Million Unit Shipments by 2020

December 10 2015, 02:00

The wireless and multiroom speaker market continues to make waves in the consumer world, with market growth being fueled by the pervasiveness of mobile devices, rapid spread of high speed mobile broadband services and rising penchant for streaming music services. In its latest report, ABI Research, anticipates the wireless and multiroom speaker market to surpass 90 million unit shipments by 2020, with an 11.5% CAGR from 2015 to 2020.

According to ABI Research’s latest Wireless and Multiroom Speaker report, portable speakers continue to drive the wireless speaker market, but wireless audio platforms will bring additional exposure to multiroom or networked speakers. The CAGR from 2015 to 2020 is anticipated to be 11.5% as new products like Google’s Chromecast Audio, which lowers the price point for streaming media adapters in the audio space, will help push both market awareness and demand. In addition, the continued shift toward streaming music services and more generous data plans are also contributing to the market potential of wireless speakers.

“Despite a number of wireless audio platforms, including DTS’s Play-Fi, Qualcomm’s AllPlay and Apple’s AirPlay, seeking to bring attention and standardization to the multiroom audio market, Google’s recent Chromecast Audio and Google Cast for audio could trump them all,” says Michael Inouye, Principal Analyst at ABI Research. “Both the device and technology have potential to be key influencers in expanding the market reach of networked audio devices by capitalizing on heightened market attention.”

The success of Google’s first Chromecast device illustrated the importance that pricing plays on the uptake of streaming media devices, and the company’s new audio solutions continue to follow this low cost model. The speaker business, however, still serves a segment of consumers, as well as custom installers, at the premium end. As such, select speaker products and technologies continue to cater to individuals who put heightened value on quality and performance.

“To put it in perspective, the Wireless Speaker and Audio Association is currently promulgating a wireless future in the multichannel audio market,” continues Inouye. “However, products currently offered in the market based on WiSA’s technology carry high product pricing and may limit its market appeal in the short term.”

According to ABI Research’s findings, high-end speaker solutions are no longer the sole domain for wireless connectivity, and that technology is increasingly becoming a check-box feature. The wireless speaker market made the transition to mainstream, with speaker companies such as Bose, JBL, Polk, Ultimate Ears and VOXX International, along with consumer electronics powerhouses like LG, Samsung and Sony supporting a wide range of price points and listening environments.

“It is those companies that address the broader market that stand best poised to continue shaping the market moving forward,” concludes Inouye. “In terms of future forecasting, the smart home could also play an increasingly important role in the wireless speaker market, particularly if products like Amazon’s Echo continue to gain traction.”

These findings are part of ABI Research’s Consumer Electronics Enabling Technologies Service, which includes research reports, market data, insights and competitive assessments. This latest report is available here.
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