Worldwide home audio revenues grew by 20% in 2016 to $11.7 billion (at trade) and are on course to grow a further 17% in 2017, benefitting from the success of smart speakers coupled with the continued growth of soundbars as well as Bluetooth speakers in emerging markets. Meanwhile, the rest of the home electronics market fell 2% in 2016. Wireless speakers alone grew 32% and generated revenues of $6.2 billion in 2016, while soundbar revenues grew 18% to generate $2.7 billion.
“While soundbars are becoming the default TV-centric audio solution, wireless speakers in various shapes and sizes are replacing hi-fi’s, radios and speaker-docks throughout the home,” says Zlata Jelisejeva, Research Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. “As a recent example, we are seeing the emergence of the party wireless speaker category starting to cannibalize sales of the corresponding hi-fi systems market.”
“Despite fueling market growth, we expect voice assistants to disrupt the audio hardware market moving forward, affecting prices, competition and of course usage. Amazon launched Echo and its derivatives at competitive price points and continues to command over 90% of smart speaker’s sales. Meanwhile, this category is expected to become a platform battleground for the likes of Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon,” adds Rasika D’Souza, Senior Market Analyst at Futuresource Consulting.
Voice will help drive Wi-Fi penetration which, in turn, will benefit certain features such as multiroom, which pushed past 10% of volumes in Q1 this year for the first time. By 2021, Futuresource estimates that 27% of home audio devices will feature multiroom support.
The demand for 3D audio, immersive, or object-oriented sound, such as Dolby Atmos, is also set to increase, although content availability remains limited and the percentage of home audio devices including 3D audio playback stood at around 5% at end of 2016.
The worldwide home audio market report quantifies the market in terms of value and volume for 2015 to 2021 and dives into regional market variations. The products under review include wireless speakers, soundbars, A/V receivers, hi-fi systems and dedicated speaker docks. The outlook for smart speakers, hi-res audio and multiroom audio is also considered.