New Futuresource 2017 Worldwide Headphones Market Report

October 12 2017, 04:00
Futuresource Consulting continues to release consistent market research that provides guidance for any company in the consumer electronics space and specifically for the audio industry. In their latest 2017 Worldwide Headphones Report, Futuresource predicts further growth in global headphones aftermarket both in units shipped and average prices. The report predicts 4.1% growth to 362 million units in 2017, generating revenues worth $15.5 billion.

According to Futuresource Consulting, 2017 is expected to see continued growth in the headphones aftermarket, more in revenues than volumes, as use cases extend beyond simple audio listening and consumers willingness to invest in feature rich headphones. Average retail prices are growing, most for the in-ear segments, which are driven by a growing demand for true wireless headphones. More recently, premium headphones are being bundled in the box with smartphones. Futuresource have explored the potential impact of this trend on the aftermarket and has also assessed other business critical questions that are imperative for the success of any business.

The latest worldwide headphones market report from Futuresource looks at the current state of the headphones landscape, the major trends to watch out for and provides a 5-year forecast, as well as addressing the latest hot topics including noise-cancelling features, true wireless and many more. Also, the report provides an updated outlook for the worldwide headphones market.

Market statistics from the report predict the worldwide headphones market to grow 4.1% to 362 million units in 2017, whilst revenue grows at 18.5% to generate revenues worth $15.5 billion. Average prices increased by 14% to $42.7 as consumers continue to upgrade for better quality and improved features, as a consequence of increasing applications for headphones.

The complete report features worldwide headphones market data in terms of volumes, retail value, global overview, forecasts by region and analysis of key product and retail trends, market segmentation and country profiles. Among the topics covered, the new study looks at the demand for wireless and sport headphones, in-ear vs over-ear, changes in the way consumers are purchasing headphones, technology trends in noise-cancelling headphones, true wireless, Lightning and USB-C connectors.

Apart from providing data segmentation by region/country, product category, brands, features, and channel, the report includes specific overviews for USA, Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, UK, Italy, Netherlands, Nordics, Spain, Switzerland, Russia, India, Japan, and China.

Global CE Market Analysis and Commentary
Futuresource Consulting has also recently published its comprehensive annual report on the state of the worldwide consumer electronics landscape, revealing worldwide CE sales grew 0.3% in 2016 to reach $673 billion at trade level, on track to achieve 1.7% CAGR to 2021. The report, which covers TV/AV sales, mobile devices, consumer PCs, wearables, cameras, game consoles and automotive infotainment, reveals an overall slowdown in the CE market, with many brands concerned about future growth due to increasing hardware commoditization. 

"It's a harsh landscape, but there are patches of sunshine," says Jack Wetherill, Principal Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. "We're seeing growth in some TV/AV products, with Digital Media Adaptors/Media Streamers, home audio and headphones attracting much-needed consumer attention."

Mobile is still CE's all-star player, and now delivers 50% of total global consumer electronics revenues, with smartphones surpassing 1.6 billion units and trade value growing 4% in 2016. By 2021, mobile will be worth more than $360 billion. 

The TV displays market was hit hard last year, with market value falling by more than $1 billion. However, consumer appetite for more expensive sets and a shift to 4K UHD will bring a reversal of fortune. Futuresource's forecasts point to a total AV category market value in excess of $150 billion by 2021, with TV displays accounting for most of the value growth.

Smart home continues to develop, with fragmentation and lack of interoperability across rival ecosystems becoming less of a concern. Integration between devices and connectivity protocols are establishing themselves and paving the way for whole-home ecosystems. Although the category will only contribute a small slice to overall CE revenues, it is an attractive new battleground which presents an additional revenue stream for brands, OEMs and service providers alike.

Looking at the bigger picture, on a worldwide scale CE market growth is beginning to reach an equilibrium. Previous deterioration in developed markets has been reversed, but the recent growth in emerging markets is on a slowdown, despite a few pockets of sector growth.

Home Audio Market
On a dedicated recent report on home audio, Futuresource reports that voice enabled 'smart' speakers are driving global home audio sales upwards, despite a softening in demand for non-smart speakers and soundbars and a decline in sales of hi-fi systems.

Total home audio shipments grew 32% between Q2 2016 and Q2 2017 to reach $3.7 billion in revenues, with the fastest moving category of smart speakers delivering an extraordinary year-on-year growth of 843%. Smart speaker shipments reached 4.2 million units in the quarter, with Amazon alone accounting for 82% of overall sales.

The overall average prices declined 2% for total home audio, although soundbar prices grew in Q2, driven by demand for premium products. Despite the decline in the soundbase segment, Sonos' Playbase priced at $699 was popular in many markets. Harman/JBL emerged as the top audio brand in the second quarter of this year, taking a 17%-unit share. In revenues, Bose was the top brand, followed by Harman/JBL and then Amazon.
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