"The professional audio space is seeing a renaissance, with a quality audio experience growing in importance across all verticals, which is creating new opportunities and accumulating interest from the consumer audio heavyweights. Developments in technology, design and demand are having an impact across the entire professional audio space and the amplifier market is facing new opportunities and threats as the market evolves," explains James Kirby, Market Analyst at Futuresource Consulting in the introduction to the new report.
Futuresource has identified key professional audio product areas where there was little to no actual market data available to the industry. Following the success of the previous Loudspeakers, Mixing Consoles and Microphones Report, the market research firm decided to progress to the Professional Power Amplifiers category.
In this research, Futuresource is looking at entire supply chain, in order to provide the most accurate and up to date assessment of the market. The new report divides the professional power amplifier market into three product categories and five main applications: Touring & Rental, Portable Sound, Installed Leisure & Installed Commercial and Broadcast & Studio, each with several sub-verticals. Apart from channel and regional analysis, the market assessment compares the product categories by output power, install versus live, low-Z vs high-Z, powered vs non-powered speakers, networked amplifiers and number of output channels
“From live music and performance to amusement parks and leisure attractions, entertainment providers are looking for ways to deliver immersion, create memories and differentiate from the competition,” says James Kirby. “Across all verticals, we’re seeing growing demand for quality audio to support these experiences, and this is resulting in a positive upshift for the power amp market.
“At the same time, power amplifiers are taking on mission-critical roles. They are becoming the heart and hub of audio networks, with professionals relying on them to deliver seamless quality.”
Multi-channel amplifiers are also taking a greater share of the power amp market, meaning if an amp stops working, more speakers go offline. Combine this with longer replacement cycles, and quality and reliability are becoming increasingly important. As a result, Futuresource expects value to increase at a faster rate than volume over the forecast period, at a 5.1% CAGR between 2018 and 2023.
Looking to the verticals, installed commercial currently commands the largest value share of the market, at over 25%, followed by touring and rental, and installed leisure. Installed commercial and installed leisure are both high growth areas for power amplifiers, with installed leisure providing higher value projects, but installed commercial providing a greater number of opportunities. By the end of 2020, installed leisure will have overtaken touring and rental to take the second slot in value terms.
“It’s not all blue skies and fair weather,” adds Kirby. “The rising popularity of active speakers, with amplifiers built in, is placing pressure on the power amp market, particularly in the low to mid-range segments of the live performance market. Developed regions like North America and Western Europe are feeling the effects the most, as customers are willing to pay a little extra for convenience. In price-sensitive developing regions, like Latin America, Africa, Middle East, Eastern Europe and Asia, customers have been slower to migrate across.
“Audio is also battling against video for a share of the budget. In most instances video is the priority, with tough competition in the touring sector, where audio budgets are really being squeezed. But despite the challenges, savvy power amp vendors can look forward to a positive future, as we see the market break through the $900 million mark in 2023.”
Futuresource Consulting’s 88-page professional power amplifier market assessment report employs a mixed methodology to ensure a comprehensive analysis of the market. This includes expert research and analysis, using sales data from vendors and conducting in-depth interviews across 15 geographies to validate market data and build and understanding of market dynamics.