Demand for networked home audio devices is expected to rise dramatically over the next four years, with dedicated speaker docks and networked speakers leading the charge according to a new report from Futuresource Consulting. “Driving demand for networked audio devices are the significant benefits that streaming to and from audio devices can bring, including multi-room audio and music streaming from smartphones and the internet, powered predominantly by Apple’s Airplay and Bluetooth,” said Jack Wetherill, Research Consultant at Futuresource Consulting.
“Home Theatre in a Box and AV Receivers will also see dramatic growth with networked devices taking an 85% and 81% share of the segment respectively, both up from 36% in 2011,” added Wetherill. While the market for traditional dedicated docks is now reaching maturity, the arrival of networked devices is expected to reinvigorate this sector, both in terms of volume and value. These new devices have the power to replace physical docking, though it is likely that this feature will often be retained for the purpose of battery charging.
The adoption of networking features in the dedicated speaker dock/networked speaker category will revive this segment right up until 2016 following a slight drop in shipments since 2010. Demand is expected to reach almost 40 million units in 2012 and nearly 48 million units in 2016 to hit $3.8 billion in trade value.
As the market transitions to dedicated digital audio products, demand for integrated audio systems (micro, midi and mini systems featuring CD playback capability) will fall. However, trade value will be maintained at $2.4 billion in 2012 due to the inclusion of networking features and integrated docks, retaining the relevance of CD playback devices in the digital music world.
The global soundbar (a single unit that contains two or more speakers for use with the TV) market more than doubled in size to reach 2.2 million units in 2011. Demand in 2012 is expected to grow by 54% to reach 3.4 million units. This period of healthy growth is expected to continue through to 2016 to hit 7 million units. North America accounts for the largest share of the global soundbar market and by 2016, more than 50% of global shipments will be in this region. The European market is smaller in comparison as consumer interest in home cinema is lower than in North America.