The video gaming headset market is on track to grow more than 50% this year, achieving a global market value of $1.2 billion, according to a new industry report from Futuresource Consulting.
“Video games continue to power through a growth curve, and consumer interest is showing no signs of deceleration,” says Michael Boreham, Senior Market Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. “There’s plenty of sun shining down on all gaming platforms, with revenue coming in from full game sales, downloaded content purchases and subscriptions alike.
“That’s all great news for the headset manufacturers, particularly with the emergence of online multiplayer games in the battle royale genre. These games have captured the imaginations of existing gamers, as well as introducing new consumers into the sector. Participants are entirely focused on cooperating with, challenging and communicating with other players, so if you don’t have a headset you’re not going to get very far.”
Social acceptance of gaming is also on the rise, leading to a general increase in the number of gamers in all world regions. Along with the widespread media coverage of the battle royale phenomenon, there is also a groundswell of interest in esports, both from a player and a spectator perspective.
“We’re seeing a proliferation of player and team sponsorship deals, which are placing headsets top of mind, providing yet another trigger for market growth,” says Boreham. “The segment is experiencing an expanding addressable market and increasing consumer awareness. On top of that, the average selling price has increased by 10% this year and will continue to rise across the forecast period, out to 2022.”
Drilling down into the regions, Europe and North America are the most lucrative markets, with a combined sales forecast that represents the lion’s share of the total global market. This domination will continue throughout the forecast period, with a slight reduction in total market share by 2022, as other regions gain more traction.
“The gaming headset landscape remains highly competitive, with a small number of players controlling the market,” says Boreham. “Between them, Logitech, Turtle Beach, Razer, HyperX, Plantronics and Sennheiser accounted for more than four in every five consumer headset sales worldwide last year.”
“Beyond the big six manufacturers, there’s a highly fragmented market with a range of players fighting it out on the fringes, polarised by low-cost brands catering to the mass market and premium priced models that target the audiophile niche. The scale, future growth potential and competitive landscape of the market will continue to vary from country to country, in terms of feature sets and distribution channels. For example, markets like the UK favour online retailers, whereas elsewhere online retail can account for as little as 20%. Gaining a foothold can be a tricky task, but savvy, switched-on vendors are leaning hard on market data to get the edge.”
Looking to the future, features like wireless connectivity and digital surround sound codecs will continue to make their presence felt, as games software developers reach beyond the visual experience and bring heightened audio quality into the mix. Consequently, many more consumers will develop an awareness of and desire for high quality immersive audio hardware as part of the gaming experience.
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