The global home audio market continued to feel the squeeze in Q4 2022, with volume and value both experiencing year-on-year contraction. However, the latest quarterly tracking report from Futuresource Consulting does show that higher price segments fared better than the market average. This indicates that those consumers seeking premium products have not been as affected by the economic downturn as those who would typically purchase entry level products.
“We always expect Q4 to lay the table for some heavy promotional activity,” says Guy Hammett, Senior Market Analyst, Futuresource Consulting, “and the fourth quarter of 2022 leaned hard into the price cuts. We saw even more deals, designed to counteract the declining market and encourage expenditure. As a result, the overall wireless speaker market price fell 7% year-on-year. Yet soundbars saw a price rise, with a year-on-year increase of 7%, as consumers set their sights on higher spec, feature-laden options.
“Buyer activity in Q4 also created a diverging market for home audio. We saw a migration from the middle ground, with consumers purchasing either high-end premium products or lower-end cheaper products. People were more methodical with their budgets and polarising their purchases rather than just heading for the mid-market.”
Futuresource also notes that features such as 3D audio made a big year-on-year impact in Q4, achieving a 40% increase. With the technology showing such accelerated uptake, Futuresource predicts that it will soon pervade mass market products, where Dolby Atmos will become the standard.
Despite volume and value erosion year-on-year, Amazon and Google increased their market shares in volume terms from Q3, by 5.3% and 3.2% respectively. Away from the tech giants, JBL had a strong quarter increasing its Q4 2022 year-on-year brand share for party speakers, wireless speakers and soundbars at a rate of 92%, 11% and 28% respectively.
Chinese brands such as Alibaba, Baidu and Xiaomi, which predominantly operate within the smart speaker market, all saw a year-on-year volume and value decline in Q4. Baidu was hit the hardest, shedding 18% of its volume. In the soundbar market, Samsung achieved some strong volume gains, expanding its Q4 market share by 5.8% when compared to Q3 2022.
“When we zoom out and take a look at full-year 2022, we can see that rising inflation and the cost of living crisis really had an effect,” says Hammett. “Volume and value both declined year-on-year, by 5% and 2% respectively. At the product level, the soundbar market saw the least volume shrinkage, at 4% year-on-year, while the wireless speaker market offloaded the least value, declining by 2%.”
For more information on Futuresource Consulting’s home audio market tracking services, or to make a purchase, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Latest Consumer Electronics Insights