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Global Home Audio Market on Track for Long-term Growth Despite Unsettled Year

The global home audio market experienced a turbulent time last year, with a strong first half giving way to global supply side issues that slowed growth in Q3 and Q4. However, a new report from Futuresource Consulting points to 13% year-on-year value growth in 2021, with further expansion expected out to 2025.

Unexpected Supply Side Issues Disrupt the Market

“The market was hit with a wave of volatility midway through 2021,” says Chris Bull, Research Analyst, Futuresource Consulting. “Despite industry concerns about the impact COVID-19 would have on demand, the challenges stemmed from global supply side issues instead. Staff absences and labour shortages proved to be the problem, not the consumer hesitancy and cost cutting that many had feared.

“This applied upward pressure to prices, reduced the consistency of promotional activity, and also led brands to streamline their product ranges, prioritising flagship products and postponing new releases.”

Soundbars Showing Strength

Soundbars were the standout home audio product for 2021, achieving growth of 10% year-on-year, driven by changes in home media consumption. Futuresource expects the category to continue to perform well, due to a combination of direct-to-streaming movie releases and consumer spend shifting to physical goods from services. These factors will sustain soundbar demand well into 2022, with market value expected surge ahead of volumes at 15%.

Smart Speakers Still Lead

After rapid growth ever since their introduction, smart speakers have now started to saturate in volume terms in America and China. The market was stable with low growth in 2021, but maintained its position as the largest single product subcategory within the home audio market. It did concede a small amount of share to Bluetooth speakers, yet Futuresource expects smart speakers to still account for more than 60% of all wireless speaker sales by 2025.

A Positive Future for Home Audio

“Over the course of 2022, we’re going to see a show of strength from the global home audio market, with 13% value growth and 9% for volume,” says Bull. “Out to 2025, we expect the market to continue to perform positively. Volume will have a slight edge over value, achieving CAGRs of 6% and 5% respectively, though this is dependent on sustained investment to resolve supply chain issues and reduce ASPs.”

For further information or to purchase the home audio market report from Futuresource Consulting, please contact

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Chris Bull

About the author

Chris Bull

Chris is the lead project manager for the Home Audio Quarterly and Market Forecast reports. His reports look at the latest technology developments across Wireless Speakers and Soundbars, and include wider investigations into contextual issues such as Supply Chain analysis and regional variance. He has previously worked on Futuresource’s K-12 mobile PC market services and held panel discussions on esports and computer chip production.

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