The global TV market was expected to achieve 1.2% growth in 2020, ending the year with shipments in excess of 233 million. Trade value has also fared relatively well, declining by just 1% to $83.7 billion.
“Despite the challenges and the disruption that 2020 delivered, disposable income has remained high in most Western markets,” says Juan Villegas Leyba, Research Analyst at Futuresource Consulting.
“In a year defined by lockdowns and social distancing measures, we’ve seen consumers divert their disposable income away from outdoor activities and travel to focus instead on the home environment. With the continued rise of streaming services and a raft of high-profile service launches, people have turned to TV sets for information and entertainment. In line with this shift, consumers have been prepared to spend money accordingly.”
Looking to the regions, North America has outperformed all others, with an overall unit growth of 15% last year (2020). Consumers in Western Europe have also responded by investing in TVs, both upgrading existing sets and buying additional smaller screens to satisfy competing demands for screen time in family households. Financial support from governments in both regions has helped to cushion any immediate economic impact and has paved the way for spending on home-based activities. Eastern Europe is also witnessing dramatic growth, driven predominantly by Russia. META has also experienced growth in 2020, with consumers particularly in Gulf states switching their spend to home entertainment.
Beyond these territories, the outcome is less positive. While consumers in Japan and Australia have responded to the crisis by spending more on home entertainment, the wider picture in the Asia Pacific region is one of decline, with India set to face the deepest decline of all. Latin America was facing political and economic instability before COVID-19 took hold, adding to the region’s challenges.
4K, Smart TV and OLED technologies are all growing their share of the TV market. “Smart TV is leading the way in shipment terms,” says Leyba. “Nearly three in every four sets sold this year will be smart, with the global installed base breaking the billion-unit barrier for the first time. 4K is another big hitter. It’s been central to larger screen adoption, accounting for nearly two-thirds of units in 2020 and growing to 76% by 2024. OLED is also making inroads, though its growth rate has slowed, due to consumers opting for premium LCD panels.”
As vaccination programmes get underway, the pandemic should have less of a global impact in 2021. However, the economic consequences will continue to play out for some time, and consumers will be either unwilling or unable to return to the pre-2020 levels of out-of-home activities. During such times, consumers appreciate that home entertainment is good value so Futuresource expects TV will remain a high priority, forecasting a global CAGR of 0.5% growth in TV shipments out to 2024.
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