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Worldwide Headphones Market Worth $11.2 Billion as Prices Accelerated by 11% in 2015
Headphone Market Analysis and Commentary
03 May 2016 - New research from Futuresource Consulting reveals that the worldwide headphones market enjoyed another year of robust volume and price growth in 2015. Shipments grew 7% to reach 331.3 million units, while retail value surged by an impressive 19% to $11.2 billion. The average price paid for a pair of headphones rose by 11% in 2015, to $34.
"The rise in the average price of headphones is due mainly to the increased consumer appetite for additional features," commented Zlata Jelisejeva, Research Analyst at Futuresource Consulting. "For example, more people are using headphones during sports and fitness activities and they are now buying models which are designed with this purpose in mind. This trend is most evident in North America and Western Europe. However, headphones with health tracking features have not yet caught on, with consumers preferring alternative dedicated wearable devices."
Wireless headphones are also a major growth area, with volumes doubling in 2015 to comprise 14% of the overall market. Other features, such as in-line microphones are becoming standard, whilst noise cancelling is witnessing a revival in 2015 owing to the feature's inclusion in premium wireless headphones.
As a result of these additional features, sales of headphones in the $25-$49 category grew by 55%. Sales in the sub-$25 category meanwhile actually fell by 1%.
Brand leaders like Sony, Beats, JVC and Apple all enjoyed a strong 2015. However, competition remains diverse across the price spectrum with Beats and Bose being particularly strong at the premium end, accounting for 40% of overall market revenues.
The research shows that demand in the leading markets of North America and Western Europe will slow due to saturation, whilst developing markets of Africa and Asia with a huge base of smartphone owners will fuel growth during the forecast period to 2020.
While Apple Watch uptake continues to fall short of early forecasts, Apple already ranks among the largest watchmakers in the world in revenue terms, behind giants Swatch and Rolex, and ahead of Fossil, Citizen, Casio, Richemont, LVMH and other well-known heavyweights in watch making. This serves as a stark reminder of Apple's global reach and pull and how smartphones have redefined market success, in terms of scale and rate of adoption.
These global insights are in the latest quarterly results from Futuresource Consulting's global wearables report, which focuses on the total market size, sales, forecasts, product type and technologies. Its detailed tracking of the wearables landscape provides a snapshot of the current market status, analysis of the latest trends as well providing longer term forecasts.
Futuresource Consulting is a specialist research and knowledge-based consulting company, providing organisations with insight into consumer electronics, digital imaging, entertainment media, broadcast, storage media, education technology and IT. With a heritage stretching back to the 1980s, the company delivers in-depth analysis and forecasts on a global scale, advising on strategic positioning, market trends, competitive forces and technological developments. www.futuresource-consulting.com
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