GfK: High-end TVs lifting the market

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In the first half of 2018, GfK recorded total sales of €45 billion for the global market for TVs). That is about one per cent more than in the same period last year, spurred by this year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Global sales of a total of 238 million devices are expected for 2018, which means a two per cent increase compared to 2017. Furthermore, the main trends contributing to this growth are high-end devices with high average prices, smart and connected TVs, and the recovery of emerging markets.

On a regional level, LatAm fueled the global growth heavily. Those countries contributed in the first half of 2018 with a sales value growth of 25 per cent towards the global turnover increase in the TV market. The region accounted for 11 per cent of the global TV sales and recovered successfully from substantial losses in recent years. The regions Europe and APAC developed in a corridor between minus five per cent to plus four per cent.

In the first half year 2018, 50+ inch TVs accounted for half of the total sales value globally. These TV sets can achieve prices of up to more than €4,000. Markus Kick, GfK expert for Consumer Electronics comments: “These premium devices feature contrast enhancing HDR or OLED, the winning display technology in the premium price tier, with a sales value increase of more than 100 per cent. Western Europe mainly drove the trend towards OLEDs, but almost all regions show three-digit growth rates. Further manufacturers are expected to join the game in the second half of 2018, adding some more dynamic in that market. In terms of the display resolution, 4K is still on the rise and the first 8K models are expected to be showcased at this year’s IFA already.”

The downside of this trend is that UHD resolution and larger screens are affecting the annual power consumption of the TVs negatively. In Europe, in the first six months of 2018, only 33 per cent of all TVs sold obtained the energy efficiency class A+, showing a negative trend. A++ sales are still insignificant.

With the enormous success of movie streaming platforms, and younger customers losing interest in linear TV programs, smart TVs are almost the standard today. From January to June 2018, these devices obtained a sales value share of 85 per cent, up from 79 per cent in 2017. On a regional level, LATAM saw 93 per cent of the sales value from January to June 2018 coming from smart TVs. Only the Middle East and Africa region is lagging behind with around 66 per cent value share for smart TVs.

The next step is voice-controlled TVs with more and more manufacturers coming on board and thereby increasing the reach of the digital home assistants. For now, not all voice assistants are integrated in the TV and rely on an external smart device to be voice-controlled indirectly. Time will tell whether this solution will prevail or whether it is just a bridging technology.

In total, 18 per cent of the global TV sales value came from online sales in the first six months of 2018, up from 15 per cent in the same time frame in 2017. Western Europe and emerging Asian countries contributed with 17 and 22 per cent online share respectively. This increase is also reflected in the peak times throughout the year: 2015 was the last year to show a real Christmas effect, and from 2016 on the demand peak changed to November as a result of online retail sales initiatives like Black Friday. This development becomes more obvious in countries with large online retailers and their agenda of shopping festivals through the year. However, a football tournament – like this year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia – shifts sales peaks even more dramatically, in this case towards May and June.


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