Loudspeaker Industry Sourcebook

LIS 2014

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Page 31 of 139

2014 Loudspeaker Industry Sourcebook 30 INDUSTRY REPORTS T o provide useful insight about the speaker and audio industries in general, we have combined several market data sources, cross referencing that information with our own impressions from recent trade shows such as the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2014, the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Show 2014, and the Musikmesse and the Prolight+Sound 2014 shows in Frankfurt, Germany. The results may inspire industry confidence about future opportunities and the ability to leverage existing market trends. The global audio market is proving to be relatively recession-proof as it goes through an important transition following the digital mobile revolution and the growth in personal and wireless devices. These changes are affecting all industr y segments, from new consumer electronics to new market trends in professional audio. Basically, the traditional record industry's demise was followed by new opportunities in digital lifest yles and generalized grow th in a variety of live entertainment. This industry has shown strong signs of resiliency to market recession and global economic uncertainty and continued to grow in the last four years, despite some decline in traditional areas such as home audio separate components and Home Theater in a Box (HTiB) solutions. Even Blu-ray players and video games, which provided good sources of revenue for complementary audio systems, are now in decline. However, new feature-rich streaming and wireless devices for the home, the boom in the soundbar category and Bluetooth/AirPlay speakers and devices have largely compensated for those decreases. There are also promising signs the network revolution will finally bring growth to the residential market, mainly with the expansion of wireless distributed speaker systems and home theater systems. From home to mobile devices, the audio i n d u s t r y i s e x p a n d i n g i n t o n e w p r o d u c t segments while the continuous popularity of semi-professional equipment (e.g., DJ and home recording products) is producing an interesting marketing cycle that affects consumer categories (e.g., headphones/earphones) all the way up to a new generation of portable sound reinforcement solutions. At the same time, the consumer appetite for new audio technologies implies important changes in the distribution channel and e-commerce is projected to continue rising during the next five years. According to the industry research firm IBISWorld, in the US, a recession-induced dip in disposable income resulted in a drop in industry revenue despite recent grow th in the audio equipment retail market. Although new technology has made products more profitable, it has also increased the prevalence of online retailers. More Bang for the Buck By João Martins audioXpress Editor-in-Chief Auris, a Santa Clara, CA-based startup with a passion for wireless technology, began with a Bluetooth receiver introduced on Kickstarter in 2012. The receiver sold more than 11,000 units in 17 countries. In 2013, Auris launched skye, another Wi-Fi receiver for music docks, and reached its $65,000 Kickstarter funding goal on the first day. Auris is currently selling its new freeDa compact Bluetooth music receiver. (www.theauris.com)

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