4K Is Becoming the Standard for Today’s TVs

4K Is Becoming the Standard for Today’s TVs

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In the first half of 2019, GfK recorded total revenue of €44 billion for the global market for televisions. That is about 8 percent less than in the same period last year, partly attributable to sales related to the 2018 FIFA World Cup held in Russia.

Global sales of a total of around 210 million devices are expected for 2019, a two percent decrease compared to 2018. In the first half year 2019, premium features in TV like 4K resolution and OLED technology sets increased their sales share. Simultaneously, the TV sound ecosystem has thrived.

Looking at the first half of 2019 on a regional level, China with total sales of close to €8.5 billion is the largest market, closely followed by Western Europe. Turnover with TV sets increased in the CIS countries (+8 percent) as well as in the regions Middle East & Africa and Developed Asia (+1 percent). Turnover in the remaining regions decreased at a varying degree: China, the former global growth engine, stood out with a decline of 12 percent.

With consumers increasingly inclined towards experiences rather than products, TV sets with high-performance features increased their sales share. GfK data shows a year-on-year increase of 11 percent in TVs with 4K resolution. This year, GfK expects more than 100 million 4K TVs to be sold. The OLED display technology also enjoyed increasing market penetration in the first half year of 2019, with up to an 11 percent turnover share in Europe and robust growth rates around the globe.

In 2019, upscale TV technologies continued to trickle down into the lower price tiers, making for instance smart 4K TVs more affordable for mass market consumers and increasing competitive pressure. While in 2016 around 30 brands were selling TVs with 4K resolution, more than 70 brands have these devices on offer today. As a result, 4K is becoming the standard for today’s TVs. 8K went on sale in autumn 2018. At the moment, its average price of around €5,800 and the back-log of available content make it a true niche product.

Although data suggests that people are in general very happy with the image quality of their newly purchased TV, sound quality scores below-average on the sentiment score. This creates an opportunity for external speaker systems, notably soundbars, which promise a cinema-like sound experience in ever more versatile forms. As a result, the turnover of soundbars has been increasing year-on-year, it rose by a further 7 percent.

In the first half of 2019, almost every fourth TV was sold online, up from around 21 percent in the previous year. In China, the ratio between online and offline sales in the first half of 2019 was at almost 50/50. A major reason for consumers’ purchasing online is their assumption in the price advantage. This perception drives the success of shopping events, such as Black Friday, which started as an almost online-only show but which is transitioning into the offline world.

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