ARLINGTON, Va.—Despite the ongoing pandemic, the Consumer Technology Association predicted this week at CES 2022 that the U.S. consumer technology industry is projected to generate a record $505 billion in revenue in 2022, a 2.8% bounce over 2021, which was up 9.6% from 2020.
CTA's twice-yearly U.S. Consumer Technology One-Year Industry Forecast reflects U.S. manufacturer shipments for more than 100 consumer tech products and related software and services. It includes areas such as software and streaming subscriptions not covered by The NDP Group’s much lower estimates for U.S. consumer tech sales also issued this week.
“The consumer technology industry has shown impressive resilience in the face of supply chain challenges that are affecting almost every sector of the economy,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “The pandemic gave people more time to explore new tech that made their lives healthier, safer and more convenient. We anticipate another year of growth for our industry based on the enormous demand we see from consumers for tech products and services.”
One particularly bright spot is digital and streaming media. The CTA noted that U.S. households will continue to purchase more content through online delivery platforms, with total spending on streaming services and software is expected to reach $130 billion in 2022, up 6% over 2021.
More specifically, an ever-expanding universe of video streaming services, each with their own exclusive TV shows and movies, will boost spending on video streaming services to $47 billion in 2022, up 7% over 2021, the CTA said.
Audio streaming services that offer music, audio books and podcasts will see consumers spend $12.9 billion in 2022, up 15% over last year.
Consumer spending on gaming software, including downloads, game streaming services and in-game purchases, will rise 5% to $53.6 billion this year.
The CTA also predicted that the video game industry is poised to have yet another year of revenue growth. Shipment revenues for home gaming consoles rose dramatically from nearly $4.4 billion in 2020 to nearly $6.1 billion in 2021, an impressive 40% growth year-over-year driven largely by demand for next-generation consoles and more time spent at home amid the pandemic. CTA projects relatively modest gains in 2022, with home gaming consoles reaching nearly $6.5 billion, a 6% increase from 2021.
Growing interest in the metaverse will contribute to a spike in demand for virtual reality eyewear, with shipment revenues rising from $774 million to nearly $1.3 billion, a 66% increase.
The CTA is predicting that smartphone shipments will hit 154.1 million units ($74.7 billion in shipment revenues) in 2022, marking 3% growth from 2021 (149.6 million).
The growth is driven by the increasing availability of 5G, as 5G handsets will make up 73% of smartphone shipments ($61.37 billion in revenues) in the coming year, the CTA said. The introduction of foldable phones also represents a new option for consumers that will help drive demand.
The CTA is predicting that automotive technology sales will rebound in 2022 as the economy begins to see early signs of recovery in chip supplies. Factory-installed automotive tech is projected to reach $16 billion in shipment revenues this year, an impressive 7% increase from 2021 ($14.9 billion). Demand for automotive tech is increasing as auto manufacturers produce more and continue to develop advanced driver assistance systems that make vehicles more efficient and safer, the CTA said.
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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.
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