CTA: Record-Breaking 199M Americans Plan Tech Purchases During Holidays

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ARLINGTON, Va.—The Consumer Technology Association's (CTA) annual survey of tech related purchases during the holidays finds that content will be big this year, with streaming services and video game tech are among the top tech gifts people plan to give this season. 

Portable audio products, smartphones and health and wellness tech are among this year’s most sought-after tech. 

“The rising popularity of video streaming services as a holiday gift shows how diverse the tech we share has become in recent years,” said Lesley Rohrbaugh, director of research at CTA. “Common gifts like watches, toys and vehicle accessories are increasingly tech-centric. As technology becomes more present in our daily lives, the list of tech gifts consumers give will continue to grow.” 

(Image credit: CTA)

The new CTA research noted that video streaming services like Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix have created a competitive market for easy-to-access video content and that more than 200 music, video and gaming streaming services are available to users. About 192 million U.S. adults (75%) plan to purchase at least one content-related product this holiday season.  

Interactive and immersive gaming experiences are driving a spike in the U.S. gaming market.  Staples like Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Sony’s PlayStation 5, plus immersive AR/VR gaming realms like the HTC VIVE Pro and Meta’s Quest Pro, are increasingly popular.  

Nearly half of all U.S. adults surveyed (47%, up from 41% in 2021) plan to gift video streaming services. More than a third plan to gift gaming streaming services (37%). 

Overall, a record-breaking 78% (nearly 199 million) of U.S. adult shoppers will purchase tech products and services as gifts this holiday season. The number of U.S. adults purchasing tech as a holiday gift rose by three percentage points from 2021. These include: 

  • 61 million gifting headphones/ear buds: Headphones and ear buds ranked first on the list of most sought-after holiday gifts for U.S. adult shoppers. 
  • 59 million gifting streaming/downloading services: Streaming services deliver increasingly diverse content and holiday shoppers have a wider choice of subscriptions than ever.  
  • 54 million gifting mobile device cases: Growth in the protective casing industry is driven by the popularity and affordability of mobile devices. 
  • 50 million gifting smartphones: Smartphone makers keep innovating and advancing, giving early adopters a reason to seek out the latest updates and new functions.  
  • 46 million gifting video game consoles: Video game consoles jumped from the seventh most popular tech gift in 2021 to the fifth most popular this holiday season.  
  • The pandemic drove awareness of health and wellness products for the home, and sales of products like Apple Watch, Fitbit and Oura Ring show the rising popularity of smart, wearable tech for health-conscious gift givers. About 122 million (44%) of holiday shoppers plan to gift a health and wellness tech product this year.   
George Winslow

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.