Television To Help Drive ’18 CE Revenue To $377B, Says CTA

While AI, voice recognition and fast connectivity are contributing to the upswing in electronics consumers are buying, television remains one of three screen-based technologies driving CE revenue, according to a newly released update to a Consumer Technology Association (CTA) sales and forecast report.

The other two screen-based CE revenue drivers are smartphones and laptop/notebook PCs, says the revision to CTA’s “U.S. Consumer Technology Sales and Forecasts” report. CTA now pegs consumer technology revenue for 2018 at $377 billion, a 6% increase over the previous year.

[Read: Next Gen TVs Record Greatest Gain In U.S. Household Ownership, Says CTA Study]

Digital displays, including televisions, registered a strong performance in 2017, which contributed to a slowing early this year, says the update. CTA now forecasts total digital display unit sales to drop 6% from last year, reaching only 40.4 million units.

Despite the decline, higher average wholesale prices will maintain 2018 projected revenue of $21 billion at about the 2017 level, CTA said.

Strong growth, however, is occurring in the 4K UHD TV category. For the year, 18.6 million units are expected to be sold, an 11% increase from 2017.

OLED unit sales are forecasted to climb to 772,000, a 45% increase, earning $1.4 billion in revenue in 2018. Next year, OLED display revenue is forecasted to increase 50%, propelling the category over the $2 billion mark. Next-generation screen technology is expected to be the driver of growth in the future, says CTA.

As for the other screen-based technologies, the updated forecast adjusted 2017 and 2018 revenue figures to $69 billion and $78 billion, respectively. Unit shipments this year are expected to growth 1% to 169.4 million.

When it comes to laptops, unit sales are forecasted to reach 50.1 million units in 2018 and earn $28.4 billion, according to the revision.

Revenue from subscriptions to music and video streaming services is forecasted to climb to $19.7 billion in 2018, 38% higher than the previous year. Streaming video services, such as Netflix, Hulu and Sling TV, are expected to generate $13.4 billion in revenue, according to the update.

“We are undergoing a huge shift in how people consume content,” said Rick Kowalski, senior manager of market research and business intelligence, CTA. “Video streaming services are offering an increasing amount of exclusive content, and live TV streaming options are becoming widely available this year — and that has more consumers exploring their over-the-top video options.”

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Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.