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Subscription video streaming services, smart TVs, and 5G internet will be three key driving forces behind propelling U.S. consumer spend on tech products throughout 2020. 

That’s the takeaway from a Variety Intelligence Platform analysis on the latest edition of the semi-annual U.S. Consumer Sales and Forecasts Report prepared by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), producers of CES®

The report, most recently updated in July, acts as a benchmark for the consumer tech industry and helps media companies size market opportunities as well as formulate their product development plans.

Here are the key trends touched upon in VIP’s analysis of the report:

  • SVOD players have the chance to cash in big: Consumers in the U.S. will spend about $21.9 billion on SVOD services like Netflix and Hulu in 2020, up 24% from $17.7 billion in 2019, according to CTA. The growing spend on these services will be pushed forward over the next year by the launches of buzzy services like Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, and NBCU’s Peacock streaming product. 
  • Growing interest in SVOD will help drum up streaming hardware sales: CTA predicts there will be 20.7 million streaming media players sold in the U.S. in 2020, up 11% from 18.6 million in 2018. Some consumers may find it easiest to switch between using their SVOD and AVOD services on streaming boxes from companies like Roku, despite attempts to create single access devices from traditional set-top-box manufacturers like TiVo and Comcast. Sales of cable/satellite set-top-boxes and disc players (DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K UHD blu-ray) will respectively dip by 9% and 13% from 2018 to 2020.
  • Smart TVs will continue to flood the market: CTA predicts there will be 29 million smart TVs sold in 2020, generating $16 billion in revenue, up from 26.6 million and $18 billion in 2018. The growth in sales of these devices shows the wisdom in Roku and Amazon Fire making deals to embed in smart TVs from some manufacturers. Sales of smart TVs in 2020 will eclipse that of other types of higher tech TVs, though they aren’t the only model of TVs worth paying attention to. 4K ultra high-definition TVs will make up 50% of new TVs sold in 2020, the highest proportion of sales in their history.
  • The foundation for 5G internet will be further paved: Revenues from sales of home networking options, including Wi-Fi routers, broadband gateways, and 5G home gateways (home gateways with 5G wireless transceivers), will total $5.3 billion in 2020. Of this, 24% will be attributable to 5G devices. 5G is the latest generation of mobile broadband and promises internet speed up to 20x faster than its predecessor 4G. The emergence of 5G is also expected to pave the way for a better VR experience due to the reduction in loading times. CTA predicts 2020 will be the first time annual sales of VR/AR headsets in the U.S. will see double-digit growth in four years. 

Opportunities will be available for anyone willing to adapt to the new normal: U.S. consumer tech retail revenue will reach $415 billion in 2020, up 5.7% from 2018, according to CTA. Understanding the consumer trends within entertainment which point to money-making potential will become even more essential.

To read the full report: ces.tech/Articles/2019/8-Key-Consumer-Tech-Trends-for-Entertainment.