Despite the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, global sales of television sets have seen a significant up tick in demand, according to recent forecasts and sales tracking data services.

Texas-based market research firm DSCC recently issued its “Quarterly Advanced TV Shipment and Forecast Report” that forecasted revenue from so-called “advanced television” models will grow by 9% from 2019 through 2025 to $26 billion. Across all technologies and sizes, DSCC now expects advanced TV unit shipments to increase by 30% in 2020 compared to 2019.

Meanwhile, U.S.-based market analyst The NPD Group reported that U.S. TV set unit sell-through numbers at retail rose a whopping 86% to 1.1 million for the week of April 27th, beating out other tech categories, many of which are also enjoying a sales spike during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Sales exceeded 1.1m units, highest volume ever outside holiday, a 86% increase in units. Every size 32″ & above had double digit growth. 65″ & above TVs were up 139%. 32″ which declined by 15% over first 10 weeks of 2020 increased by 40% over last 5 weeks,” NPD VP and analyst Stephen Baker tweeted at the end of April.

Interestingly, Baker said U.S. consumers are also stepping up purchases of other tech products, like soundbars and even DVD and Blu-ray Disc players, presumbly to make sheltering-at-home a little more comfortable.

“People are also buying accessories like soundbars (up by 69%) and streaming players (42%). DVD and Blu-ray players were also up by 27%, showing that even physical media is getting a boost. That’s not surprising given that last week the NPD reported that nearly a third of U.S. households are without broadband access, which could limit their ability to stream video,” Baker reported.

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Meanwhile, DSCC, which defines advanced TV as premium TV models comprised of technologies including: OLED, quantum dot (QD) LCD, Dual Cell LCD and MiniLED with 4K and 8K resolution, found sales and revenue increases for advanced televisions during the first quarter of 2020 compared to Q1 2019. The firm said global TV market share leader Samsung actually increased its revenue share by one percentage point over the course of the year to 54% by expanding its QLED product line with more affordable models.

Similarly, LG, which held the No. 2 brand position in the first quarter of 2020, held a 24% revenue share, and Sony ranked third for the period with 8% revenue share.

Changes in market share position were also afoot in the world’s largest TV market — China. The DSCC report found big changes in TV competition over the first quarter of 2020 in the China market, where four companies registering double-digit market share positions.

According to the study, Korea-based Samsung’s share of advanced TVs in China increased to an all-time high in the first quarter with 42% unit and revenue share. Huawei tallied an 18% share in the category for the first quarter. Hisense, which introduced OLED TVs in China in 2019, saw its share decline slightly to 14% in the period. Meanwhile, LG, the world leader in OLED TV technology, couldn’t crack the 5% share level in China and China-based Skyworth that held a 24% share in its domestic market in the second quarter of 2018, watched its position tumble to only a 3% share in Q1 2020.

Although just a few weeks ago the COVID-19 fallout was feared to lead to a slowing of global TV sales growth in the second quarter of 2020 to 11% year over year, DSCC is now forecasting a growth spike over the second half of the year, with a 27% spike in global fourth quarter unit shipment growth from the year-earlier period.

As for OLED TVs, DSCC expects the category will hold its unit shipment market position while increasing revenue share. This is being helped by recently expanded OLED TV panel production capacity and the introduction of the new 48-inch screen that is starting a limited volume rollout in markets around the world. DSCC cited the expanded product mix for OLED models, and the increased production capacity of large-format OLED panels as new supporting factors.

Looking forward, DSCC forecast advanced TV shipments to grow at a 24% CAGR from fewer than 10 million units in 2019 to nearly 35 million in 2025 in the period. OLED TV units are expected to grow at a 31% CAGR from 2019-2025 to 14.7 million units, while advanced LCD TV units are expected to grow at a 21% CAGR to 20.8 million units.

DSCC expects the largest screen sizes to see the highest growth volumes with the over 75-inch screen size segment expected at 36% and the 75-inch-plus OLED segment enjoying an 87% CAGR. The 77-inch OLED segment was up 313% between 2018 and the first quarter of 2020, while the over 75-inch LCD TV segment was up 93% over the same period, DSCC showed.

According to the DSCC TV revenue forecasts, overall growth is expected with OLED TVs enjoying “all of the revenue growth” in the advanced TV segment through 2025. Advanced LCD TV revenues are expected to be the same in 2025 as 2019 as OLED TV revenues grow at a 19% CAGR from 2019-2025 to $16.2 billion.

Advanced LCD TV revenues of $10 billion in 2019, are predicted to peak at $11.1 billion in 2022-2023 before dropping back to $10 billion by 2025, the DSCC reported. Even larger size LCD TVs are not expected to have revenue growth as Samsung shifts its emphasis from its QLED LCD products to QD OLED.

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By Greg Tarr

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