Ups And Downs In U.S. TV Sales Start To Stabilize As Q2 Progresses
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to complicate the business of television selling, we thought it was high time to take the industry’s temperature again.
According to U.S. market research firm The NPD Group, the impact of COVID-19 on U.S. television sales has taken some hard to predict twists and turns reinforced by consumers stepping up their dependence on television-based entertainment at home.
Even as many stores were closed to onsite shopping, NPD’s sell-through data for U.S. TV unit sales were actually up 38% through the first 9 weeks of the second quarter while revenue was up 31%, according to Stephen Baker, NPD industry analysis VP.
“While the first part of the quarter was characterized by difficult overall average selling prices (ASPs) due to mix and product shifts, we have seen the industry ASP improve back towards more normal levels over the last 3-4 weeks.”
Baker said ASPs for television sets with “65-inch and larger screen sizes especially were depressed in April as closed retail locations made it harder to up sell higher price points and larger screens and most of the activity was at lower price points.”
That said unit volume for 65-inch TVs and above in the second quarter is up 80% to date, according to Baker.
As for the biggest surprises so far — “an enormous increase in sales of models with 32-inch screen sizes, which are up 45% in unit growth and 50% in revenue growth,” he told HD Guru.
The ASP for this smaller size display has held at a stable $125.
Meanwhile, bandwidth limitations resulting from a huge uptick in streamed video watching in the early part of the year sparked a temporary renewed interest in Blu-ray and Ultra HD Blu-ray players, Baker revealed several weeks ago. People seemed to re-appreciate the benefits of physical media for uninterrupted high quality audio and video performance without buffering as they sheltered at home.
However, Baker said Monday that over time, the interest began to drop back to expected levels of purchase and use.
“Disc players have had individual weeks where volumes have been positive and the overall quarterly trend is certainly much better than the double digit negatives we had been seeing prior to this,” he said. “However we certainly would not characterize it as a comeback. Much more likely is that customers have been replacing older players with something new to provide temporary relief to in-home streaming issues or to add media access to new (or older) TVs that have been pressed into service.”
Baker said most of disc player increases occurred in April, during the height of the quarantine “and those numbers have mostly declined back to be closer to more anticipated levels.”
At the same time, “steaming media boxes and sticks are up over 50% in units to date in Q2 while Blu-ray is flat and DVD players are down 5%,” Baker said.
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By Greg Tarr
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