U.S. sales of 4K UHD TVs, players and discs was strong in 2016, the first year they were available in retail shops, helping propel annual consumer home entertainment equipment spending 2 percent higher year-over-year (YoY) to more than $18 billion, according to a new 4K UHD sales forecast. Digital Entertainment Group’s (DEG) latest annual market report, which also draws on research from Consumer Technology Association (CTA). DEG also saw a return to growth in VoD revenues, which were up 6% to total $2.1 billion in 2016.
HDTV is now present in more than 112 million U.S. households, DEG highlighted. 4K UHD TVs are present in 16 million, while the number of household Blu-ray players (including set-top boxes and game consoles) totaled 88 million.
Some 10 million 4K UHD TVs – valued at nearly $10 billion – were sold in 2016. DEG expects sales to rise to 30 million units by the end of 2017. In addition, some 300,000 UHD Blu-ray players worth $66 million were shipped in 2016.
Turning to content, 4K UHD discs sold faster in their first year than HD-Discs did when they were introduced, DEG notes. The number of 4K UHD titles on offer increased to 110. DEG projects that 250 will be available by the end of this year.
VOD revenues rebounded in 2016, rising 6 percent as compared to 2015 to total $2.1 billion. Market revenue dropped 3 percent year over year (YoY) in 2015. Drilling down further, subscription VOD revenue jumped 26 percent quarterly and about 22 percent YoY.
4K UHD TV prices are dropping while supply is rising and manufacturers introduce sets with new functions and features, such as High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Wide Color Gamut (WCG), which led CTA to predict in November that 4.5 million 4K UHD TV sets would be shipped in the 2016 holiday shopping season, 45 percent of the forecast annual total of 10 million, which turned out to be right on target with DEG’s latest market data.
Looking ahead a bit farther, survey results released by SNL Kagan in August revealed that market participants anticipate most viewers and operators will have adopted 4K UHD TV by 2020. Furthermore, over 6 in 10 Pay-TV and OTT video service and 7 in 10 content providers believe viewers will be willing to pay 10-30 percent more for subscriptions that deliver 4K UHD content.