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CEA: Online Consumers to Spend $10 Million on Home Audio

Consumer Electronics Association research finds demos are key to audio sales.

Arlington, VA–Online consumers are planning to spend $10 billion on home audio products in the coming year, according to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). The figure, which includes speakers, receivers, media servers and other home audio products, is a result of CEA’s 2007 Audio Purchasing Study, which was designed to evaluate online consumers’ approach in purchasing home audio products including Home-Theater-in-a-Box (HTIB) systems, component A/V receivers and speakers.

Additional results indicate that consumers were more likely to buy from a store that provided a product demonstration. In fact, survey respondents reported that the demonstration was so influential that it led them to spend more money or purchase more products than they had originally anticipated.

“The data clearly shows that retailers who offer demonstrations have a greater chance of capturing the sale,” said Steve Koenig, CEA’s senior manager of industry analysis. “Home audio products sell best when they are heard–just as TVs sell best when they display compelling content.”

Audio sales have been challenged in recent years despite a rising tide of sales for other consumer electronics segments, including flat-panel HDTV displays. However, the results of this study suggest that consumer interest in home theater and an overall trend toward greater realism may be catalysts that help buoy sales of home audio products in the coming years.

The 2007 Audio Purchasing Study (March, 2007) was conducted between November 27 and December 5, 2006. It was designed and formulated by CEA Market Research. The study is available free to CEA member companies.