About Futuresource Consulting

Futuresource Consulting, the specialist research and consulting company, is delighted to be the official knowledge partner for CEATEC. The company can trace its roots back to the 1980s and provides market insights into consumer electronics, digital imaging, entertainment media, broadcast, optical manufacturing, storage media, professional IT and education technology.
With more than 70 full-time employees providing in-depth analysis and forecasts across consumer and professional electronics categories, Futuresource is able to advise on market, competitive and technological developments, providing clients with access to the information that helps produce the best possible results.


From physical to digital: networking to revolutionise home audio market

By 2014, 60% of all home audio shipments across the USA, Western Europe and Japan will feature networking connectivity, according to Futuresource Consulting, rising from forecasts of 10% in 2012 as networking takes over as the major growth area.

As more consumers embrace the online revolution, packaged music sales are slowing, though revenues of $14 billion are expected for 2011 once final figures are in, more than doubling online sales of $6 billion. Through to 2015, forecasts show that online growth cannot offset the decline in packaged media.

Looking to the hardware, speaker docks dominate home audio shipments with expectations for this segment to account for almost 60% of the market in 2011. However, as iPod sales reach maturity, demand for dedicated speaker docks will also follow a similar path.

Conversely, iPhone and iPad sales are still on the rise and fuelling a demand for speakers with networking capabilities. Subscription services and internet radio are also driving more interest in networking, and with the inclusion of Wi-Fi enabled devices, consumers can stream music directly through installed apps rather than relying on embedded technology.

Widespread interest in networking connectivity has also been triggered by Apple's Airplay which transmits content from iTunes to audio devices via a wireless connection. Competitor brands have recognised the need to eliminate physical docking and consequently adopted the networking revolution fuelling a growth in networked devices throughout their product portfolio. Additional technologies including Bluetooth will also play an increasing role, especially for Android device owners. This in turn is giving more consumers the ability to stream content directly from the internet through multiple connected devices, with growth in multi-room audio expected as a result.