The FINANCIAL -- The German audio market is continuing to record significant growth in sales value. Wireless and, in most cases, Bluetooth-based solutions as well as equipment that allows users to connect with other devices are particularly popular. These are the findings of the GfK retail panel on the occasion of the High End 2018 trade fair in Munich.
The sales channels observed for the German audio market as part of the GfK retail panel (Point-of-Sale Measurement) have revealed that the revenue generated between March 2017 and February 2018 was higher than in the previous period. Sales totaled almost 1.7 billion euros, which corresponds to a growth rate of 5.2 percent. Headphones, docking and mini speakers, CD players, tuners, amplifiers, receivers, speakers and hi-fi equipment, including home cinema systems, compact systems and single components, were all taken into account.
Technical superstores and chains once again accounted for the lion's share of audio equipment sales. The proportion of online sales across all channels was at around 32.2 percent, which marks an increase of 1.7 percentage points compared to the period between March 2016 and February 2017.
Headphones and speakers enjoy continued growth
With revenue of 445.1 million euros, headphones have a pretty high share of sales across all the audio product groups tracked within the panel. While classic Bluetooth over-ear headphones are still very popular with consumers, headphones that are particularly suitable for use during sport are also in high demand. In fact, products of this kind made up almost ten percent of all headphone sales. True wireless devices are also well received by consumers due to their convenience. According to the GfK retail panel, a total of around 197,000 Bluetooth in-ear true wireless headphones were sold between March 2017 and February 2018.
In addition to headphones, the opportunity to use other products wirelessly is proving to be important to consumers. Wireless speakers also continue to experience positive growth in sales volume. Sales in this segment stood at around 315 million euros between March 2017 and February 2018, which represents an increase of roughly 15 percent compared to the same period in the previous year. An upturn in revenue and sales has also been observed for multiroom products, which are systems that allow users to listen to different music in different rooms.
GfK anticipates that the audio market will experience additional growth in 2018 and will benefit from further innovations and advancements. It remains interesting to observe how above all the new smart speakers with voice control will have an impact on the market this year.