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Futuresource: global TV shipments return to growth in 2018

The TV market experienced a return to growth in 2018 with global shipments up by an estimated 3% year-on-year, following a decline in shipments in 2017, according to Futuresource Consulting.

The research firm said that 4K continues to attract consumer spend, driven in part by easier access to 4K content as streaming services gain a foothold in this market.

4K UHD TV shipments increased by an estimated 32% in 2018 and smart TV shipments were up by approximately 9%.

While 8K is still in its early stages, Futuresource said it expects some 300,000 8K TVs to be shipped in 2019, with this segment account for a “significant share” of the premium market by 2022.

Voice control was also identified as a “key battleground” for TV brands in the future, with a push expected for voice assistant integration into TVs – despite just 2% of TVs shipped in the first half of 2018 offering Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa.

In terms of global brand leaders, Samsung, LG and TCL took an estimated market share of nearly 40% in 2018. Futuresource said Samsung has been focusing on the premium segment after losing some ground at the value end of the market; that demand for OLED has kept the LG brand buoyant; and that TCL has been successful in expanding its footprint beyond China.

“The market is being lifted by developing economies, as European and US markets continue to deliver a lacklustre performance,” said Matthew Rubin, senior market analyst at Futuresource Consulting.

“China is in positive territory thanks to a growing middle class, whereas many in India are finally saying goodbye to their old CRT TV sets. In Russia, the market has benefited significantly from hosting the FIFA World Cup, resulting in an estimated 14% shipment growth in 2018. Meanwhile, over in Brazil, TV set demand from the previous year’s analogue switch-off spilled over into 2018.”

“In developed countries, the desire for bigger screens and premium features in the living room is being satisfied to the detriment of other rooms. In many cases, households are opting to upgrade their main set at the expense of secondary TVs, resulting in some market stagnation.”

“However, for the very first time in North America, more than one million 70-inch-plus screens are estimated to have been shipped last year, underlining the importance of super-large screens. OLED is also beginning to make its presence felt and will power through the million European shipments mark in 2019.”