Pandemic Effect on Consumer Finances Expected to Crimp Audio & Video Equipment Demand


Cleveland, OH, September 23, 2020 — Audio and video equipment demand in the US is expected to decline 1.8% annually in nominal terms through 2024, according to Audio & Video Equipment: United States, a report recently released by Freedonia Focus Reports. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to drag heavily on demand as consumers face tighter finances in the wake of mass unemployment. Furthermore, retailers will be impacted by the pandemic as they struggle to determine proper inventory balances for events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Traditionally, retailers stock up on inventory, such as televisions, beginning as early as August. However, with the uncertainty surrounding store closures, reopenings, and surges in the coronavirus, it remains to be seen how many consumers will be willing to shop in physical stores this season. Additionally, many stores cut back holiday hours, and consumers may have already spent unemployment benefits and economic stimulus money.

Going forward, suppliers will benefit from rising disposable incomes levels, which will support increased expenditures on discretionary goods like audio and video equipment. The introduction of new products with additional features – such as internet-connected smart capabilities – will also contribute to demand growth. The availability of more advanced audio and video equipment at lower prices will spur demand in unit terms, although reduced prices will also act as a constraint on demand in terms of value. Ongoing competition from multi-functional devices – such as smartphones, tablets, and smart home systems – will further dampen demand growth over the forecast period. Demand for audio and video equipment is also influenced by an array of external factors, such as general macroeconomic conditions and population growth. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will not be negative in every subsegment, with work from home practices supporting demand for products such as cameras, headphones, and microphones.

These and other key insights are featured in Audio & Video Equipment: United States. This report forecasts to 2020 and 2024 US audio and video equipment demand and shipments in nominal US dollars at the manufacturer level. Total demand is segmented by product in terms of:

  • televisions
  • headphones, microphones, and speakers
  • automotive audio equipment
  • other products such as DVD players, digital video recorders, and digital music players

To illustrate historical trends, total demand, total shipments, the various demand segments, and trade are provided in annual series from 2009 to 2019.

For the purposes of this report, speakers utilized in automotive applications are included in the speakers segment, while DVD players and other video equipment for use in automotive applications are included in the Other Products segment. This report excludes television and radio transmission equipment, video and sound recordings, broadcast and movie production cameras, and still photography cameras. In addition, cable boxes, digital streaming devices, set-top boxes, smart home systems, smartphones, tablets, video game consoles, and other multi-function devices that provide audio-visual capabilities are excluded.

Re-exports of audio and video equipment are excluded from demand and trade figures. Re-exports are calculated on an annual basis as total exports minus domestic exports.

More information about the report is available at: