Tuesday, April 11, 2017

23% of U.S. broadband households own wireless earbuds, and 16% own wireless headphones

Research firm notes Apple’s departure from audio jacks will spur wireless headset purchases

Parks Associates announced consumer research today showing that near the end of 2016, 23% of U.S. broadband households owned wireless earbuds and 16% owned wireless headphones. 360 View Update: Streaming Audio Devices notes that adoption of wireless audio devices showed no substantial growth from 2015-2016, but given Apple’s decision to forgo the audio jack on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, the market will see the first significant increase in adoption for these devices in 2017.

“The audio device market is difficult to crack, but the market for wireless headphones and earbuds is likely to change substantially this year,” said Glenn Hower, Senior Analyst, Parks Associates. “iPhone 7 and 7 Plus owners must either use a wireless set or attach an adapter to use their wired headsets. The increased friction in using wired headsets will spur a significant number of wireless headset purchases.”

Monthly Expenditure on Online Music Services | Parks Associates

This shift in hardware ownership will not alter current spending on online music services. Parks Associates shows that while general device peripherals like earbuds and headphones experience the highest adoption, specialized audio device owners spend more money on equipment and services but compose a much smaller segment of the overall market. Those who own multiroom music systems are a small percentage of audio consumers, but they spend more than double the average amount spent by all U.S. broadband households.

“The shift to low or no-cost streaming music services has made the music and audio industry accessible to more consumers, but it has led to stagnation in overall revenues in the music industry,” Hower said. “Over 70% of U.S. broadband households stream music on a connected device, but only 29% of households pay any amount per month for online music. The disproportionately high spend by audiophiles boosts the average amount spent per month among all U.S. broadband households to $4.”

360 View Update: Streaming Audio Devices analyzes trends in streaming audio device ownership and future purchase intention. The research assesses audio consumption in terms of weekly hours of use on mobile devices and in-home entertainment devices. It contains an in-depth examination of consumer expenditure on online music services and downloads with relation to connected audio device usage. The research also provides demographic analysis of online music users and those who rate music and audio consumption as their leading leisure activity.

Parks Associates will host the 21st-annual CONNECTIONS: The Premier Connected Home Conference, May 23-25, in San Francisco. The conference, which includes more than 700 high-level executives in attendance, features keynotes from Comcast, Cox Communications, Intel, and Vivint Smart Home.

For more information on this research, visit www.parksassociates.com. To schedule an interview with an analyst or to request specific data, contact Holly Sprague at hsprague@gmail.com, 720.987.6614.

About Parks Associates: Parks Associates, a woman-founded and certified business, is an internationally recognized market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services. Founded in 1986, Parks Associates provides business intelligence and research services through its proprietary methodologies developed over decades, including quarterly surveys of 10,000 internet households.

The company's expertise crosses many industries: home security and smart home, streaming video, broadband and pay-TV services, digital media and platforms, gaming, Wi-Fi and home networks, connected health, support, consumer electronics, home control systems, energy management, and tech solutions for the multi-dwelling (MDU), small-to-medium business (SMB), and commercial building markets.

Each year, Parks Associates brings thousands of leaders together for its webinars and annual events. The firm hosts the annual executive research and strategy conferences CONNECTIONS™, Connected Health Summit, Smart Energy Summit, Smart Spaces, and Future of Video. https://www.parksassociates.com

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