World Cup boosted sales of big-screen TVs, average prices fell

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the World Cup had a major impact: sales of large TVs got a big boost in May and June, with a third of sets sold in June being 37in or larger.

In the three months to end-June 2010, sales of LCD TVs were up 11.6%, plasmas up 14.9% and Blu-ray players up 26.5%, compared to the corresponding period in 2009.

To put this growth into some kind of perspective, a total of four million TV sets were sold in the UK in 1990, the figure rising to a massive 10 million sets in 2008. We're a nation of telly lovers, it seems. In the year to June 2010, flatscreen TV sales reached 10,091,000.

Steady growth in 3D TV
The fledgling 3D TV market racked up sales of 8000 units in May/June. The exact figures were 3784 3D TVs sold in May and 4272 in June. During the same months, sales of 3D Blu-ray players were 1906 and 2798 respectively.

While sales of flatscreen TVs have risen, prices have fallen. The average price of a 40-42in flatscreen dropped from £712 in June 2009 to £572 in June 2010, while average 32in prices fell from £430 to £380 and 50-60in screens dropped from £1156 to £943.

Other features now coming to the fore include LED backlighting, which accounts for around 40% of the 42-46in TV sector (by value), and web connectivity which is now included on more than 50% (by value) of the 42-46in TVs sold in the second quarter of this year.

Sales of Blu-ray players reached £110m in the year to June 2010, with the average price of a BD player dropping to £158 (and as low as £135 in June 2010).

Music streaming on the rise
As for audio, the increasing popularity of music streaming saw the market for music servers and clients grow to a value of £22m for the year.

One of the big growth areas was multichannel amplifiers/receivers, with 103,000 units sold at a value of nearly £50m. The average price was £461.

Sales of iPod/MP3 docking stations rose to 2.9 million units for the year, but the biggest growth spurt came from in-ear headphones, with sales of nearly six million units in the year to June.

More traditional hi-fi separates fared less well. Sales of CD players were down 18% by volume, and stereo amps fell 17%, but average prices rose to £385 and £337 respectively.

Interestingly, £1000+ hi-fi separates (CD players and amps) gained market share at the expense of midrange £500-£1000 models.

For more market stats, see our special GfK blog, now updated

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