US TV market “shrank 9%” in 2013

The U.S. television market fell a steep 9 percent in 2013 despite the usual last-minute rally during the holiday season in the fourth quarter, which failed to compensate for low demand among Americans throughout the year, according to a new report from IHS Technology. 

U.S. TV shipments in 2013 declined to 34.0 million units, down sharply from 37.5 million in 2012. The country’s television market as of last year consisted entirely of liquid-crystal display (LCD) and plasma display panel (PDP) sets, with old analog tube-type TVs long gone and the last rear-projection TVs having exited the market completely in 2012.

Both the LCD and PDP segments lost volume in 2013 from a year earlier. LCD TV shipments slid to 31.9 million units, down 6 percent; while PDP TV shipments plunged 42 percent to 2.1 million, as shown in the attached figure.

“The TV market in the United States has reached a point of saturation following a period of huge growth in years past, especially as the flat-panel-TV craze set in,” says Veronica Gonzalez-Thayer, analyst for TV systems at IHS. “As a result of the market’s maturity, and also because of lingering uncertainties in the economy, American consumers have been less eager to rush out and buy new replacement TV sets.”

From 2009 to 2011, the U.S. TV market continued to grow or remained at robust levels, and each year saw shipments of more than 38 million units. In contrast, 2012 volume was less than 37 million, and shipments last year dipped below the 34 million mark for the first time in five years.

For 2013 the lower overall figures stem not only from the significant decrease of plasma TVs but also because of continued weakness in the LCD TV segment, Gonzalez-Thayer noted. Plasma TVs are on their way out with shipments on the retreat since 2010, while the LCD TV segment was down in 2013 for the second year in a row.

These findings are contained in the report, “U.S. Flat-Panel TV Market Continues on a Declining Trend,” from the U.S. TV Systems Intelligence service of IHS.


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