Sales of Earphones and Headphones through Online Retail Witnessing a Surge: Future Market Insights

“Earphone and Headphone Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment, 2015–2025”
Multi-brand stores currently account for bulk of the global sales of earphones and headphones. Sales through e-commerce are expected to witness a surge owing to proliferation of apps and websites.

Global shipments of earphones and headphones are expected to reach 336 million units by 2016, up from an estimated 324 million in 2015. In terms of revenue, the market is expected to surpass US$ 13 billion by 2016-end.

FMI has segmented the global earphones and headphones market into personal, gaming, media and entertainment, corporate, and sports. Demand for earphones and headphones for personal use is the highest, accounting for US$ 4.32 billion in revenues in 2014. FMI estimates revenues from personal segment to surpass US$ 5 billion by 2016.

Robust smartphone and tablet sales in Asia Pacific, combined with proliferation of music streaming services is driving demand for earphones and headphones for personal use.

Demand for earphones and headphones is also strong in the corporate sector, especially in the call centre industry. The corporate segment accounted for US$ 3.46 billion in global revenues in 2014, and FMI expects demand to amplify at a CAGR of over 5% through 2020.

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Rising adoption of VOIP services for video conferencing and the steadily expanding call centre industry are sustaining demand for earphones and headphones from the corporate segment.

Multi-brand Stores Account for Bulk of the Sales, Online Sales Gaining Traction

Key sales channels for earphones and headphones include multi-brand stores, single-brand stores, and e-commerce.

Multi-brand stores are currently the most preferred sales channel, followed by single brand, and online stores. Out of the 313 million units of earphones and headphones shipped in 2014, multi-brand stores accounted for nearly 117 million units. FMI expects sales of earphones and headphones through multi-brand stores to reach 125.3 million by 2016.

Sales of earphones and headphones through online store is expected to witness the highest growth during the forecast period 2015-2025. Proliferation of e-commerce websites, combined with competitive pricing is expected to drive sales in the future. By 2025, online stores will replace single-brand stores to become the second-largest sales channel in the global earphone and headphone market.

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Asia Pacific Excluding Japan (APEJ) will Account for Half of the Market Revenue by 2025

Asia Pacific Excluding Japan (APEJ) is the largest market for earphones and headphones globally. The region accounted for 41.3% of global revenues in 2014, and FMI expects it to represent over 48% of the market by 2025.

In terms of shipments, APEJ accounted for 185.8 million units in 2014; by 2016, the figure is expected to reach 202.4 million units. Earphone and headphone sales are heavily dependent on the Chinese market, which accounted for nearly 60% of region’s revenues in 2014. FMI expects 122.5 million units of earphones and headphones to be shipped in China in 2016.

South Korea is the second-largest market for earphones and headphones in APEJ. Shipments in the country were to the tune of 194.4 million in 2014, and FMI expects demand to grow at over 9% (CAGR) in the next decade.

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As is the global trend, multi-brand stores account for the bulk of sales in APEJ. Revenues through multi-brand stores totalled US$ 2.15 billion in 2014, and FMI expects the figure to reach US$ 2.48 billion by 2016.

APEJ is witnessing a period of economic growth and development, with large markets, such as China and India showing an insatiable appetite for consumer electronics. The earphones and headphones segment is expected to ride the coattails of this trend, with strong sales expected in the region.

The key players analysed by FMI in its research report include JVC Corporation, Sony Corporation, Bose Corporation, Sennheiser Electronic GmbH & Co. KG, Plantronics Pty Ltd., Beats (Apple Inc.), GN Netcom A/S(Jabra), Harman International Industries, Philips Electronics Ltd. and Audio-Technica Corporation.

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