But in addition to self-purchases, consumers are increasingly turning to custom installers to deliver a tailored home theater solution—certainly no HTIB here. And CEA market research has shown home theater pre-wire installations are becoming more prevalent among new homes, to the tune of around 10 percent of new home construction, which then spurs buyers to purchase audio equipment.
In the speaker arena, shipment volumes remain fairly flat, but there are some bright spots. Take in-wall speakers as an example, where year-to-date unit shipments have doubled compared to last year's same-period results. In fact, CEA predicts nearly two million units of in-wall/in-ceiling speakers will ship from factory to dealer this year. Here is another sign the consumer is both concerned about design and is turning more frequently to a custom installer.
To find out just how well, CEA will be conducting several research studies over the next six months to better understand the size and scope of the custom installer channel. We will also be drilling into audio consumption to learn more about the shifting audio behaviors of consumers both in terms of what they are listening to and where they are buying. Stay tuned for this and more. -Sean Wargo, director of industry analysis for the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)