CES kicks off this week in Las Vegas and with it comes new consumer tech and information about where it’s all going in the next few years as the U.S. consumer tech industry is expected to hit a record $422 billion in retail revenues in 2020.
Ahead of it, the Consumer Technology Association’s sales and forecast study for the year has been released and indicates consumer spending on subscription-video services will increase 29% in 2020 – rising to an estimated $24.1 billion as the streaming wars heat up with the arrivals of HBO Max, Peacock and Quibi.
On-demand music services like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and Pandora are also set to rise 15% to a total of $9 billion in revenue and will only grow as smart speakers and wireless earbud adoption rises. Apple AirPods and Samsung Galaxy Buds are leading that category with nearly 67 million units to ship in 2020 – up by 35%. Video game software and services revenue will also climb 5% to $38.3 billion domestically this year.
OLED is still the name of the game for TVs at CES with Vizio finally getting into the field with their first OLED model, while LG introduces two new 8K models at 77 and 88 inches, along with a 4K 65 inch OLED model that ‘unrolls from the ceiling’ and another that ‘hangs like wallpaper’.
LG is also bringing their ‘video wall’ concept out of the showroom, demonstrating how OLED video walls can be installed on the interior of a plane to ‘create a new perception of flight’, and showing off plastic OLED displays for cars and interactive displays for use in schools, offices and museums.
Two challengers are coming forward though. TCL will be pushing their Mini-LED TVs which is not the much anticipated MicroLED (that’s still a good few years away from a consumer product). Instead its LCDs but with more precise control over the TV’s backlight. It’s not pixel-by-pixel brightness control like OLEDs but it’s not too far off and comes with the added brightness that OLEDs can’t hit – all for a cheaper price.
Samsung meanwhile is pushing its 8K QLED TV model that boasts an ‘Infinity Screen’ which is effectively ‘bezel-less’ – the black line around the edges is just 2.3mm making it effectively invisible. The TV will also offer deep-learning AI upscaling and Samsung Health integration to track your fitness.