The Consumer Technology Association has released its annual forecast for 2020. The report projects that the U.S. consumer tech industry will see $422 billion in retail revenue this year, which would be a record-high and a 4% increase from the 2019 result.
Music and other forms of digital entertainment are named as a high-growth category for the U.S. tech sector. Streaming services across music, video, and games, are expected to see 11% growth to $81.2 billion in 2020. On-demand music is predicted to deliver $9 billion of that total. The CTA forecast that uptake of smart speakers and wireless earbuds will help spur 15% growth on-year. Wireless earbuds are expected to see a 35% jump to nearly 67 million units sold in 2020 for revenue of $8.2 billion. Smart speaker revenue is projected to hit $4.2 billion in 2020 on the back of 39 million units sold, a 5% increase.
“More and more consumers are embracing the faster connectivity, advanced intelligence and seemingly infinite content that technology offers today – pushing consumer technology industry revenues toward another record-setting year in 2020,” CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro said. “We’ll see advancements in 5G connectivity and AI play out across the CES 2020 show floor this week – from digital health to self-driving vehicles and smart homes – vital technologies that are changing our lives for the better.”
The projection of $9 billion for U.S. streaming revenue falls in line with current data about the domestic industry. The RIAA H1 2019 report found that the segment had U.S. revenue of $4.3 billion, setting up for a 2019 total of about $9 billion. The skyrocketing growth rates may slow as streaming reaches a saturation point, but there is still the potential for growth in converting free listeners to paying subscribers.