3D TV Sales Experience Large Growth
Posted on: 05/21/2012 09:21 PM

Sales of 3D TVs are on the rise in the U.S. as first quarter volumes grew nearly 74 percent in units and 64 percent in revenue over last year, according to leading market research company, The NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service. 3D TVs accounted for 11 percent of all flat-panel TV sales in Q1, nearly double that of last year, and 22 percent of all 40+ inch sets sold were 3D.

Research shows 14 percent of consumers interested in or expecting to purchase a flat-panel television in the next 6 months say 3D is a “must have” feature, while 68 percent say it’s a “nice feature to have they may use in the future.”

“3D has been a success for the television market from a sales perspective,” said Ben Arnold, director of industry analysis for The NPD Group.

Because 3D TVs are an experiential technology (you have to be in front of the actual TV in order to experience the 3D effect - you can't watch it on YouTube), displays and demos at retail are an important part of raising 3D awareness. In person, many consumers who try 3D rate it positively with nearly 70 percent saying they were “impressed” or “amazed” by an in-store 3D demo.

Wearing 3D glasses, the cost of sets and accessories, and access to content remain barriers to adoption of 3D TVs. Even though 3D sets have become more affordable since entering the market (average prices in April 2010 were 33 percent lower compared to April 2010) glasses-free 3D TVs have yet to enter the market, likely deterring the 80 percent of consumers who consider 3D glasses a drawback to owning the technology.

“In addition to movies and gaming, sports are essential to growing 3DTV ownership. Nearly six-in-ten sports fans are interested in watching games and matches in 3D,” said Arnold. “This summer, manufacturers and content providers can leverage large scale events like the Olympics in London and the Euro 2012 soccer tournament by televising and marketing 3D technology. Our research suggests ownership of 3D TV doesn’t necessarily mean consumers have adopted the technology. Getting owners to put on glasses and watch content is the real measure of 3D’s success.”

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