Modern Features Such as Bluetooth Help Drive U.S. Turntable Sales

BY Courtney Huckabay
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Turntables are seeing renewed consumer interest as evidenced by double-​digit growth in both U.S. dollar (16 percent) and unit sales (23 percent), for the 12 months ending February 2017 versus year ago, according to global information company, The NPD Group.

Premium products were a key contributor to sales growth, as dollar sales of turntables priced above $250 grew 135 percent in the 12 months ending February 2017, accounting for 11 percent of total sales. An expanding number of entry-​level products also aided the market increase, as evidenced by a six percent decline in average selling price.

Home audio retailers could consider promoting their turntables in entertainment/​city guides. The new AudienceSCAN survey found 13% of Stereo/​Home Audio Shoppers think these are the best for comparing prices.

In the last year we’ve seen the return of a number of consumer electronics products from the past – instant print cameras, NES Classic Edition, and now turntables,” said Ben Arnold, executive director, industry analyst for The NPD Group. “The turntable market has been revitalized by a mixture of expanding colorways and form factors that appeal to design-​focused shoppers, as well as updated features like Bluetooth to keep up with the wider trend towards connectivity in audio.”

The new AudienceSCAN study reported 8% of consumers want to invest in stereo equipment and home audio this year.

Turntables now often include more advanced features; as half of turntables sold in the last 12 months (ending February 2017) were Bluetooth capable, up from 18 percent the same period a year ago. Additionally, 39 percent of units sold were equipped to digitize records into audio files — a feature found in nearly half (48 percent) of unit sales above $300. Sales of turntables in colors other than black are also seeing growth, up 16 percent. In fact, the majority (two-​thirds) of turntables sold are in a color other than black.

Stereo retailers can showcase their colorful record players with TV spots. The new AudienceSCAN data revealed 52% of Stereo/​Home Audio Shoppers took action after watching television (over-​the-​air, online, mobile or tablet) advertising in the past 30 days.

The majority of sales during this time have come from a mix of the top five brands in the space, including established audio leaders. The following brands are leading the industry in turntable sales:

  1. Innovative Technology
  2. Crosley
  3. Audio-​Technica
  4. Jensen
  5. Sony

Growth in the past year has been fueled by both casual listeners, as well as audio enthusiasts,” noted Arnold. “This has allowed for a mix of lifestyle brands and high-​performance audio companies to take hold in the turntable market.”

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.