When It Comes To Technology, Everyone Is Your Competitor

August 28, 2015
So, did you hear the story that Pizza Hut in Hong Kong is delivering pizza in a box that can be turned into a projector? Along with the pizza, the box includes a projector lens; a popout hole on the side of the box; and a stand to put your smartphone in the middle of the box to project on a nearby wall your favorite TV shows or movies from one of your streaming services. Now projection TV makers have to worry about pizza chains. Okay, maybe I’m overplaying the point but it only goes to show that in CE, or technology in general, every company and every industry is competing against everyone else. Today’s marketplace makes the battles a couple of decades ago about Hollywood...

Staying Connected

August 24, 2015
CEA recently released its annual study of household CE ownership and purchase intent, the 17th Annual CE Ownership and Market Potential Study. While entertainment devices remain popular among households -- televisions and DVD/Blu-ray players are the most prevalent devices -- smartphones have moved into the third position, showing just how widespread mobile connected devices are today. Here are some of the study's highlights:

As Cable Landscape Shifts, Content Changes

August 14, 2015
Down $150 million—that’s the consensus of analysts about the annual drop in payments to Hollywood that would be spent by the merged combination of Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. One of the strategies behind that $78 billion merger was the scale of programming costs and how to slash them when the consolidated cable operator reached 17.3 million customers, the company’s total viewer base if the merger was approved. Of course, the scuttled merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable would also have cut into studios and networks’ revenue, too. But the...

Three Things That Worry Me About The Economy

August 06, 2015
“It’s the End of the World, but I feel fine.” —REM The world (appears to be) collapsing around us in many ways but the markets don’t seem to care. Should we be more concerned about this or do the markets see sustainable resiliency that will weather the current storms? Following a weak start to 2015, the economy isn’t rebounding as it should, or at least as we might have expected. Here are the things that worry me now. 1. Stagnate Wage and Spending Growth Wages and spending should both be growing faster. The rate of disposable income growth has increased, but is still below its historical trend. Since 2007, disposable income growth has averaged...

Market Research Update: June-July 2015

August 05, 2015
CEA's Market Research Department has released it's first bimonthly research update infographic. This edition focuses on U.S. CE sales & forecasts, China consumers and upcoming research studies. 

CEA Foundation: White House Conference on Aging

July 17, 2015
I sat down with Nora Super, executive director of the 2015 White House Conference on Aging to discuss the White House Conference on Aging that took place on July 13. We discussed the ways the consumer electronics industry plays a role in the conference and the issues they are examining. The White House Conference on Aging is held every ten years and addresses the top issues of concern for older Americans, such as aging safely, comfortably and finding possible solutions to these concerns as well as setting the tone of discussion for the decade ahead. In preparation for the upcoming conference, the White House spent the last several months hosting a series of regional forums on aging...

How to Make Innovation Simple

June 25, 2015
When it comes to strategic thinking, less is often more.   Innovation is one of the most commonly used buzzwords in business. But contrary to popular belief, it’s also one of the most misunderstood. Trade secret: As many of today’s most successful businesses have discovered, slight shifts in thinking and strategy (evolutionary changes) can prove every bit as powerful as game-changing breakthroughs. (Those revolutionary game-changers we often hear more about.) In actuality, achieving innovation isn’t about having more resources—it’s about being more resourceful. And succeeding in the modern...

High-Resolution Audio: Hype or Opportunity?

June 22, 2015
The Renaissance in audio has ushered in incredible—and even heretical— innovations that have forever altered the listening landscape for consumers and instantly transformed the music industry. Audiophiles’ inquisition of the iPod proved ineffective as consumers embraced the new religion of iTunes and convenience seemingly conquered quality. Yet broad consumer adoption of headphones has signaled a desire—and willingness to pay for—a better listening experience. Enter high-resolution audio, the latest technology preaching a better sound platform. Is this just another fanatical market or something more? The good news is a burgeoning segment of consumers may be...

Independent Retailers' Success Benefits All

June 12, 2015
Independent CE retailers—AV dealers, electronics/ appliance stores and custom installers—are often described with this paraphrase of the late Rodney Dangerfield’s line, “They get no respect, no respect at all!” Around 2000, one used to hear another line from CE execs about the state of retailing: “Pretty soon we’ll only be selling to Walmart and Best Buy.” In recent years the line changed to, “Pretty soon we’ll only be selling Amazon and Walmart.” Savvy CE execs have always countered that you can’t just rely on online retailers or national chains because they will (and do) dictate terms, many times to the detriment...
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