This year’s rugby coverage in 4K and improving content availability will play a key part in driving sales, says Daniel Todaro, managing director of field marketing agency Gekko.
It’s springtime and many of us are looking to update and upgrade our homes, not only in the kitchen and garden, but also in the living room and the entertainment we choose for our viewing pleasure.
Sales of 4K TVs are on the increase, with GfK recording 100,000 4K TVs sales in November and December 2014. Sales in the UK are predicted to reach one million by the end of 2015, accounting for 10 to 15 per cent of the total TV market volume. With sales predicted to reach between two and 2.5 million units in three years’ time, are retailers ready?
In September/October, we have the rugby world cup being broadcast by ITV, which is rumoured to be in 4K, as indicated by pay-TV broadcasters, with BT Sport’s director of TV Alex Green admitting that the broadcaster was working “very hard” to secure 4K transmissions of its Premier League matches for the 2015/16 season. The average price of a 4K TV at the end of 2014 was just over £1,000, and the average screen size was 50in. This is clearly a considered purchase and so store staff need to have the knowledge and understanding of not only the technology, but also the sales techniques to succeed in closing those valuable sales.
Last summer, Gekko’s connected home research uncovered that a smart TV was the third most popular choice of smart product, with 36 per cent of shoppers interested in purchasing one.
What’s more, half of women and 42 per cent of men do their research online first. They then buy in-store on the day, with 44 per cent of those aged 35 to 44 and 58 per cent aged 55 plus.
Understanding the importance of the omni-channel proposition in driving sales on the shopfloor is critical. Starting online and ending on your shopfloor, the customer experience is an ever more important aspect of the sales journey for you and your brands.
In the past year, retailers have benefited from two large sporting events, the Fifa World Cup and the Super Bowl in the US, uplifting sales of 4K TVs. More than half (59 per cent) of the 4K market value in April 2014 came from 50in to 60in models, and in May 2014 UHD made up just over eight per cent of market value, assisted by the average price of a UHD TV falling 15 per cent, with GfK stating that this was due to the World Cup effect. With seven out of 10 rugby fans in the UK watching international rugby on TV (Source RadiumOne – Rugby fans and technology) 89 per cent of those will watch at home. Could this sporting event see another boost in 4K sales? I expect so.
But it’s not just about sport. More original 4K content is becoming available via Netflix, Amazon, as well as remastered 4K content. Despite being very quiet since their formation, the UHD Alliance sent out a press release on April 7 calling for contributing members to define the next-generation entertainment experience.
They want more companies to get involved in the alliance. We may be at the frontier of the 4K revolution, but with broadcasters, streaming services and not only film studios but also gaming studios creating in 4K formats, the future of 4K is promising.
But, will we have the homes big enough to accommodate that optimum viewing experience in 4K? I suspect, driven by studios and broadcasters to inject rapid growth, manufacturers will produce smaller variants of their 4K TVs to drive popularity of the 4K format as the next industry standard. Shipments as a share of the total LED market for 4K are up year-on-year from 5.1 per cent to 14.2 per cent according to data from WitsView, which clearly demonstrates an appetite for growth. Unfortunately, no there’s such story for curved.
The average time spent per day by UK adults using technology increased from 7h:38m in 2011 across all platforms to 9h:34m in 2015, driven primarily by the increase of tablet, PC and smartphone viewing (recorded by eMarketeer).
TV viewing only fell marginally in the same period (3h:19m to 3h:12m), demonstrating that the TV remains the hub of the of the home for our viewing entertainment and shows no sign of dropping off with such appetite for growth in smart TVs, catch-up facilities from Freeview and streaming devices like Chromecast.
It’s a category that drives technological innovation and growth.