By a wide margin, the television is the most popular and most used device for mass media consumption both in the United States and in the world. It is estimated that over 95.2% of households own a television, and more and more TVs are bought every day.
Surprisingly, even throughout the difficulties that many people around the country and around the world are facing, TVs are being purchased in 2020 at rates often higher than they were in years past, which is surprising considering how many people are financially struggling through the pandemic.
There have been major technological advances in the television industry, and the future looks bright for the many new advancements that are coming. Though COVID-19 has created some new supply chain disruptions, the industry continues to thrive with bustling competition and huge consumer interest.
Leading the Charge
Smart TVs are new, but they are the dominating television being sold today throughout the United States. As of now, Samsung and its operating system, Tizen, dominate the smart TV market in the United States; Samsung televisions make up 32% of smart TV sales in the country.
The next company with a large portion of the market share has less than half of that which Samsung has, which proves just how far ahead Samsung is when it comes to its domination of the market share.
The company currently coming in second in terms of market share is Chinese company TCL, which controls 14% of the market in sales revenue. TCL is known for its inexpensive televisions with the Roku operating system, but the company has also recently introduced a line of TVs that use the Android TV OS.
It will be interesting to watch competing operating systems as more and more become mainstream; consumers tend to stick with the same operating system that they have used in the past, so it will be interesting to see whether TCL customers who have bought systems with Roku in the past will purchase televisions with the Android operating system or if they will continue using Roku.
The Rise of the Smart TV
The smart TV is a far newer invention than some people might think; it seems like almost every mainstream television is a smart TV, but it hasn’t been that way for quite long. The smart TV was first invented in 2007, but it was extremely limited at that time.
There were not as many streaming companies back then, and even the internet had only been mainstreamed for less than a decade. The first smart TV had access to the internet but didn’t have all of the applications and technologies that now exist, given the fact that many of these service didn’t exist yet.
Quickly, companies transitioned to creating smart TVs, and come 2015 all major television companies produced only smart TVs. There are some companies that create budget models that don’t use smart technology, but these TVs are difficult to find in 2020.
For those who haven’t purchased a smart TV, some companies like Roku and Amazon have come out with devices that can be plugged in to normal TVs through an HDMI cord that then run their operating systems. This is a way that consumers can essentially transform normal televisions into smart TVs and enjoy the technology and streaming abilities.
New Technological Advancements
The technology that brought around the smart TV happened quickly, and new technological advances are happening extremely quickly as well. For example, the flat screen television is far flatter than the box TVs that many of us had as children, but it isn’t thin and light by any means. Now, companies are coming out with TVs that are extremely flat; there are some that are far more expensive but are essentially as flat as smartphones.
It also seems like just yesterday television companies were touting the improved screen resolution, as many producers made the switch from 1080p TVs to 4k TVs. If you’ve ever walked into a TV store, a Bestbuy, or a Costco, you’ve likely seen 4k TVs, and you can absolutely see just how different these TVs look. Now, companies like TCL are coming out with 8k TVs, which is a huge improvement in screen quality even compared to 4k.
Impacts by COVID-19
Though the COVID-19 pandemic had disrupted supply chains around the world, most of these disruptions have cleared out and the industry continues to thrive. The coronavirus certainly didn’t stop televisions from being purchased. In fact, some companies reported being even more successful throughout the pandemic.
Many Americans who received the $1200 stimulus check used it to purchase a new television. It also makes sense that televisions are being used more and more since people are stuck in their homes during the quarantine. The sale of televisions over 65 inches, for example, went up by 77% in the April-June quarter compared to last year, which is a massive increase.
Another reason these sales may have increased is that savings planned for vacations were now spent another way as vacations have been off the table due to the virus. Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis for the NPD Group, says that TVs have been a refuge for those at home during the pandemic.
It’s no surprise that as people spend more and more time in their homes, they are beginning to rethink the way that they spend their discretionary income. Though some projections show a potential decrease in overall revenue for the year, all will have to see how the year ends up since the holidays could end up being a huge time for the sale of televisions.
Even with the struggles of COVID-19, the television industry continues to thrive. Samsung has dominance over the market, but companies like TCL that produce televisions at extremely low costs pose a serious threat to their market share.
New technologies are coming rapidly, and it’s up to these companies to keep up if they are going to continue having success. There’s no doubt about it: the television industry is here to stay and grow.