Audio Sales Not So Grim After All?
The CEA also reports that sales of aftermarket autosound products continued their year-long upward trend, up 30% over last October and topping $211 million. The industry organization points out that, as has been the case all year, in-dash CD players, power amps, and car speakers were the strongest performers in this category, each product showing significant growth. The strong October sales brought year-to-date revenues from aftermarket autosound products to nearly $1.9 billion, up 13% from the first 10 months of 1998, says the CEA.
Of particular interest to Stereophile and Stereophile Guide to Home Theater readers, sales of home-audio separates also grew in October, increasing by 2% over last October to post revenues of $166 million. The CEA claims that, throughout the year, a strong contributor to the growth in this category has been sales of receivers using Dolby Digital 5.1-channel surround-sound technology. CEA statistics show that sales of this type of receiver topped $41 million this October—an increase of 57% over last October, and bringing the year-to-date total 80% ahead of the first 10 months of 1998. Also contributing to growth in the category were sales of speakers, which posted an aggressive 40% increase.
Finally, the CEA reports that audio systems also posted gains in October. "Riding the coattails of the segment's cornerstone product, the compact system," total sales of audio systems grew by 9% in October, to $292 million. Sales of compact systems alone increased by 14%, accounting for $1.34 billion in revenues this year, CEA figures show.