Audio Sales Stay Hot through Early Summer

The good news keeps coming. According to the lastest figures from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the month of May echoed previous months' continuous increase in audio product sales, with monthly revenues up 11% and year-to-date revenues up 12%, to $3.1 billion.

According to the CEA, CD-R technology and home-theater receivers have together pulled sales of home-audio separates far ahead of last year. In May, revenues from home-audio separates were up 21%, to $124 million. In the separates category, sales of Dolby Digital receivers were up 91%, and, most interestingly, CD-R units generated more revenues than any other home CD category. In fact, the CEA reports that CD-R units were largely responsible for the 51% increase in home CD-equipment sales.

In addition, the figures reveal that sales of receivers have had a positive effect on sales of home speakers, as consumers purchased more speakers to enhance their Dolby Digital receivers. In the first five months of 2000, home speaker revenues were up 13%, to $181 million, while the total for home separates reached $593 million, a 15% increase over 1999.

The CEA cites the strongest category as being portable audio products, which had already reached revenues of $902 million in the first five months of the year. May revenues for that category were up 22%, with the year-to-date total for the sector up 25%. Within the portable audio sector, portable CD equipment revenues were up 30% in May, to $156 million. Finally, aftermarket autosound increased by 5% in May, with total year-to-date aftermarket autosound sales of $928 million—slightly ahead of 1999 revenues for the same period.