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NPD: U.S. TV Buyers More Motivated by Screen Size and Picture Quality Than Price

Size matters when it comes to the television screen size.

Over the past two years, the average size of installed TVs in U.S. households has increased three inches to 47.5-inches, according to new data from The NPD Group. In the five years prior to the pandemic, screens grew one inch per year. With home entertainment top of mind, consumers purchasing replacement TVs put more importance on screen size and picture quality than ever before.

In the February 2022 “retail tracking service and the quarterly device tracking survey” with more than 5,100 participants, 44% of survey respondents said they bought a new TV because they wanted a larger screen — an increase of 7% from the February 2020 survey. Another 38% purchased for better picture quality — up 5%. The number of respondents buying because of pricing was unchanged from February 2020 survey at 23%.

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“Pandemic-fueled TV sales growth drove consumers to replace TVs in order to get larger screens and better picture quality resulting in a newer and bigger installed TV base,” John Buffone, executive director, industry analyst for NPD, said in a statement. “With consumers spending more time at home, entertainment became a high priority, and despite higher prices, screen size and quality remain top motivators.”

In fact, consumers are replacing TVs faster than before the pandemic began. In February 2020, the average age of a replaced TV was 6.8 years, by February 2022 that dropped to 6.4 years. The replacement TVs being purchased are bigger and have higher picture quality than pre-pandemic as well. In February 2022, the average replacement TV was 53.6-inches, up from 49.4-inches in 2020, and nearly three-quarters (72%) of replacement TV purchases were 4K UHD, up from 62% in 2020.

NPD said sales of premium TV units (priced $1,000+) have reached a five-year high, representing 9% of total sales in the U.S. When considering screen size alone, 65-inch and larger TV unit sales are expected to grow from less than a quarter of the market in 2020 to more than one-third by 2024, based on NPD’s forecast.

“The strong gains in consumers reporting picture quality as a motivator for purchase are in part driving the sales growth we are seeing in premium and big screen TVs,” said Paul Gagnon, VP, industry advisor for NPD. “When consumers are motivated to purchase better quality TVs, they are also typically less price sensitive and place importance on larger screen sizes. While initially fueled by the pandemic, we expect this segment of the market will continue to perform well, as consumers have placed an increased value on TVs and home entertainment that will continue into the future.”

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