CES 2018: Consumer Spending on Streaming Services to Reach $19.5B

Consumer spending on music and video streaming services, which includes the likes of Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, Spotify and Pandora, will reach $19.5 billion in revenue in 2018, a 35% jump over 2017, according to a new study from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

From a broader point of view, the U.S. consumer tech industry is set to drive a record $351 billion in retail revenues in 2018, up 3.9% from 2017, the CTA found in its annual U.S. Consumer Technology Sales and Forecasts report.  


Excluding the addition of streaming services, total industry revenue will increase by 2.2% in 2018, CTA said, announcing the study to coincide with this week’s CES in Las Vegas.

The org also expects U.S. sales of connected devices to reach 715 million units this year, a 6.6% year-on-year increase.  Here’s how the CTA sees some subcategories in the “emerging technologies” arena breaking down:

Smart Speakers: Sales of voice-controlled smart speakers, including products such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, skyrocketed 279% in 2017, with unit sales expected to hit 43.6 million units and drive $3.8 billion in revenue in 2018.

Smart Home: CTA expects sales in this category, which includes products such as smart thermostats, smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, connected cameras, smart locks and doorbells, smart home systems, and smart switches, to reach 40.8 million units in 2018, a 41% increase over 2017, and ring in $4.5 billion in revenues.

Drones: Total drone sales are expected to reach record highs of 3.7 million units in 2018 (up 20%) and earn $1.2 billion in revenue (up 17%). Drones below 250 grams are expected to reach just over 2.2 million units this year, while drones above 250 grams will reach 1.5 million units shipped, CTA said.

In the “maturing technologies” arena, CTA said 4K TVs will make up half of all total digital displays sold in 2018, with unit sales expected to hit 22 million (up 27%) and drive $15.9 billion in revenue (up 14%).  

For the broader TV category, total unit sales of digital displays are projected to reach 44.2 million units, up 2%, and lock in $22.1 billion in revenues, up 2%.

Sales of standalone tablets, meanwhile, are on the decline, due in part to the rise of laptops that double as tablets. Tablet sales are expected to drop 12%, to 45.6 million units, in 2018, with revenues dipping 13%, to $12.5 billion, according to CTA’s forecast.