What Was Once Old is New Again; Modern Features Such as Bluetooth Help Drive U.S. Turntable Sales

The turntable market has been revitalized by a mixture of expanding colorways and form factors that appeal to design-focused shoppers, as well as updated features like Bluetooth to keep up with the wider trend towards connectivity in audio.

Turntables are seeing renewed consumer interest as evidenced by double-digit growth in both U.S. dollar (16 percent) and unit sales (23 percent), for the 12 months ending February 2017 versus year ago, according to global information company, The NPD Group. Premium products were a contributor to sales growth, as dollar sales of turntables priced above $250 grew 135 percent in the 12 months ending February 2017, accounting for 11 percent of total sales. An expanding number of entry-level products also aided the market increase, as evidenced by a six percent decline in average selling price.

“In the last year we’ve seen the return of a number of consumer electronics products from the past – instant print cameras, NES Classic Edition, and now turntables,” said Ben Arnold, executive director, industry analyst for The NPD Group. “The turntable market has been revitalized by a mixture of expanding colorways and form factors that appeal to design-focused shoppers, as well as updated features like Bluetooth to keep up with the wider trend towards connectivity in audio.”

Turntables now often include more advanced features; as half of turntables sold in the last 12 months (ending February 2017) were Bluetooth capable, up from 18 percent the same period a year ago. Additionally, 39 percent of units sold were equipped to digitize records into audio files – a feature found in nearly half (48 percent) of unit sales above $300. Sales of turntables in colors other than black are also seeing growth, up 16 percent. In fact, the majority (two-thirds) of turntables sold are in a color other than black.

The majority of sales during this time have come from a mix of the top five brands in the space, including established audio leaders. In the 12 months ending February 2017, Innovative Technology led the category, followed Crosley, Audio-Technica, Jensen and Sony.

“Growth in the past year has been fueled by both casual listeners, as well as audio enthusiasts,” noted Arnold. “This has allowed for a mix of lifestyle brands and high-performance audio companies to take hold in the turntable market.”

About The NPD Group, Inc.

The NPD Group provides market information and business solutions that drive better decision-making and better results. The world’s leading brands rely on us to help them get the right products in the right places for the right people. Practice areas include apparel, appliances, automotive, beauty, consumer electronics, diamonds, e-commerce, entertainment, fashion…

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