Bigger Is Better: 85 Percent Indians Buy 32-43 Inch Screen TVs

Availability of high definition content, high speed broadband and declining price points is driving consumers to buy bigger size TVs at home.

According to a report by the Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA), an all-India body representing consumer electronics, home appliances and mobile industry, 85 per cent of Indian consumers buys TVs in the size range between 32-inches and 43-inches, with the 26-inch range almost completely losing its market.

“If we compare the contribution of various television categories to the overall television industry, one of the biggest trends over the past three years, has been the migration to larger screens, in metro cities as well as smaller towns,” said Rajeev Bhutani, Vice President, Consumer Electronics Business at Samsung India.

Manish Sharma, President at CEAMA drew attention to how India’s television segment has been experiencing a double-digit growth over the past few years, unlike other countries where the growth is stagnant or in single digits”. “Factors such as the continual increase in internet penetration and OTT content providers, coupled with policy changes in the panel space which has trickled down the prices of TVs have inspired the consumer behavior to opt for large screen televisions across the country,” he elaborated.

Meanwhile, the 26-inch range seems to be fading into a thing of the yesteryears. A spokesperson at CEAMA said that the decision to reduce GST on TVs up to 26-inches “came as a surprise for the entire television industry” as they pointed out that the manufacturers hardly make such TVs anymore.

According to Avneet Singh Marwah, CEO at SPPL, Exclusive Brand Licensee of Thomson in India, TVs below 32-inches were the highest selling TV models in India three years ago. “Currently the average TV size for rural areas is 32-inches and 40-inches in the urban side. Clearly, the market has shifted to bigger screens,” he affirmed. 

Various brands like Samsung, Panasonic and Thomson TV have reaffirmed this burgeoning preference for bigger size TVs, based on their respective trends as well.

Bhutani drew attention to the findings of a market research company GFK, which found that for Samsung TVs, the quantity contribution for below 32-inches has been falling from 44 percent (2016) to 36 percent (2017), and to 29 per cent (2018 till August). Meanwhile, the contribution of 32-inches and above has been increasing from 56 percent (2016) to 64 percent (2017) and to 71 percent (2018 till August). As for 48-inches and above as a segment, there has been a 55 percent increase in its market contribution.

At Thomson TV too, Singh is expecting a big shift from 32-inches to 40-inches smart TVs during this festive season. He said he is expecting bigger sizes in the range of 43-inch to 55-inch to “create a bigger impact” in the future. However, he was of the opinion that the 65-inch and 75-inch category hasn’t witnessed much competition as “the top three brands are ruling the market share for these screen sizes”. “But, once affordable category brands launch their 65-inch and 75-inch at attractive prices, there will be a market for the affordable category TVs as well,” he surmised.

For Panasonic consumers, 40 to 43-inches are the most popular screen sizes. When it comes to 4K TV, people are upgrading TV screen sizes, and 55-inch is proving to be the sweet spot when it comes to buyers, pointed out Neeraj Bahl, Associate Director – Business Group Head, Consumer Electronic at Panasonic India.

Bahl identified affordability as the major factor underpinning this change, pointing out that a good 55-inch smart TV that used to cost more than Rs 2 lakh now costs around Rs 80,000. The same factor and similar examples were also reiterated by Singh about Thomson TVs. Falling panel prices due to the government recently lowering the BCD on open cell TV panels from ten to five per cent was another factor Bahl pointed out.

A consumer research conducted by Samsung to identify the current and upcoming trends in TV business had found out that customers need “more than just a TV for their drawing room”. The ongoing and impending trends are pointing to just that, with a preference for bigger TV sizes being the most latest epitome of this.— The Hindu Business Line

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