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India’s smart homes market evolves beyond video entertainment

The Indian smart home devices market continues to show an impressive growth on the back of evolving technology consumption habits amongst the consumers and variety of affordable data connectivity options available in India. The Indian smart home devices market which consists of connected lights, smart speakers, connected thermostats, smart TVs, home monitoring/security products, digital media adapters, amongst other connected devices for homes, saw a healthy YoY growth of 107 percent to reach at 1.4 million shipments in 2Q18. Video entertainment category which includes smart TVs, streaming sticks and set-top boxes grew 81 percent YoY, and the category continues to dominate with 85 percent unit share within the portfolio of various smart home products.

The video entertainment market is seeing an upgrade to connected media devices and larger screen viewing experience. To drive the growth, companies are upgrading their product portfolios with smart SKUs, relooking at the pricing, and adding new channels to sell their devices. OTT content players like Netflix, Amazon, Hotstar, Sony Liv, and a host of other streaming services are spending aggressively on marketing and local content availability to hook new customers in an attempt of luring them away from incumbent DTH and TV cable services.

Many of these platforms are also partnering with telcos and broadband providers to get the existing data users onboard by offering free bundled subscriptions. These sustained efforts combined with a maturing Indian audience is driving increased demand for smart as well as devices with new form factors.

Smart speakers, a three-quarters young category in India is also seeing healthy traction, with a 43 percent sequential growth in 2Q18. Although, the initial usage of smart speakers are currently limited to few use cases, as the smart homes market is at a very nascent stage in India, there are signs of it growing beyond entertainment.

Vendors are making efforts for building an ecosystem around the smart speakers, so as to provide superior consumer and connected home experience. As this category continues to gain traction, users are getting acquainted with the voice assistants and opting for a single platform to control all their smart home devices needs.

In the commercial segment, a few verticals are playing a critical role in driving the consumer awareness today by introducing them to these smart devices. They are getting familiar to control appliances and completing tasks on a voice assistant for the first time. These new initiatives are going to smoothen the adoption cycle for the smart speakers in India.

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