Global TV Shipments Hit 'Historical High' Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

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Global TV Shipments Hit ‘Historical High’ Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

TV shipments increased nearly 13% year-over-year during the third quarter, market research firm TrendForce found

Global TV shipments hit a “historical high” during Q3, according to a new report on Thursday, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to shape how people watch shows and movies.

The report, shared by market research firm TrendForce, showed TV shipments hit 62.05 million units during the quarter — up 12.9% year-over-year and nearly 40% quarter-over-quarter. And the “upswing” is expected to continue during the last three months of 2020 as well, per the report.

“If market demand for TVs remains high throughout the [fourth] quarter, TV brands will likely continue their efforts to reach their yearly shipment targets while simultaneously expanding their market shares. TV shipment is projected to increase by 4% QoQ in [Q4], reaching up to 64.53 million units.”

Still, even with a big Q3 and the projected Q4 increase, TV sales for the year are expected to dip 0.8% overall compared to 2019, TrendForce said, due to soft sales during the first half of the year.

The recent surge in TV shipments comes as large parts of the U.S. and Europe have been operating under at least some form of lockdown, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Those lockdowns have kept many people glued to their couches and have led to a spike in streaming. In August, Roku reported its 43 million active accounts watched 14.6 billion hours of content during Q2, coming out to about 3.77 hours of content streamed per customer each day on average.

Streaming services like Netflix, meanwhile, have also benefited from people having less entertainment options. After adding 10 million new customers last quarter, Netflix is on pace to surpass its 2020 subscriber goals by the end of Q3 (the company will report its third-quarter earnings next week). At the same time, movie theater chains have been decimated by widespread shutdowns, as well as a lack of Hollywood releases even when they’ve been open. Earlier this week, Cineworld, the parent company of Regal, said it would “temporarily suspend” operations at more than 600 theaters, as major studio releases like “No Time to Die” get bumped back to next year.

Those pandemic-related losses have apparently spurred an increased demand for TVs, as TrendForce’s report showed.

Sean Burch

Sean Burch

Tech reporter • [email protected] • @seanb44 

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