The truly wireless segment has made massive strides with features such as superior audio quality, immersive surround sound, sweat-proof, customised fitting for a more comfortable experience.
By Kapil Gulati
The current outbreak of the pandemic has taken the world by the storm. It is currently a global health crisis that the world is grappling with. To prevent further spread of the disease, governments across the world have announced lockdown as the first step. People at home are now finding new ways to keep themselves engaged and entertained.
This lockdown has also witnessed a drastic increase in media consumption. As per a report, in the first phase of India’s lockdown, the total TV consumption grew by 37% and crossed a record 1.21 trillion minutes. The rising consumption of OTT channels, music streaming apps has made content consumption an individual activity. This has resulted in increased online consumption, high volume exposure to OTT platforms. As per a report by The Boston Consulting Group, ‘Indian OTT market to reach $5 billion in size by 2023. This growth is being driven by rising affluence, increase in penetration of data into rural markets and adoption across demographic segments. The online music streaming apps are also booming in India. According to the findings of the Digital Music Study 2019, brought out by the Indian Music Industry, Indians spend more time listening to music than the rest of the world. An Indian typically spends 19.1 hour per week listening to music. Thanks to the cheap data and smartphone penetration, music consumption in India will also expand in rural areas- giving rise to regional music segment.
As per a report, by InMobi Pulse, young Indians in the age group of 25 – 34 are tech savvy, rely on technology to get work done and remain informed and entertained. As social distancing becomes the new norm, it has become more important to be digitally tethered with team members and colleagues. Staying connected digitally has its benefits, however, one would require enhanced audio quality in order to communicate effectively within the organisation.
With such evolutionary changes, the mode of consumption of content has also evolved. Earlier, headphones were single sided heavy speakers which was to be held onto one ear to communicate. This has slowly evolved to the neckband design which came in the early 2000. While headphones remain a popular category, brands also started focusing on earphones as it was portable and easy to carry, along with great sound quality.
Currently, the wireless earbuds are revolutionizing the entire industry. The smartphone makers are now doing away with the 3.5 mm headphone jack to make wireless headphones more convenient and appealing to customers. People are now looking for seamless and hassle-free immersive audio experience, thereby creating a need for the technologically superior truly wireless earbuds. The fact that the upcoming wireless earbuds have evolved with longer battery life, better Bluetooth compatibility, enhanced audio quality, and ANC for noise free listening- due to which this segment is increasingly making it one of the favourite gadget categories amongst consumers. People are willing to pay more for a superior/premium sound experience. Fitness enthusiasts too prefer true wireless earbuds as it provides the ease of operation, and ease of carrying a device, while at the gym, running or working. According to a report by IDC, Truly Wireless Stereo (TWS) accounted for 23.1% to the overall earwear category. TWS alone grew at 300.7% YoY.
The truly wireless segment has made massive strides with features such as superior audio quality, immersive surround sound, sweat-proof, customised fitting for a more comfortable experience-which has further enhanced the audio experience for consumers. The increasing popularity and adoption of smartphones and other mobile devices is further bringing a positive impact on the industry. The rate of OTT consumption and music streaming apps will continue to grow- especially with the 5G roll out in the coming years- which will further support the evolution of the industry.
(The author is Director, Consumer Segment, Sennheiser India. Views expressed are personal.)