The Digital Landscape Post-Pandemic


Streaming services, video communications, home office tech and gaming platforms have been among the few areas in the technology industry to see a surge during the global lockdown that has dampened the initial optimistic outlook on 2020 consumer spending behavior.

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® Industry Sector Forecast: Video 2019-2024 report highlights an all-time record shipment of televisions in the first half of 2020, and CTA’s Industry Sector Forecast: Computing 2019-2024 notes the sudden buying spree of computing technologies to accommodate the stay-at-home and work-from-home shift. Aftermarket monitor shipments will jump 33% in 2020 to 8 million units, and computer components will experience a 7% increase in shipment revenue in 2020 compared to 2019, according to CTA forecasts.

The acceleration spurred by the unexpected health crisis may have positioned these digital tools and services for further growth even post-contagion.

A New Age of Entertainment

In the pre-pandemic months, electronic gaming consoles were projected to sell some 15 million units in 2020, and streaming services were predicted to earn $24 billion.

The age of socially distanced entertainment has created an opportunity for both areas to push past those initial 2020 forecasts — 2020 projected revenues for video streaming services are 11% higher than pre-COVID-19 forecasts — initiating a growth that is set to continue in the years to come.

From education to professional meetings, various new uses for gaming and esports platforms that started during the pandemic are expected to stimulate growth in an industry that was already gaining popularity.

The flood of new streaming services met with a captive audience as a result of quarantines and social distancing, and new digital versions of live events encouraged a further shift to streaming services. Consumer spending on video streaming is expected to more than double from 2019 to 2024.

“Gaming technologies have clearly benefited from this year’s stay-at-home theme,” said Prabhat Agarwal, Senior Director, Research and Trends, CTA. “With many consumers still limiting social activities, restaurant outings and attending movie theaters, home entertainment products including gaming consoles are seeing strong demand this holiday season and are sure to be on many holiday wish lists.”

The Laptop Movement

Binge buying of laptops, desktops and peripheral computer accessories also coincided with school and retail store closings and budget concerns amid economic uncertainty. At an unexpected crossroads, sales on computing technologies experienced a short-term uptick but will see an overall negative forecast for the rest of 2020.

Despite the decline for the year, though, laptops may soon be proving themselves to be the device of choice.

As technology advancements improve the capabilities of high-powered tablets, however, laptops may be seeing competition for consumers’ favor.

Though the world remains in uncharted waters, with economic uncertainty, education and work at home still prevalent, and many other factors perhaps still unknown, the technology outlook remains strong in the coming years, highlighting a resilience that displays the industry’s ability to innovate and meet the ever-changing needs of consumers.

Access CTA’s Industry Sector Forecasts on videocomputing and more to stay updated on predicted industry trends.

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