Celebrity Endorsements Help Boost Sales of Stereo Headphones, According to The NPD Group

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Celebrity endorsements are usually big sales drivers in the fashion and fragrance worlds, but some big names are also hoping to draw some big bucks for consumer technology, specifically for stereo headphones.

The headphone market has seen great unit and revenue growth as the market for portable audio continues to expand due to smartphone proliferation

Celebrity endorsements are usually big sales drivers in the fashion and fragrance worlds, but some big names are also hoping to draw some big bucks for consumer technology, specifically for stereo headphones.

According to leading market research company The NPD Group’s new study Headphones: Ownership and Application endorsements are extremely/very important to nearly 30 percent of consumers when deciding what headphones to buy. Music artist endorsements ranked highest among consumers purchasing headphones under $20 and over $100, and sales of headphones over $100 are growing. According to NPD’s Retail Tracking Service, headphones $100 or more went from around 2 percent of the headphone market in 2009 to 3.5 percent of the market in 2010. Overall stereo headphone sales increased 17 percent in units and 30 percent in dollars in 2010.

“The headphone market has seen great unit and revenue growth as the market for portable audio continues to expand due to smartphone proliferation,” said Ross Rubin, executive director of industry analysis at The NPD Group. “Low barriers to entry are attracting many boutique brands, though, which are quickly creating a crowded field.”

According to the Headphones: Ownership and Application report, on average, consumers said they bought a new pair of headphones every 14 months, but teenagers reported buying new ones even more frequently. Forty-one percent of 13-17 year olds bought new headphones within the past 3 months. Teenagers were almost twice as likely as the average consumer to say they plan to purchase new headphones in the next year. When looking for new headphones for themselves, consumers said price, sound quality, and headphone type were the top three factors influencing their purchase.

“From the lightweight foam-padded headphones that accompanied the first Walkman to the iconic white ear buds that come with the latest iPhone, headphones have been as much of a fashion statement as an audio accessory,” said Rubin. “In particular, younger consumers are associating artists they admire with a premium portable audio experience.”

Methodology
A U.S. representative sample of more than 2,100 consumers from NPD’s online panel took part in this survey which was published in January 2011.

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. Today, more than 1,800 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels. NPD helps our clients to identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, commercial technology, consumer technology, entertainment, fashion, food and beverage, foodservice, home, office supplies, software, sports, toys, and wireless. For more information, contact us or visit http://www.npd.com and http://www.npdgroupblog.com. Follow us on Twitter: @npdtech and @npdgroup.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Sarah Bogaty
+1 516 625 2357
sarah(dot)bogaty(at)npd(dot)com

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