UHD accounts for ‘more than half’ of TV sales volume

UHD TVs now make up more than half of all UK TV sales and are ‘utterly dominant’ in value terms, according to figures from GfK.

Speaking at this year’s SES Ultra HD Conference at techUK’s HQ in London, GfK account director Nick Simon (pictured), said: “We’re almost at the point where if 4K is not a default option, then it’s very close to being that, especially the further up the screen sizes you go. It’s in a fantastic position because it’s still growing in volume by more than 40 per cent, which is great for a market that has actually been around for four or five years.”

Total TV sales in the past 12 months have headed to 5.5 million. In May 2018, 400,00 units were sold compared with 369,000 in May 2017 – a big increase, according to Mr Simon, with most of them being 4K.

Two-thirds of volume sales are also now 40in or above and as many 4K TVs have been sold in the first five months of 2018 as in the whole of 2016, with projected sales heading towards three million.

“We’re confident that TV has turned the corner this year,” he said. “Mainly because it’s a World Cup year. We really started noticing the difference the World Cup can make in 1990 and in every subsequent World Cup it’s always been a banker.

“In 2018, we can really link that to the sales of 4K, and four years ago we couldn’t as there was very little broadcast content. It’s a big step in the right direction.”

The one note of caution raised was that the sales of UHD Blu-Ray players are not mirroring the sales of UHD 4K TVs, with growth at just over 22 per cent.

Where consumers are buying these TVs is also not changing dramatically, with, Mr Simon said, the majority of purchases still taking place in a showroom environment.
“Online has grown as a proportion of total sales, but we’re still saying that most TVs are sold in bricks- and-mortar stores,” he said. “As a percentage bought online it’s probably in the high 20s and growing, but it’s not growing dramatically – and there isn’t that much difference between screen sizes and value.”

  • UHD now accounts for more than half of TV volume and is utterly dominant in value. 
  • 4K doesn’t disappoint, with 2.5m sales in the past 12 months. 
  • Blu-Ray UHD players grow at a modest rate.