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CTA: Streaming Services to Help Drive $351B Tech Revenue in 2018

Report forecasts record-breaking year in retail revenues

The popularity of Netflix, Spotify and other video and audio streaming services is well known, and now the Consumer Technology Association is putting a number to just what the popularity might mean for the tech industry.

CTA has included a projection for consumer spending on music and video streaming services for the first time in its semi-annual “U.S. Consumer Technology Sales and Forecasts” report. With the inclusion of streaming services, CTA forecasts that 2018 will break records with $351 billion in retail revenues ($266 billion wholesale), a 3.9% increase from 2017.

Streaming services — which include Netflix, Hulu and Sling TV for video and Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music for on-demand audio — are estimated to bring in $19.5 billion revenue for 2018. That projection is 35% higher than what CTA says was generated in 2017. The inclusion now of streaming services into its annual report is to “better capture the full expanse of the ever evolving and expanding consumer technology market,” said CTA in its press release.

Additional technologies that are expected to heavily contribute to technology retail revenue in 2018 include smartphones, laptops, televisions — particularly 4K/UHD televisions—automotive electronics and tablets. CTA estimates that these five categories will make up 51% of wholesale industry revenue.

A number of technologies are also continuing to grow in popularity according to the report. For instance, sales of connected devices are projected to reach 715 million in 2018, a 6.6% increase year-over-year. Some of the specific products expected to see strong growth in 2018 are smart speakers, smart home devices, virtual reality, drones and wearables.

CTA released this report as it is opening CES 2018 in Las Vegas. To see the other full reports, visit