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Screenless TV: Chinese Brands Poised to Disrupt with Design and Marketing Strategy

Screenless TV Market Analysis and Commentary

16 May 2016 - Radical new approaches to projection design and a social media-led marketing strategy will prove a significant and disruptive influence on projector sales in the US and European home and business markets, according to 'A Review of the Global Screenless TV Market' report released by Futuresource Consulting.

The trend has already taken hold in the Chinese market, which has recently witnessed rapid growth in demand for 'Screenless TVs' – an umbrella term referring to both laser TVs and smart projection.

Laser TV's are ultra/short throw projectors that are sold with a range-specific screen, while smart projection are home cinema projectors with integrated smart functionality.

"There's been a groundswell of development from Chinese brands over the past couple of years which shows no signs of stopping," says Claire Kerrison, Futuresource Consulting analyst and co-author of the study. "The next stage of strategic growth for these companies is international expansion."

The recent rapid growth of 'Screenless TVs' is expected to account for 75% of global projector sales to the home by 2021. Much of those sales (68%) will comprise of smart projectors, which are forecast to soar 28% CAGR between 2016-2021.

"Chinese brands have a refreshing new take on projectors, marketing them more as 'entertainment systems' that add to a room or location's aesthetic than just a mere display solution," says Kerrison. "They have not only created stylish designs but these companies have the capacity and resources to build the sales channels and promote these innovative products aggressively and at scale."

Futuresource Consulting expects leading Chinese brands, including Inovel, XGIMI and JmGO, to break into the European market with a socially driven marketing strategy which emphasises the product's aesthetics as much as its functionality. Furthermore, these solutions will not only be focussed on the consumer market, but increasingly on B2B applications – including signage.

"Smart projector brands, especially those boasting innovative, novel designs, could feasibly enter the international market, particularly the US and Europe, via the etail channel and generate interest via reviews and blogs on social media platforms. These brands certainly have the potential to significantly disrupt brand dynamics in what it is regarded as a well-established industry..." says Kerrison.

In order to succeed, Screenless TV brands must drive awareness to battle fears from potential buyers over the perceived complexity of installing a projection-based display. Furthermore, without a major advantage over their existing flat panel solution, it is possible that certain end-users will simply not entertain the idea of adopting the concept that laser TVs present.

"We are not claiming it is the end of the LCD and recognise that these products are a higher-end/early adopter purchase, yet it still could take some of the top-end share of the available TV market," says Kerrison. "We are suggesting that this may create another higher value segment for international manufacturers which will seize the opportunity to broaden their projector product range."

In its report, Futuresource Consulting explores the complex weave of factors that will impact both short and long-term growth of this burgeoning and disruptive product segment. What future does projection really have for B2C display?



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