Big boxes: How Samsung is satisfying growing demand for ever-larger televisions

  • Technology
  • May 31, 2018
  • Sarah Dunn
Big boxes: How Samsung is satisfying growing demand for ever-larger televisions

Kiwi shoppers love a big television, and their desire to upsize is showing no signs of slackening as larger and larger screens are released. Samsung recently showcased two products aimed at integrating these monster tellies into modest-sized Kiwi homes.

The average television sold by Samsung in New Zealand last year was a 55 inch, but demand for bigger ones is rising faster, says Adam McElroy, group marketing manager TV – Samsung New Zealand. There are, however, challenges that come with integrating these huge items into the home. For a start, most people don’t find them attractive when they’re turned off; and secondly, any given TV’s magical powers of depth and clarity may function differently depending on how close its owner is sitting.

“Our televisions are getting bigger and our living rooms aren’t,” McElroy says.

New Zealanders have “chronic ‘big rectangle on the wall when a TV is turned off’ disease”, says Jens Anders, director CE division for Samsung New Zealand.

They’re purchasing very large-screened televisions regardless of room size, he says.

“New Zealanders are purchasing more and more bigger-screen televisions like never before.”

The QLED television Samsung launched in May boasts an ambient mode, meaning it displays a background users can load using Samsung’s SmartThings app (which is also available for iPhone). Users are encouraged to take a photo of their wall and load that so their TV blends in with its surroundings.

Its 2017 release The Frame takes a different approach at a similar idea. Aimed at those who are especially sensitive to Anders’ “big rectangle on the wall when a TV is turned off disease”, it’s got a handsome picture frame style housing, and displays a selection of fine art images when not in use.

Kiwi viewers’ passion points aren’t hard to guess: movies, gaming and sports. McElroy notes that the advent of streaming television like Netflix and Lightbox has changed viewers’ behaviour in a big way, which has in turn prompted them to upgrade their technology to match.

“Samsung, and the TV category has a whole, has seen increase in both value and unit sales over the past couple of years, which we attribute in part to the rise in popularity of streaming services like Netflix,” McElroy says. “We predict this trend will continue into 2018, with continued growth occurring in the premium and large panel categories.”

The total television market in New Zealand has grown by 11.9 percent over the last year to date as of March 2018. Samsung has 20 percent unit share and 30 percent value share across that market, with a 32 percent share of unit sales in the US$2,500 plus ‘premium’ segment.

McElroy says the majority of consumers remain price driven, but consumer purchasing is cyclical when it comes to technology like televisions. It peaks at the launch of a new model, then falls before rising again at purchasing events like black Friday. This means launching market-leading technology like Samsung’s new QLED television also has a brand-building function that benefits sales of less-advanced models.

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