According to the Cinema Technology Association (CTA), organizers of the annual CES event in Las Vegas each year, technology spending during the 2019 holiday season (October to December) is projected to reach a staggering $97.1 billion in revenue in the U.S. CTA has produced its 26th Annual Consumer Technology Holiday Purchase Patterns Study and says that 186 million U.S. adults (74%) plan to purchase a tech product as a gift this year, while streaming service subscriptions and video games emerge as popular tech gifts, too.

Meanwhile, seven out of ten U.S. adults (71%) plan to purchase a content-related gift this year, which includes videogame discs (43%) and streaming or download entertainment services such as Netflix or Hulu (39%).

“We are in the golden age of content as more people consume more content across more devices,” said Lesley Rohrbaugh, director of market research, CTA. “New video streaming services, more 4K Ultra HD content and larger screens on TVs and smartphones are putting entertainment on gift lists this holiday. Screens like laptops, smartphones and TVs will top wish lists and we’ll see a rise in emerging tech categories like smart home devices and wearables too.”

The top five tech gift categories which the CTA claims consumers most want to get are laptops, smartphones, TVs, tablets and wearables. Interestingly, desktops and digital cameras have fallen off this year’s top five list. More than half (59%) of U.S. adults plan to purchase a smart home product (e.g. doorbells, cameras and lightbulbs) as gifts. Smart speakers, like Amazon Echo and Google Home, top the category with 38% of U.S. adults planning to purchase one this season. CTA expects 11.3 million units to ship, a 42% decline over last year as more devices like TVs incorporate digital assistants.

Another popular gift this year will be videogame products, with half (50%) of U.S. adults planning to purchase such a gift in this catefory. One-third (33%) plan to buy a videogame console such as an Xbox One X or PlayStation 4 Pro, as well as accessories such as steering wheels or joysticks.

Encouragingly, 87% of U.S. adult consumers plan to shop at brick-and-mortar stores for tech gifts over holiday season, and 80% plan to shop online, both figures that are up on last year. Of those shopping online, 65% plan to do so using a mobile device (e.g., smartphone or tablet) and 33% plan to shop using a voice-activated digital assistant.


Published by

Martin Dew