Circana report sees first signs of U.S. TV purchase refresh cycle

Thursday, March 30th, 2023 
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New Circana Report Reveals First Signs of an Upcoming TV Purchase Refresh Cycle

  • The average TV is replaced every 6.6 years in the U.S., and more than one-quarter of TVs are now at least seven years old

CHICAGO — In 2020, U.S. TV unit sales surged as consumers upgraded their home entertainment to accommodate more time spent at home. Last year, TV unit sales declined as economic headwinds caused needs and spending habits to shift. Despite the pandemic-driven surge in TV purchases, a new report from Circana, formerly IRI and The NPD Group, reveals the age of installed TVs is beginning to rise, an early indication of an upcoming TV purchase refresh cycle.

The average TV is 6.6 years old when it is replaced, according to the latest “TV Ownership Trends Report” from Circana. While the average age of installed TVs in the U.S. dropped to 5 years during the pandemic, the average is now 5.2 years, a slight uptick. In fact, 25.5% of installed TVs are now seven years or older, the highest portion reported since February 2020.

Age of Installed TVs in the US - Feb 2019-Feb 2023

“The aging installed TV base is a positive indicator for TV manufacturers and retailers because consumers who purchased TVs earlier in the pandemic will soon be ready to replace them,” said John Buffone, vice president and industry advisor at Circana.

According to Circana’s “Future of Technology” forecast, from 2023 through 2025, TV unit sales are expected to experience annual gains. Despite a decline in 2022, unit sales will return to their pre-pandemic baseline by 2024, as the replacement cycle will drive demand.

“Almost all U.S. households own at least one TV, and the average household owns more than two,” said Paul Gagnon, vice president and industry advisor at Circana. “The demand cycle was disrupted by the pandemic, but we expect to return to the typical refresh rate by 2024. Once economic conditions improve, there is potential for two to three million additional TV unit sales based on one to two million new households in the U.S. each year and assuming the replacement frequency remains at 6.6 years.”

Links: Circana