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Consumer Tech Spending will Reach $3.4 Trillion in 2020

All this week, industry analysts and numerous other attendees will arrive in Las Vegas to participate in CES 2017. It's the annual event where people come from all over the world to learn about the latest tech gadgets. Truly, there's many parts of the industry that are still growing.

Consumer spending on digital devices, services, and content will reach $3.4 trillion worldwide in 2020, rising 4.7 percent annually from 2015, according to the latest worldwide market study by International Data Corporation (IDC).

Their forecast is from a newly launched research program, "Consumer Spending Priorities: Tech and Services," which provides a holistic view of all related spending across the consumer electronics sector.

Consumer Electronics Market Development

That said, the share of consumer digital spending on devices will fall from 28 percent in 2015 to only 22 percent by 2020, while consumer spending on digital content will rise at a rate of 12.6 percent.

However, digital services will maintain its 61 percent share of overall consumer digital spending by growing 4.9 percent annually during the forecast period.

While total consumer digital spending is going up, the nature of the spend is changing. For example, just as consumers shift spending towards digital content, consumers worldwide are moving digital spending towards online media and away from entertainment devices.

Consumer spending on online media will grow 12.6 percent from 2015 to 2020. Spending on digital communications devices and services will grow at a mere 1.6 percent annual rate as consumer spending on voice services, both fixed and mobile, declines in absolute terms from 2015 to 2020.

"Clearly the value of the devices is derived primarily as conduits for the content and services that they transport and the applications that they enable," said Jonathan Gaw, research manager at IDC.

Outlook for Global Consumer Electronics Trends

Much of the change in consumer spending categories is being driven by regions outside of the United States, where the shift among spending categories continues but is largely complete and the share of spending by solution type is largely stable.

In developing countries, however, consumer spending on digital content and services -- versus consumer electronics devices -- is still gaining, while online media spending also increases in wallet share.

IDC will host an analyst briefing and breakfast at CES on January 5, 2017. They'll explore the consumer digital transformation journey and provide details on how connected cars, augmented and virtual reality, and wearables will contribute to new experiences.

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