TV Sales Recovering from COVID-19 Slowdown, per Discien Report

Published July 7, 2020

Shipments of TVs have improved from their pandemic-induced Q1 swoon, and are showing particular strength in North America and China, according to the latest update of the Discien Monthly Global TV Shipment Report, available to subscribers through DSCC. The report covers shipments of the top 15 global brands: Samsung, LGE, TCL, Hisense, Sony, Skyworth, TPV (Philips), Sharp, Xiaomi, Vizio, Haier, Panasonic, Changhong, Konka and Toshiba.

Global TV Shipments by Month, 2019-2020

May shipments totaled 13.3 million, down just 1% Y/Y after two months of double-digit Y/Y % declines in March and April. YTD May shipments are down 11% Y/Y at 61.4 million units. Looking at the Y/Y change by region, the shipment picture improved in every region, as shown in the next chart here. Shipments were particularly strong in North America as well as Eastern Europe, up 16% and 18%, respectively. China, which was hit hard by the pandemic in January and February, recorded the first Y/Y increase of 2020 in May. Western Europe and Latin America remain weak spots for TV shipments.

Y/Y Change in TV Shipments by Region

Source: Discien Monthly Global TV Shipment Report

Shipments in North America slowed in Q1, but with the recovery in May are now down just 2% year-to-date, with some positive momentum heading into June.

TV shipments can be directly related to the changes in TV panel prices. The worldwide softness in TV shipments in Q1 quashed a TV panel price increase and led to lower panel prices in April and May. However, the improvement in the two biggest regions for shipments, North America and China, has improved the worldwide picture, and the resulting demand has led to increased TV panel prices in June and Q3, as we reported last week.

2020 TV Shipments by Region

Source: Discien Monthly Global TV Shipment Report

The regional shipment picture shows some unusual relationships to the pandemic. In most regions, a surge in COVID-19 cases has been associated with weaker TV sales. This holds for China in January/February, for Western Europe in March/April, and for Latin America and Middle East / Africa in April/May. With this type of positive correlation, we can anticipate a recovery in Western Europe as the number of new cases has fallen there, and we can expect China shipments to improve. North America remains an exception to the pattern, with Y/Y shipments increasing in April and May even while the number of cases remained high.

The Discien Monthly Global TV Shipment Report, available exclusively from DSCC in the US, Europe and Japan, covers TV shipments from the top 15 global brands and provides shipment information by screen size, resolution, and region, allowing users to analyze market demand, brand dynamics and product trends by region. DSCC blog readers interested in subscribing to the Monthly Global TV Report should contact

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Written by

Bob O'Brien