4. CES: Connected TV devices eat at TV sales
Fewer TVs are expected to be sold in the U.S. this year, according to data from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) released at CES. Unit sales of total TVs in 2019 will remain above 42 million units, a 1% decrease from last year.
Why it matters: One reason TV sales are down is because of the "pretty sizable market of media streaming devices that people plug into the TVs," says Ben Arnold, senior director of innovation and trends at CTA. Trade tensions with China could also be a factor, as they could increase the cost of some devices.
What's happening: The rise of full entertainment ecosystems from tech companies like Apple, Google and Amazon including music, video and movies are pushing more users to buy connected TV hardware devices from tech companies to hook up to their existing TVs.
- This is in contrast to buying smart TVs from other manufacturers, like Samsung or LG, that are more expensive.
- "We're finding that increasingly, people and their viewing habits, follow along those ecosystem lines," Arnold says.
Be smart: Traditional manufacturers knows this, which is why they are pushing to add software from those tech giants into their new lineup of smart TVs.
- Samsung announced Sunday that its new lineup of smart TVs will add support for movies and TV shows from Apple's iTunes.
- LG said Monday it's adding support for Apple AirPlay to its new TV lineup, joining Samsung and Vizio.
Yes, but: The undeniable leader of connected TV devices despite this trend, is still Roku, which announced ahead of CES that it will sell subscriptions to premium TV channels like Starz, Showtime and Epix.
The big picture, per Axios' Ina Fried: "The big story — so far — is just how much the big tech companies are partnering with one another. Apple's AirPlay is finding its way onto TVs from Samsung, LG and Vizio, while Google's Assistant and Amazon's Alexa are also landing on a wide range of new hardware."
Go deeper: What's happened at CES 2019 so far