Meeting Room Trend Fueling Mic Market Growth

As part of my enterprise communications and collaboration markets coverage, I had the chance to take a deep dive into the role of professional and commercial microphones within businesses and various organizations around the world. I have covered multiple communications endpoints markets, but had never taken a close look at microphones. To my surprise, I found out that the professional and commercial microphones market not only offers healthy growth opportunities in various use cases, but also plays an important role in the broader unified communications and collaboration space.

The following are key highlights from my North American professional and commercial microphones market research.

A Growing Market

The North American professional and commercial microphones market is estimated to have earned more than $500 million in 2017, and is expected to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of mid-to-high single digits within the next seven years.

Primary growth drivers in the professional and commercial microphones market include:

  • considerable commercial microphone adoption in the corporate segment
  • sizeable growth in the institution segment led by the education sector
  • accelerated growth in the broadcast segment triggered by an increase of online content creators
  • continued demand for wireless microphone solutions

Continued demand for wireless technology from all target segments and user need for newer wireless solutions are expected to drive an increase in wireless microphone revenue share. Today, Frost & Sullivan estimates that more than 60% of revenue generated in the professional and commercial microphone market stems from wireless device sales.

Commercial Microphones: Corporate Growth

Within the corporate market, meeting rooms in office spaces still represent a significant growth opportunity. We expect to see more rooms and more workers engaged in meetings in the future. In the last decade, private offices and cubicles in North America's corporate environment have declined, while meeting spaces and meeting rooms have been on the rise.

Huddle rooms -- small meeting spaces typically seating two to six attendees -- have been growing. Medium-size conference rooms have also grown, adding to the total number of meeting rooms and collaboration spaces in North America. As collaborative spaces proliferate, and more workers engage in meetings, built-in microphones within portable audio or video conferencing endpoints may not be sufficient for clear audio coverage, paving the way for microphone extension deployment across the room.

Within the corporate environment, more meetings are being held per company than ever before due to the availability of better collaborative tools. More people are attending each meeting, driving an increase in commercial microphone sales. Independent of the conferencing space (boardroom, medium-size room, multipurpose room, or huddle room), enhanced audio/visual (A/V) equipment allows workers to use collaborative spaces as natural extensions of their desktops/portable devices enabling access to a wide variety of software-based collaboration solutions.

More A/V endpoint vendors are offering commercial microphones that provide multiple connection options (e.g., USB, Bluetooth), software integration capabilities (e.g., UC-enabled audio devices), and mobility support (e.g., cordless mics, wireless content sharing) to satisfy evolving user requirements. Commercial microphones are expected to continue playing an important role in UCC environments going forward, with more microphone vendors focusing on enhancing the overall communications and collaboration experience.

Other Important Commercial and Professional Microphone Use Cases

Besides the corporate environment, other target markets, including public sector (e.g., education and government), houses of worship, theaters, live performances, studios, and broadcasts are expanding the opportunity for professional and commercial microphones deployments.

The broadcast industry represents an interesting growing market for microphones. Within the broadcast space, in addition to the prospering North American television and film entertainment industry, the growth of consumer and prosumer content creators, aspiring videographers, and filmmakers has opened significant growth opportunities for professional microphone vendors. Exponential growth of social media, digital collaboration, and video/Internet-enabled consumer technologies has created a breed of celebrities and aspiring online creators who are filming, transmitting, and broadcasting YouTube-like clips, episodes, programs, sketches, and life moments on a daily basis for an ever-expanding online audience.

The rising trend of online video blogging and live broadcasting has resulted in companies such as YouTube building several production facilities, or YouTube Spaces, to help creators broadcast their videos. Today, YouTube Space production facilities operate in Berlin, Dubai, Los Angeles, Mumbai, New York, London, Paris, Rio, Tokyo, and Toronto. The Internet has enabled common citizens to make a lot of money through content creation, with thousands of YouTube partners pulling in six figures annually.

Proliferation of Internet content enables professional microphone manufacturers to earn substantial revenues by targeting the rising need for proper A/V equipment for video bloggers and broadcasters. As more aspiring content creators transform their hobbies into commercial venues, they'll need to invest in better, more professional equipment, such as microphones.

Competitive Landscape

Today, Audio-Technica, Sennheiser, and Shure dominate the space of commercial and professional microphones. However, the market is highly fragmented with more than 40 manufacturers targeting multiple segments with wired and wireless microphone solutions.

Other important commercial and professional microphone brands include AKG Acoustics, Audix, Blue Microphones, Clockaudio, DPA Microphones, Electro-Voice, Lectrosonics, Neumann, Revolabs, Rode Microphones, and Sony, among others.

Conclusion

The professional and commercial microphones market is a very attractive industry to explore. The corporate, institution, and broadcast target segments are expected to offer the largest opportunities for growth. Commercial microphone adoption in corporate environments will continue to increase due to growth of collaborative spaces, collaboration solutions adoption, and number of workers in meetings.

Along with the professional headset market, and the wide array of enterprise communications and collaboration endpoints that we cover, Frost & Sullivan will continue to track the evolving market of commercial and professional microphones and its future growth potential.

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