By Alex Jensen –
Just when you got tired of waiting until late November for Black Friday, the world has seen another shopping bonanza to get us through this year’s Halloween season: Prime Early Access Sale.
Held from October 11-12, it might not have quite as catchy a name as Amazon’s more established Prime Day which takes place every July, but that’s no reason not to have enjoyed browsing some of the deals that were celebrated this week.
In a previous article back in July, I explained why Prime Day is prime time for premium TVs. So, I was particularly curious about special offers during this inaugural Prime Early Access Sale. Judging by an interesting trend I’ve been following since previously addressing the growing popularity of ultra-large OLED TVs, a lot of people may have been attracted to opportunities like this.
Even though overall demand for TVs has struggled to keep up with recent years of pandemic lockdown spending, the market for ultra-large OLED TVs spanning 70 inches or more is on an upward curve. Sales of these particular TV models are expected to jump 17.9% to around 700,000 units this year compared with 2021, according to the Korean media citing market researcher Omdia, with that annual figure set to break 1 million units by 2025. The fact that there’s even a thriving market for OLED TVs of over 70 inches shows how far the technology’s come – when LG Display first mass-produced OLED TV panels in 2013, they only came in a 55-inch option. I imagine many of us underestimate just how difficult it is to master OLED’s self-emissive pixels – each one lights itself – let alone expand them over a vast size.
But why are we seeing this trend? While I personally have nothing against smaller TVs (I have a 48-inch OLED hooked up to a PS5 as I type), there is occasionally something to be said for the old saying ‘big is better.’ Who wouldn’t want to get their hands on a 97-inch OLED TV, for instance? Obviously as you go up in scale, you also get millions more of those pixels and the vivid, richly colored OLED experience becomes that much more immersive and even cinematic. With so many visually impressive shows and movies available to stream at home, the quality and size of TV screens has understandably become an entertainment priority.
Another big factor working in favor of larger OLED TVs is that people are finding great deals – the kind that you discover during weeks like this one! We’ve actually seen the average sales price of large OLEDs (again 70 inches or bigger) halve in price since 2019 to around US$3,500 on average this year.
Analysts here in Korea have also been pointing to the influence of North American and European consumers in driving up premium TV sales, including large OLEDs. It’s expected that these regional markets will be responsible for three out of four global OLED TV shipments during the fourth quarter of this year, based on Omdia’s forecasting. Overall, North America and Europe are to set to witness over 2.2 million OLED TV sales in Q4, up more than 36% compared with the same period last year. And given that 153 million of 200 million Amazon Prime members are based in the United States, it’s reasonable to anticipate a spike when we look back on OLED TV demand this week – especially concerning bargains involving the ultra-large variety.