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Soundbar vs Home Cinema System – The home entertainment search market


Today we’re looking at the rise of the soundbar, and how it’s had an impact on the home entertainment search market.

For those unfamiliar with this ‘soundbar’ contraption, essentially it’s a speaker, considerably longer than it is tall, and is connected up to a TV in order to give better quality sound from the programme or film the user is watching. They are commonly mounted below the TV, and can often be wall mounted. Many soundbars offer additional connectivity such as Bluetooth, so users can pair their mobile devices and play music through them wirelessly.

So, we start off by looking at the search trends around the term ‘soundbar’.

Soundbar Trends

The trends start off relatively slowly but later on in the graph we can clearly see just how much of a rise in popularity the soundbar has had over the past couple of years.  December is evidently the most popular month for searches, which seems to suggest soundbars are an attractive Christmas present!

But how does this compare to the traditional home cinema system?

SB v HCS Trends

Now we can see just how popular the soundbar is, well, from a search perspective anyway.  Unsurprisingly, “home cinema system” searches weren’t doing too badly up until the soundbar first started getting popular in 2011, as up to that point, there wasn’t anything to compete with it. Since then, it’s been downhill for home cinema searches, with searches around soundbars steaming ahead.

Next we look at the brand intent around soundbars.  What is it people are searching for exactly?

Well, to find this out, we’ve used SEMrush to pull off the keyword data, and have removed the word ‘soundbar’ from column a. This is what we are left with:

Soundbar KW data

As we can see, a lot of the top searches around soundbars are branded terms, with users searching either for a specific manufacturer such as Samsung, or directly by model. This implies that users already have an idea of which soundbar they are likely to choose to go with their TV, and this may be down to brand loyalty, or because they want their TV to match the soundbar for aesthetic reasons.

So what does the current soundbar search market look like?  To get an understanding of this, we’ve run a MarketScout analysis on Currys.co.uk.

currys MS soundbars-1

This provides a quick overview of the state of the current search market.  It shows who has the most rankings out of the top 100 keywords, and gives an average position of each of the best ranking sites.  We can see that Curry’s aren’t performing too badly, as although they appear 8th, there are just two retailers (Tesco and Richer Sounds) ahead of them on the list. We also get a breakdown of Currys.co.uk, which includes details about Trust Flow, indexed pages, referring domains and impressions.

currys MS soundbars-4

Further down the report, we are able to look at the site’s Off-Site Equity, which gives a snapshot of the value and quality of links pointing towards it. Here we can see that again Curry’s lie 8th in the table, with a Trust Flow of 64.  This is a good score, however it could be improved upon by increasing the number of relevant and quality links pointing back to the domain.

currys MS soundbars-7

The MarketScout report also provides an analysis of the website’s social performance.  The figures shown are not based on the number of likes or followers a company has, but instead focuses on the number of times a piece of content has been shared from the site via each channel.

currys MS soundbars-9

Previously we mentioned that the MarketScout report is based on the top 100 keywords for the industry or topic. The final page of the report shows exactly what keywords the report was built from, and provides an indication as to what the site is currently ranking for.  The keywords are colour coded based on the strength of the SERP for each one, with red representing a difficult SERP for the site to rank in, orange is not so difficult but requires some work, and green represents the easier opportunities for the site to rank for that particular keyword.

Overall, it seems clear that the soundbar has become dominant in the home entertainment search market, and is now the preferred choice for improving the audio output from your TV.  For retailers, the snippets of the MarketScout report show how competitive the soundbar SERPs are, which means that your site will have to be optimised well in order to stand a chance of ranking.

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