Networked Audio Market Soars as BridgeCo Leads the Way in Consumer Electronics Connectivity

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BridgeCo Inc. (, a leader in consumer electronics connectivity, announced the rapid growth of its business and the expansion of its tier 1 customer base, as analysts report the sales of networked audio devices are quickly climbing.
Despite the recession, “Sales of networked audio products increased to 3.7 million units in 2009 and is expected to be more than 56 million by 20151,” reported analyst and Director, Jason Blackwell of ABI Research in May 2010. “Revenues for networked audio devices will grow from $1.3 billion in 2009 to more than $10.7 billion in 2015, a CAGR of 32.4%1.”
As the connected audio and music streaming market takes off, BridgeCo’s business is also expanding. The production of BridgeCo-based tier 1 customer products has exponentially expanded, doubling year over year for the last three years. By 2009, BridgeCo had 70% of the tier 1 players in the consumer electronics connectivity audio market as customers, including Denon, Pioneer, Harman Kardon, Phillips, and Nokia – with more Tier 1’s to be announced soon.
“We see BridgeCo in a leadership position in this category of technology, enabling some of the biggest and most active CE brands with these new capabilities,” concluded analyst Jason Blackwell of ABI Research.
The 2009 sales of networked audio devices add to a base of “Eight percent of U.S. broadband households – a little more than five million households2,” that currently own networked digital music streaming systems, according to Parks Associates’ VP and Principal Analyst, Kurt Scherf in a 2010 April report.
A variety of market drivers converged to create this rapidly growing market, according to ABI Research1:

The number of home networks worldwide has grown.

Consumers have embraced digital media players like iPods and the amount of digital audio content purchased and stored on devices has skyrocketed.

Services like Pandora, Rhapsody, and others have dramatically increased the listener base on the PC, and now consumers want to take that listening experience to other devices like iPod docking stations, mobile phones and Internet radios.

“In the past, there were major obstacles to networked audio devices, including: high price points, system complexity and consumer interest. Complete multi-room systems exceed the budgets of mainstream consumers. Connecting network devices was inherently complex and confusing to many consumers - If they struggle with set-up, they will return it to the store. And while awareness of networking is on the rise, it takes interesting products and experiences to convince consumers to take the plunge and purchase a networked audio device (or system) 1.”

BridgeCo’s products, which bring network and Internet connectivity features to individual consumer electronic products, solves the market inhibitors of the past:

BridgeCo technology does not require consumers to purchase whole house systems, allowing consumers to purchase individual products with connectivity, drastically reducing the cost to consumers.

BridgeCo can cost effectively add connectivity, Internet radio, music streaming, and services like Pandora and Rhapsody to any audio consumer electronic at retail price points down to $250 – with new technology coming in 2011 that will drop that price point even further.

Products with BridgeCo’s technology have automatic recognition and connection to WiFi networks, making set-up trouble free. And connection to the home networks is equally as simple with BridgeCo-based consumer electronics.

BridgeCo technology gives consumers lots of exciting and interesting experiences, including 12,000 Internet radio stations from around the world, the creation of personalized radio stations through Pandora and unlimited streaming audio content through Rhapsody’s service. BridgeCo offers manufacturers of audio products 80 different software and service choices to customize their products and the customers’ experience.

“Companies such as BridgeCo, which develops embedded solutions for connected audio, are helping to expand the market into existing categories of audio products, including AV receivers, Internet radios, MP3/iPod docks, home-theater-in-a-box systems, soundbars, and other products," according to the Parks Associates report2.

And markets for many of those audio products are also taking off. “Soundbar sales are still soaring and are perched to remain the rising star in the years ahead,” according to the Consumer Electronics Association3. “CEA forecasts soundbar sales to hit $45 million in 2009 and accelerate each year, generating $96 million in revenue by 2013. In 2009, portable audio products contributed $6.5 billion to the industry’s bottom line, with MP3 players still comprising three-quarters of the total volume ($4.9 billion) 3.”
“BridgeCo’s cooperation with market analysts has helped to understand key industry trends and consumer needs to drive connectivity in the CE audio space,” said Gene Sheridan, BridgeCo CEO. “"With these technology & market insights, BridgeCo is building a leadership position with the top CE brands in the world in creating next-generation audio equipment. We partner with the best companies in the world and enable them to participate in this extraordinary growth opportunity in creating the future of digital music.”
About BridgeCo
BridgeCo is a venture capital backed technology company that is leading the connectivity revolution in consumer electronics – enabling the biggest CE brands to bring a world of music to every room in the home. BridgeCo’s industry-leading JukeBlox technology integrates a full software stack and an advanced network media processor into a WiFi network media module bringing media and music streaming to any home music system. BridgeCo is an ISO 9001 certified company with operations in El Segundo, California, Bangalore, India and sales offices around the world.
1 - May 2010, Networked Home Audio, ABI Research, Jason Blackwell, Analyst & Practice Director
2 - April 2010, “The Digital Home” Parks Associates by Kurt Scherf, Vice President and Principal Analyst
3 - January 2010, Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecasts, Consumer Electronics Association


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