While playing around with our new PowerPivot TV file recently, I found myself thinking about the upcoming 2014 TV refresh season, and the increased concentration by the manufacturers on 4K TVs.  How does the Ultra HD market look compared to the “regular” HD market, and will that change in the months to come?

 Retail Shelf Share

The new PowerPivot model makes it easy to calculate retail brand presence.  With the simple click on a filter, I was able to view a chart that shows current retail shelf share for all non-4K TVs.  What I found wasn’t surprising: Samsung leads the market with 23% of the retail shelf, followed by Vizio with 22% and LG with 11%.

But when I look at the same data from a 4K-exclusive view, I get a different picture.  Sony currently captures the majority of the market with a 37% shelf share, followed by Samsung with 21% and LG with 18%.  Sony’s current position coincides with the company’s plan to focus on 4K TVs during the coming year, but does not yet take into account upcoming releases by Samsung, LG, and Vizio, among others, which could shake up the shelf with lower-priced models.

Retail Advertising

In order to see if retail advertising data followed the same pattern, simply switch over to the Ads Analysis tab and apply the same filters.  Standard HDTV ad share for the first two months of the year shows that Samsung holds 39% of all retail print ads, followed by 10% of ads that don’t list a specific brand, and then 9% each for LG and Sharp.  This ad share overview follows the same pattern we saw in weighted shelf share placements, with the exception of Vizio, which falls back in ad share to only 4% of all ads placed.

In contrast, only five brands placed Ultra HDTV print ads during the beginning of the year, with Sony again taking the top share at 39%, which it shares with Samsung.  LG follows with 13% of all UHD ads, with Seiki and Sharp rounding out the count.

It will be particularly interesting to watch how shelf share and ad placements change over the next few months as more 4K TVs are released in the market.  Staying on top of these changing trends is made easier by using the new PowerPivot reports with their preset chart templates and historical data built in.  When Vizio enters the Ultra HD market with its new line of low-priced models, for instance, it will take only seconds to see whether or not the company continues increases its ad share to push the new technology.  Similarly, Samsung already advertises its Ultra HD models as much as Sony does, but will its Ultra HD shelf share increase proportionally?  A click of the button is all it will take to watch the changing marketplace this refresh season.