The hearing aids market is anticipated to growing steadily over the forecast period owing to factors such as rise in prevalence of mild and moderate hearing loss, growing expenditure on research & development, increase in aging population, and disposable income. In the developed economies such as the U.S., UK, Germany, France, Italy and Japan, over 33% people aged 65 years and above are impacted due to disabling hearing loss. For instance, in the U.S., as per the Administration of Aging (AoA), there are approximately 46.2 million people aged 65 and above. By 2040, the geriatric population is expected to rise by 21.7%, and therefore is anticipated to boost demand for these products over the next few years.
The market includes products such as behind-the-ear, canal hearing aids, in-the-ear, and receiver-in-the-ear. In 2016, behind-the-ear segment accounted for a dominant share of over 48% due to advantages such as patient comfort, high efficiency, and ease of use. In future, the canal hearing aids are anticipated to emerge as the fastest growing with a CAGR of over 7% through 2024. These products are available in both digital and analog technology. The introduction of advanced digital products with superior specifications and design are expected to attract more customers to utilize hearing aids.
In 2016, Europe was the market leader with a share of over 38.5%. The high investment in research & development by major manufacturers, availability of skilled professionals, and high unmet needs are amongst the prominent factors supporting the growth in the region. The average prices for a single unit of hearing aid are in the range of USD 1500 to USD 4000, and the prices vary based on the sales channel and marketing mix optimized for different regions. Apart from the traditional retail channel, government and group purchase organizations also play a vital role in market demand and competition. For instance, The U.S. Veteran Affairs Department is the single largest customer for procuring hearing aids in the U.S., in UK, the NHS negotiates the prices to maintain affordability and improve access to these products.
Moreover, the hearing aids market is consolidated with the dominance of the “Big Six” players, who account for over 90% of the share. These include players such as Starkey, Sonova, GN Store Nord, William Demant, Sivantos, and, Widex. In 2016, Sonova Holding AG, acquired Europe’s retail company AudioNova International B.V. and merged it with its retail business to improve revenue and maintain profitability. The retail channel is also expected to witness consolidation due to forward and backward integration strategies utilized by the market leaders.