CES2022: Pandemic Pivots

By Holland Cooke


LAS VEGAS — Gadgets? Gazillions! There are 800+ start-ups here from around the world and I told several inventors I chatted-up at a showcase event, “You should get on Shark Tank!”

But tech THINGS are “trees.” Technology-driven EXPERIENCES are “the forest” Consumer Technology Association VP/research Steve Koenig described in his “2022 Trends to Watch” research presentation.

Demand remains strong

After double-digit growth in Q1/2/3, tech spending tapered in Q4, but is still growing worldwide. Here in the USA, CTA’s 2022 forecast is just over half a trillion dollars (not a misprint). Koenig described the “rapid rise of funding flowing into tech startups.”

“Consumers are leveling-up their tech,” with “smart” things (watches, appliances, doorbells, speakers, etc.). And premium brands like Beats headphones are growing more than just-OK brands, a trend that “has been simmering for a decade coming to a boil.”

Services are important “in all-caps” to consumers

Software – not just devices – are where the action is. Examples:

  • “Connected fitness” Peloton groups.
  • Subscriptions: Disney+ is conspicuous. The average USA consumer keeps 8 paid services online.
  • After the COVID shutdown, “consumers stick with new services” such as food delivery, “reshaping human behavior.”

The Great Home Makeover

Trends that point to opportunity for talk stations with weekend home and tech shows:

  • Enhanced Home Theater: Because we’re spending more time at home, smart TVs and enhanced audio systems are hot.
  • Smarter Home: Lots of home office remodeling, and energy efficiency and healthy-home stuff.
  • As we’re “optimizing for the New Normal” — and with pent-up demand — retailers who-have-the-goods will want to advertise.

 Chip shortage: Get used to it

“Automotive is in the bullseye,” with lead time for semiconductors now a crippling 5 ½ months. Dealers who have inventory are using radio ads to crow about it.

Hundreds of billions are being spent on new chip factories, which are largely in Asia, and are now being sited around the world, so we’re “one less earthquake or typhoon from a super-shortage.” But there’s a long lead time to set up these new production lines. And then come supply chain snafus: “First you gotta get the chips, then you gotta get the ships.”

“I’m here all week…”

…covering CES for TALKERS. If you missed them, here are my Monday and Tuesday columns. And FREE for your station: My daily radio reports. Click-to-download at

Holland Cooke is author of the E-book “Spot-On: Commercial Copy Points That Earned The Benjamins,” a FREE download here; and “Multiply Your Podcast Subscribers, Without Buying Clicks,” available exclusively from Talkers books. HC is a consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet.  And he hosts “The Big Picture” TV show Friday nights at 7ET on RT America.  Follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke