Survey: Networked Homes Prepare for the Sound of Music

First iPods, now tablets. The numbers of consumers using their tablets to listen to music--more than 60 percent, according to Dallas-based research firm Parks Associates--is reportedly going to trigger a widespread increase in the embedded network technologies in home audio products.

Parks Associates' latest report, , released Tuesday, predicts that audio product manufacturers will add networking capabilities in order to connect their products to popular mobile devices and streaming services such as iTunes and Pandora.

"The continuing popularity of music services is pushing consumers to find new ways to enjoy their growing libraries of audio content," Kurt Scherf, the Parks Associates principal analyst who wrote the report, said in a statement.

"Consumers are using products such as smartphones and media tablets for music access and playback, and they want ways to distribute that content around the home. Networked audio products give them the ability to have a high-quality multiroom music experience."

In fact, the report forecasts that by 2016, more than 90 million home audio units will ship with embedded wireless networking technologies, which represents almost 60 percent of a global market that includes everything from A/V receivers, MP3 speaker docks, sound bars, and home theater systems. The most likely technologies, according to Scherf, are and those from the (DLNA).

DLNA technology, which addresses both wireless and wired technologies, is already part of , and is currently licensed by more than 230 brands, for some 12,000 devices. Apple currently licenses Airplay to such high-end manufacturers as Denon, Marantz, Bowers & Wilkins, JBL, and iHome.