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Topic: ‘Tumultuous’ Industry Trends?? NAMM Report

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  1. #1
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    ‘Tumultuous’ Industry Trends?? NAMM Report

    I recently received an industry newsletter with the headline "Summer NAMM Ready Despite ‘Tumultuous’ Industry Trends". In its June 6 edition of the NAMM PLAYback Digital e-newsletter, NAMM drew a straightforward -- and sometimes somber -- picture of the upcoming Summer NAMM.
    "It's common knowledge that the current state of the music products industry is tumultuous," NAMM stated. "Some would call it a crisis. Changes brought about by slowing industry sales, a tough economy, and unanticipated legal bills from the FTC investigation into our industry have all taken their toll."

    With retailer pre-registration reportedly lagging, the newsletter noted, "We are doing everything possible to get more dealers to come to Austin and many of the most important retailers in the country are planning to attend. However, some are also reporting that sales are down and that they can't afford to bring as many people to the show."
    Usually these industry newsletters put their best foot forward and paint a rosey picture. What is going on?

    Tumultuous? Crisis? Maybe I am missing something as we are not experiencing this. Anyone have clues as to what is going on in the industry?

    Gary Garritan

    Gary Garritan

  2. #2

    Lightbulb Re: ‘Tumultuous’ Industry Trends?? NAMM Report

    My perspective, and I'll say it is a pretty darned unqualified perspective since I'm just a home studio guy that is not involved in the industry, is that the word tumultuous could come from several things:

    1) Over Saturation of the Market - Look at the plethora of choices for keyboard controllers, DAWs, monitors, recording software, and other software such as effect plug-ins. There seems to be so many products that do the same thing with only slight differences (get that retro reverb sound!) I have wondered if the market is offering more than what the consumer base can purchase.

    2) Lack of Innovation in Many Areas - Yet another Jupiter 8 clone, yet another compressor, yet another Mini Moog clone, the list goes on and on with products that have very small differentiators. No matter what the industry this is not a good thing. DAW software takes it to another level. How much of the new Cubase 4 is innovative? Almost none of it. Most of it is functionality that was either a) lost from previous versions b) been requested by users for years or c) a me-too feature that other DAWs have.

    3) Operating System Chaos - XP? Vista? OSX? MacIntel? What Windows user isn't going to be forced to Vista and will find some hardware or software not supported in it? Steinberg alone has 3 pieces of hardware that will not be supported in Vista. RME is not going to provide 64 bit drivers for some of its main audio cards. Users are not sure what to do so they are doing what is safe - nothing - until they see what shakes out.


    So why is Garritan flourishing when many others are floundering? This is really simple math. Gary provides high quality products at a great price. He provides many extras, the on line tutorials, Christmas CD, this community. He has filled a niche that needed filling, especially with the educational institutions. He is what is described in the books Born to Last and In Search of Excellence. My hat is off to him!

    -Kevin
    We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
    24" 2.4 Ghz iMac, OSX 10.4.10, MOTU 828 MKII, 2 Glyph 250 Gig external drives, Logic 9, Finale 2008 GPO, JABB, Strad, Gro, Reason 4, EWQL Storm Drum, Adrenaline, Symphonic Choirs, SO Gold,All Arturia Synths, Many NI Synths, Spectrasonics Synths, KH Strings, VEPro on a Windows 7 4x 2.8 Ghz 12 gig of RAM

  3. #3

    Re: ‘Tumultuous’ Industry Trends?? NAMM Report

    Quote Originally Posted by LFO
    1) Over Saturation of the Market
    2) Lack of Innovation in Many Areas
    3) Operating System Chaos
    I Quote all, and, even if not directly related, I would add:

    4) Music Inflation - To me, there is too much music out there, and, very often, hurried, "commonplace", mass-produced, profit-aimed music. 95% of tv-music (tv soaps, sit-com, and so on) is really a "use and throw away" product, and, IMO, commercial tv's have a great deal of responsability in filling their schedules with any garbage. But when you inflate something, that thing losses its value...
    Mac Pro Quad Core, 23" Apple Cinema, Logic Pro 8.x + VSL PRO Edition, some of the VI's, GPO, Ivory, Edirol UA-25 audio card, Event TR6 monitors, 1 girlfriend (Ines).

  4. #4

    Re: ‘Tumultuous’ Industry Trends?? NAMM Report

    Instead of looking for causes, it might be worthwhile to question what they're even talking about. (Especially for someone young and ignorant about "the industry" like me.)

    "slowing industry sales" ... as if sales are only suppose to rise?

    "a tough economy" ... what does that mean?

    "unanticipated legal bills from the FTC investigation into our industry" ... at least that's less vague, but still vague.

    And wouldn't less companies at NAMM mean more attention for those who make it? Could be a good thing...
    Sean Patrick Hannifin
    My MP3s | My Melody Generator | my album
    "serious music" ... as if the rest of us are just kidding

  5. #5

    Re: ‘Tumultuous’ Industry Trends?? NAMM Report

    Quote Originally Posted by SeanHannifin
    "slowing industry sales" ... as if sales are only suppose to rise?
    Good point.
    There isn't an "infinite growth" in a finite world.
    Mac Pro Quad Core, 23" Apple Cinema, Logic Pro 8.x + VSL PRO Edition, some of the VI's, GPO, Ivory, Edirol UA-25 audio card, Event TR6 monitors, 1 girlfriend (Ines).

  6. #6
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    Re: ‘Tumultuous’ Industry Trends?? NAMM Report

    Glancing at the world map of garritan users, I would say that if ever a market still meets a fraction of its potential, it is this one. There is a all of China for a start. The most likely explanation of the press release may be that the trade show is too frequent and too far away. So people give it a miss for a while. When asked why, naturally, they will shrug and mumble about trading conditions. Speaking of this little bit of the market (myself) the new products we are waiting for are not there yet, but are supposedly in the pipeline. Dare one mention choirs again. The complete string quartet would be nice too.

  7. #7

    Lightbulb Re: ‘Tumultuous’ Industry Trends?? NAMM Report

    Quote Originally Posted by Coqui
    Good point.
    There isn't an "infinite growth" in a finite world.
    If a company or industry is not growing it is considered at best stagnent and more commonly in trouble. The mentality of economics is if you show me a company that is not growing, I'll show you a company that won't be around in two years.

    Remember, the world is not finite. It is growing all the time. People are born at a rate faster than people are dying and countries are developing that create new markets and opportunities. (China and India for example.)

    -Kevin
    We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
    24" 2.4 Ghz iMac, OSX 10.4.10, MOTU 828 MKII, 2 Glyph 250 Gig external drives, Logic 9, Finale 2008 GPO, JABB, Strad, Gro, Reason 4, EWQL Storm Drum, Adrenaline, Symphonic Choirs, SO Gold,All Arturia Synths, Many NI Synths, Spectrasonics Synths, KH Strings, VEPro on a Windows 7 4x 2.8 Ghz 12 gig of RAM

  8. #8
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    Re: ‘Tumultuous’ Industry Trends?? NAMM Report

    Quote Originally Posted by LFO

    So why is Garritan flourishing when many others are floundering? This is really simple math. Gary provides high quality products at a great price. He provides many extras, the on line tutorials, Christmas CD, this community. He has filled a niche that needed filling, especially with the educational institutions. He is what is described in the books Born to Last and In Search of Excellence. My hat is off to him!

    -Kevin
    Gary is flourishing because he is doing all of the right things:
    * Great Products at Great Prices- the "Volksware" concept. What good is having the best products in the world if your main audience for those products can't afford them?
    * Absolutely key to BOTH of the major Notation packages on the market-Sibelius and Finale
    * Willingness to work with big companies (e.g. Steinway)
    * Willingness to help end-users in ways (like this forum) other companies could only dream about.
    * Giving us what we want. I (and I assume others) begged for a Jazz library several years ago, and voila, JABB came about. Others asked for (and will soon get) Concert & Marching Band.
    * All the things that Kevin mentioned above

    Keith Walls

  9. #9

    Re: ‘Tumultuous’ Industry Trends?? NAMM Report

    Well, I cannot speak to the digital side of the industry, but I can say that small musical instrument shops are in trouble. The mail order companies have all but put them out of business. The instrument manufacturers do not grant dealerships unless a store can order X amount of instruments, an amount that they cannot realistically afford to stock. As a result, trying instruments is a real challenge except in large cities. Where I live, it is hard to find a dealer to work with who carries the instruments I want my students to be able to buy. With beginners, there is often a rent-to-own program, but they do not carry some of the major brands, including Yamaha, Conn-Selmer-Bach, and Blessing.

    At the same time, CostCo and other large retailers are selling low priced instruments that directly compete with these small dealers.

    Perhaps this is the tumult referred to?

  10. #10

    Re: ‘Tumultuous’ Industry Trends?? NAMM Report

    I think Dave hits it on the head. I'm always baffled at people's willingness to buy an actual physical instrument over the internet (especially something like a guitar or bass), but people seem to be willing to.

    I also think that there has been a marked decrease in the number of people learning how to play a physical instrument as they grow up. Acid and GarageBand let you slap together some pre-made loops, and viola, you're a musician. And those loops can be just as easily sold via the net rather than from a brick and mortar location.

    I don't think music stores will disappear completely, but I think it's going to be the same situation that independent bookstores and record stores have faced over the last decade. Instead of Barnes & Nobles and Borders, we'll be left with Guitar Center and Sam Ash.

    Regarding the growing of the software music industry into places like China, I think the piracy issue is nigh-insurmountable.

    loyd

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