Chicago, IL (May 8, 2020)—Remote learning isn’t always easy, especially if you don’t have the right tools. With that in mind, Shure has stepped up and donated $79,000 worth of Shure SE215 Sound Isolating earphones to Chicago Public Schools.
Thousands of Shure SE215 earphones were donated as they are compatible with smartphones and laptops, help eliminate distracting noises and were designed with an eye towards being worn for extended periods of time. They also have an inline mic for two-way communication between students and teachers. Select Chicago Public Schools on the South, West and North sides of Chicago have received the earphones to distribute to those who need them.
“Once schools were closed, teachers, staff, and administrators were forced to move toward a new normal by having students and teachers use online learning tools like Google Meet,” said Jeffrey Finelli, principal at Edison Park Elementary School. “Shure made a donation specifically for families who were not fortunate enough to have the proper tools to help their child learn effectively at home. It made a world of difference for so many families. Students are now not distracted when they are participating in the live video conferences and able to communicate with their classmates. This was not possible before Shure made their generous donation.”
During the pandemic, Shure has also responded to COVID-19 in other ways, from donating N95 masks to a Chicago-area hospital, to providing support for the Chicago Independent Venue League, a collection of more than 20 music halls and performance venues, to making a corporate donation to Direct Relief, an organization working with authorities to provide personal protective equipment (PPEs) to health care workers in affected regions of the world.
“We are pleased to lend our support to Chicago Public Schools students and educators during this challenging and unprecedented time,” said Mark Brunner, vice president of Global Corporate and Government Relations at Shure. “This significant need for online learning tools presented an opportunity for Shure to fulfill what we consider to be a vital part of our corporate responsibility to our community.”
Fort Wayne, IN (May 7, 2020)—For years, Sweetwater’s annual GearFest has brought thousands of audio professionals and music makers every June to the company’s headquarters in Fort Wayne, IN. With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging, however, the pro-audio retailer will move GearFest 2020 online, holding this year’s edition on June 26 and 27.
“While we’re certainly disappointed that we can’t host GearFest on our campus this summer, we hope that by creating an online event we can reach even more music makers and music lovers than we have in the past,” said Sweetwater founder & CEO Chuck Surack. While it will be a virtual event, GearFest will still feature seminars and workshops from artists, as well as live music, giveaways and deals on gear.
The company already has plenty of experience providing its educational GearFest offerings online—at GearFest 2019, more than 28 hours of workshops and sessions at GearFest were streamed live online, with 250,000 people watching from afar. Onsite, the event drew its largest attendance ever with 17,000-plus people (up 13% over 2018), rolling out 81 live workshops and seminars hosted by 72 pros.
“We are in the early stages of planning, but we are working hard to create an exceptional experience, even though we’ll be doing it from afar,” said GearFest executive director Bob Bailey. “Our vendor partners are excited about offering some great deals and are helping to create some one-of-a-kind opportunities for those who join us online.”
What is your new position, and what does it entail?
Jonathan “JP” Parker: In my new role as director of global sales and marketing, I will focus on global expansion of the Danley brand and business development into new market segments for our company, including product offerings in touring sound, studio recording, home theater, luxury cinema and safety warning systems divisions.
How has your background prepared you for your new role?
I have been very fortunate to have held a variety of positions over the last 30-plus years in domestic and international sales and marketing management, product management, front line sales, general management and procurement. Working for both small and large corporations (Aviom, ASPI, Harman, Bose, Martin Audio and others) has helped sharpen my understanding of how all the important pieces of a business must fit together to work effectively.
What new marketing initiatives are we likely to see from the company?
There will be an emphasis on bolstering our brand awareness to the markets we serve, especially at the user level.
Short-term, our goal is to provide the best support possible for our customers, providing education, design support, and getting them the best solution for their projects. We have doubled our support staff to accomplish this. Long-term, my goal is to expand production overseas so we can provide faster turnaround and reduce some of the absorptive costs of shipping by air and sea to our international distribution.
What is the greatest challenge you face?
One of our biggest challenges is to get resellers and customers to open their minds to our technology and take the leap forward to a different and very viable approach! We are all human and become comfortable using the same things over and over that we know will work, even when there might be a better solution.
Toronto, Canada (May 6, 2020) — Yorkville Sound is working with Starfish Medical on an open-source ventilator design project to increase the number of ventilators in Canada. The pro-audio manufacturer is providing its engineering and manufacturing expertise as it collaborates in an answer to the Government of Canada’s call to action to Canadian businesses and manufacturers to help deliver critical health supplies to fight the COVID 19 pandemic.
“Our design and manufacturing team is very excited to be part of the solution during this unprecedented time,” says Steve Long, Yorkville Sound’s president. “We’re providing circuit-board design and layout, as well as the assembly of the control panel for the ventilator project. Our capable facility is quite nimble, and we are able to produce finished results quickly and with accuracy. We are dedicated to help flatten the curve and provide much needed equipment for our country’s healthcare professionals.”
Located in the Toronto area like Yorkville Sound, StarFish Medical is a full service Medical Device Design company offering design, development, and manufacturing services. John Walmsley, EVP of Strategic Relationships at Starfish Medical, added; “What better contributor to a Canadian emergency ventilator program than Yorkville Sound, whose manufacturing and production ingenuity established them at the top of the music and professional sound industry. Like other industrial contributors, Yorkville stepped in and got us the parts we needed fast.”
The ventilator project is inspired by The Winnipeg Ventilator, a project designed for ICU use and among the easiest in the world to bring into high volume production.
London, UK (May 6, 2020)—Streaming accounted for more than half of global recorded music revenue in 2019, according to IFPI’s newly released annual Global Music Report, driving total revenues to a fifth consecutive year of growth.
IFPI reports that total revenues for the global recorded music market grew by 8.2% for the year 2019 to $20.2 billion. Streaming revenue grew by 22.9% to $11.4 billion, accounting for more than half — 56.1% of the global total — for the first time ever. Revenue from physical sales continued to fall, declining by 5.3% over the year, but were more than offset by the upward trend in streaming.
A 24.1% increase in paid subscriptions across nearly all markets drove the growth in streaming, according to the report. By the end of 2019 there were a reported 341 million users of paid streaming services, an increase of 33.5% over the previous year. Paid streaming accounted for 42% of total recorded music revenue.
Download revenues, which now account for only 5.9% of global music sales, fell 15%. CD and vinyl sales brought in $4.4 billion in revenue, or 22% of the global total. Sales of vinyl were up 5% and now account for over 16% of total physical format revenues.
Regionally, North America grew by 10.4% to retain its title as the largest region for recorded music revenues, accounting for 39.1% of the global market. The US reported its fifth consecutive year of growth, with revenues increasing 10.5%. Canada emerged from the doldrums of 2018 to report an increase of 8.1%.
The world’s second-largest region, Europe, also largely flat in 2018, grew 7.2%. The strongest showing came from the UK (+7.2%), Germany (+5.1%), Italy (+8.2%) and Spain, which reported a particularly strong 16.3% growth.
Latin America was the fastest-growing region, also for the fifth straight year, posting an 18.9% increase in revenues. The region’s three largest markets reported significant gains. Brazil’s revenues were up 13.1% over the previous year, Mexico reported an increase of 17.1% and Argentina grew 40.9%.
Japanese boy band Arashi’s 20th anniversary release, 5×20 All the BEST!! 1999-2019, was the best-selling album of the year worldwide with sales of 3.3 million, followed by Taylor Swift’s Lover with 3.2 million copies sold. In third place was BTS’ Map of the Soul: Persona with sales of 2.5 million.
Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” took the title for the year’s best-selling digital single, racking up 19.5 million global converted track equivalents. Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” was second with 18.4 million units sold. Shawn Medes and Camila Cabello’s “Senorita,” with 16.1 million track equivalents, was third.
In March, IFPI named Taylor Swift the world’s best-selling recording artist of 2019. She previously won the award in 2014. Lover, her seventh studio album, released in August 2019, debuted at number one in more than 10 countries and reached three million album-equivalent sales worldwide by the end of its first week of release.
It’s unlikely that 2020 will see revenue growth continue at the same pace as 2019 in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Indeed, IFPI’s report, due in March, was apparently delayed by the Covid-19 outbreak. As Frances Moore, chief executive of IFPI, comments, “While the numbers we are reporting are a snapshot of the business last year, the COVID-19 pandemic presents challenges unimaginable just months ago.”
Bluffdale, UT (May 4, 2020)—Listen Technologies has acquired ExXothermic, Inc., a manufacturer working in the realm of low-latency Wi-Fi audio technology. ExXothermic has several patents for its Wi-Fi streaming technology used in assistive listening, fitness centers, waiting areas, hospitality, and other applications and environments around the world.
Listen Technologies and ExXothermic, Inc. have worked together in partnership for more than two years. In 2017, Listen Technologies acquired ExXothermic’s Audio Everywhere brand and licensed its Wi-Fi technology. ExXothermic technology is the foundation of Listen Technologies’ audio Wi-Fi products Listen EVERYWHERE and the recently launched Navilution Wi-Fi.
Listen Technologies’ Wi-Fi solutions help businesses and venues connect with consumers and guests via their smart devices to deliver audio and personalized experiences in classrooms, restaurants, houses of worship, theaters and manufacturing facilities. This acquisition augments Listen Technologies’ presence in Wi-Fi audio and deepens its technology core competence.
“Listen Technologies’ partnership with ExXothermic over the years and the combination of our two companies today enables us to provide even more Wi-Fi-enabled solutions for customers,” said Russ Gentner, CEO of Listen Technologies. “As the availability of Wi-Fi and number of smartphone users increase globally, so are applications for our solutions. We have several new products in development that will address these new applications.”
Dr. Lance Glasser founded Silicon Valley-based ExXothermic, Inc. in 2012. He has authored more than 30 U.S. patents. Glasser will join Listen Technologies’ board of directors and head the company’s research group.
“Lance shares Listen Technologies’ passion for innovation and our commitment to creating unique solutions that foster engagement,” said Tracy Bathurst, chief technology officer and senior vice president at Listen Technologies. “We have enjoyed partnering with Lance and are excited to officially welcome him and the ExXothermic team to Listen Technologies. We look forward to continued collaboration in bringing high-quality, low-latency Wi-Fi solutions to market.”
“Listen Technologies is renowned for creating innovative listening solutions,” said Glasser, vice president of research and business development at Listen Technologies. “ExXothermic, Inc. is delighted to become part of Listen Technologies and combine our intellectual property and expertise. Together, we’ll expand the applications and features of our technology to meet new and growing markets worldwide.”
Group One Ltd., the Long Island, NY-based U.S. distributor for Avolites, Calrec, DiGiCo, KLANG, Solid State Logic and several other professional audio and lighting manufacturers, has promoted Trisha Matulewicz to the newly created position of chief financial officer. Matulewicz’s previous role was financial controller, a position she had held since joining the company nearly two years ago. Before coming to Group One, she served as the vice president of finance at NYC-based Medical Knowledge Group, a professional services organization specializing in medical communications, healthcare consulting and data analytics. Prior to that, Matulewicz spent time in public accounting, where she managed audits of hedge funds, broker dealers and 401(k) plans. Matulewicz holds an MBA from Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business, as well as an undergraduate degree in accounting and marketing from Pace University in New York City.
Meyer Sound has promoted two managers to key high-level management positions: Amy Luley has been named director of U.S. sales operations and Mary Molnar has been appointed technical services manager, Americas. Both will report to senior vice president of sales and marketing John McMahon.
In her new position, Luley assumes direct responsibility for managing Meyer Sound’s team of 15 sales managers and sales engineers throughout the United States. Account management, dealer contracts and dealer relationships will be under her direction. Since joining Meyer Sound in 2014, Luley has served as Salesforce.com administrator, sales operations manager, and sales and business development project manager.
Meanwhile, Molnar assumes overall responsibility of Meyer Sound’s newly integrated design services and technical support teams throughout the Western Hemisphere. Molnar joined Meyer Sound in 2018 as strategic projects manager. For the 25 years prior to that, she held key management and sales positions at San Francisco rental partner McCune AVL, overseeing company logistics and managing major projects.
DHD Audio, a manufacturer of professional mixers and audio devices, has promoted Anne Philipp to general manager. She reports to managing directors Joerg M. Deubner and Sven Hoffmann. Graduating in 2006 with a business administration degree from the University of Leipzig, Philipp joined DHD in January 2007 as an executive assistant responsible for materials procurement and accounting. She later also took on production planning duties. She left the company to work on public tender preparation for a municipal organization in 2010 but returned to DHD in 2016, resuming her former roles within the company and adding supervision of DHD’s human resources department.
MSE Audio, parent company of SoundTube Entertainment, Soundsphere, dARTS, Phase Technology, Induction Dynamics, SolidDrive and Rockustics, has appointed Lin Buck to director of U.S. sales and global business development. Buck brings more than 20 years of sales experience to MSE Audio in the professional audio video markets. Previously, Buck worked as an independent manufacturer’s rep and then worked directly with Bosch (Electro-Voice), Harman Professional and Adamson Systems. Buck began his professional music career at age 13, which led to his career in pro audio. Based in Kansas City, MO, Lin has a home recording studio and enjoys writing, playing and producing music, spending time with his three children, cooking and building things.
Clear-Com has brought on Peter Fong as director of sales for the Asia-Pacific region. Fong will be responsible for developing and implementing sales strategies and ensuring his team is supported and meets their sales goals. He brings global technical sales experience to the role, with more than 20 years in sales/marketing and business development for technology companies. In his last position, he worked for Net Insight as head of sales, APAC. Prior to that, he worked at Globecast Group as sales director (APAC) and at Netia as head of sales (APAC). In these roles, he became familiar with the nuances of the market and what is required for sales in the area.
Beyerdynamic has expanded its North American team by hiring David Fisk as sales manager for consumer products and Chris Norris as sales manager for communications products. Norris is an experienced audio professional. In addition to having worked in Korg USA’s educational division, he most recently was the key account manager for a major DJ and music technology product manufacturer. He is based in Long Island, NY.
Meanwhile, Fisk started his audio career as a 2001 graduate of DePaul University with a bachelor of science degree in sound recording technology. He has since attained a background in professional audio retail, post-production sound, field recording, game development, sales and manufacturing. He is based in Nashville, TN.
Point Source Audio
Point Source Audio has named Joe Cota as its customer education specialist; Justin Hall has been named key account manager; and Mitchell Ho has become account manager, Western U.S. Cota is a professional singer and musician by trade, while Hall is a seasoned account manager who has served customers, managed projects and dealt with international distributors for much of his career. Ho’s new position as account manager is his first job outside of minor league baseball, although he has been around professional audio his entire life.
Lectrosonics has appointed Jimmy Yap as its technical representative for the Asia-Pacific Region. Based in Cambodia, Yap will represent Lectrosonics by supporting dealers, end users and future customers throughout the region, which includes China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Bangladesh. Yap has a background in technical engineering, distribution and sales, having held executive positions at his own company as well as at a variety of industry manufacturers. Since 2012, he has been the owner of AV Designs & Consulting Engineers, and has held product specialist and technical consultant positions in the region at manufacturers including QSC and Coda Audio.
Chicago, IL (May 1, 2020)—Periscope Post & Audio and Unlock Audio have formed a strategic partnership to provide game developers with an integrated single source for sound and music services.
The two companies will offer game developers packaged services encompassing music composition, sound design, Foley, voice recording, sound editorial, audio implementation and surround sound mixing.
Periscope Post & Audio, a full-service sound and picture post-production company that also has facilities in West Hollywood, CA, will provide sound services for games through its Chicago facility in an effort led by senior mixer and sound designer John Wong. A 20-year industry veteran, Wong brings experience across features, television, advertising and games, the latter including Netherrealm’s Injustice: God’s Among Us; Iron Galaxy Studios’ Extinction; Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead, Season 2; and Ragtag Studio’s Ray’s the Dead.
“We’ve been looking to take advantage of John’s experience in games and Unlock Audio presented us with the perfect opportunity,” says Periscope Post & Audio owner Mike Nehs. “We see great potential in the booming game industry.”
Periscope Post & Audio is best known for its work in film and television, including the CBS series The Unicorn, and Showtime’s series Work in Progress. Unlock Audio is a sound and music production company focused on games. Team Member credits include Trinket Studios’ Battle Chef Brigade, IronOak Games’ For the King, Awaceb’s Fossil Echo and Future Immersive’s Furious Seas (a VR title).
Unlock Audio was founded in 2019 by composer and sound designer Elliot Callighan. Its creative team, which also includes sound designer Chris Prunotto, sound designer/dialogue editor George Hufnagl and composer John Robert Matz, provides game music and sound production services including linear cinematics, in-game cinematics and audio implementation.
“We have enjoyed success among high-tier independent and AA developers,” says Elliot Callighan. “Our partnership with Periscope allows us to elevate our capabilities, visibility and resources to service the very top end of the market.”
New York, NY (April 29, 2020)—In place of this year’s InfoComm convention, the online InfoComm 2020 Connected show will take place starting June 16, 2020. Running in tandem with the online event’s first day, Future plc will announce the winners of this year’s InfoComm Best of Show Special Edition Awards…and here’s how to nominate your product for consideration!
The Best of Show Special Edition celebrates those products which would have been showcased live at InfoComm, and will share them with 95,000+ relevant professionals in the audio visual industry.
From now until May 29 2020, businesses can nominate new products for awards presented by Future publications Sound & Video Contractor, AV Technology, Digital Signage, Rental & Staging Systems, Installation, Pro Sound News, Mix, Tech & Learning and Government Video.
Los Angeles, CA (April 20, 2020)—Roland has expanded its categories for Roland Cloud Academy, an online learning platform providing free music and video production training. The new offerings will add livestreaming, synthesizer and Zenbeats courses to the current lineup of offerings covering Roland’s DJ and production instruments.
In the Cloud Academy’s interactive, multimedia online platform, instructors provide real-time responses to questions submitted via live chat, voice, and webcam. Launched in 2017 as a free program, Roland Cloud Academy has reportedly doubled in both attendance and course offerings in 2020.
Sessions at the academy showcase Roland DJ products such as DJ-202, DJ-505, DJ-707M, and DJ-808 controllers, with MC-101 / MC-707 GROOVEBOXES and TR-8S Rhythm Performer recently added in February 2020. The newest course offerings announced today feature FANTOM Synthesizers, Zenbeats music creation app, and a general knowledge livestreaming course including two of Roland’s award-winning products, the VR-1HD AV Streaming Mixer, and the GO:LIVECAST Livestreaming Studio for Smartphones.
The new Livestreaming program familiarizes students with livestreaming fundamentals like online platforms, technical requirements, production basics and monetization options. An overview of several Roland streaming products and third-party cameras / accessories is also covered, with focus on video conferencing, remote teaching, live performance, worship services, gamecasting, and more.
Meanwhile, the newly added FANTOM curriculum, offered over three separate courses, aims to teach students the foundations of keyboard synthesis, performing and controlling external applications like Mainstage. The Cloud Academy’s two-tiered Zenbeats program offers users the chance to learn directly from product specialists and advance their skills and creative scope within the music software.