A group of industry manufacturer sales representatives in the Southwest has partnered with Samsung to produce one of the first in-person industry dealer events in more than a year called the TOLA Expo. The event, which takes place on June 29-30, 2021 covers a huge region – organizers refer to it as a “super-regional show” – drawing from the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas…hence, TOLA.
>Learn How to Improve Consumers’ Trust in Your Brand
Many political observers have declared the end of bi-partisanship, as the political right and left seem further apart than ever before in the history of the country. Yet there is one area where both parties agree, it is time to rein in the big tech players. Ironically, in a new poll of the 15 most trusted brands in the world, we find a lot of tech represented – including some of the Big Tech players. Is Congress out of step with the American people? And how important is “trust” to a company or brand anyway?
See the most trusted brands & how to improve yours…[Read more…] about Congress Prepares to Regulate Big Tech, Yet They Top ‘Most Trusted Brands’ Poll
Part 2 – We Go Deep into the World of Those Opposed to MQA & Bill Leebens Speaks with GoldenSound
STRATA-GEE: This is the second installment of our series on the controversy engulfing MQA, conducted in partnership with guest poster Bill Leebens. In this post, you will learn more about those who are critical of MQA, with some going on the record for the first time for this story. MQA has been controversial almost from the beginning – with an intense opposition that ebbs and flows over time. But as we told you in our introductory installment (see MQA Controversy – A True Audio Breakthrough? Or a Marketing Scam?), a recent YouTube video critique from an audiophile not involved in the audio industry, has spurred a huge resurgence of interest (that video had over 267,000 views!), in part because of the perhaps naive but seemingly earnest reasonableness of “GoldenSound” and the heavy-handed backslap from MQA.
Learn more on why some oppose MQA[Read more…] about MQA – Voices Arise in Harmony with a Video Critique from ‘GoldenSound’
Savant Entering DIY? GE Lighting to Bring High-End Home Automation to Lowes?? Read On…
Recently I heard some concerning information on just what Savant was planning to do with their recently acquired GE Lighting division. Concepts like Savant entering the DIY market…and GE Lighting bringing high-end home automation to the Home Depot/Lowes channel…were confusing and not the typical Savant marketing strategy. So I reached out to the company for clarification. In a Zoom interview with Savant President J.C. Murphy, I learned much more about the strategy behind the company’s acquisition of GE Lighting, and how they intend to integrate – and cross-pollinate – the technologies, engineering, and capabilities between the two companies.
Murphy cleared up the confusion and revealed their smart, smart home strategy – with the GE Lighting and Savant brands well-positioned.
Learn what’s going on here…[Read more…] about We Learn the Brand Positioning Strategy for Savant and GE Lighting
Part 1 – A Bill Leebens Guest Post
STRATA-GEE: For some time now, I have been hearing rumbles throughout the audio community, particularly the high-end audio community, about controversy surrounding MQA (Master Quality Authentication) – a U.K. company that claims to have created a proprietary technology that allows for the delivery of “better than lossless” audio via certain streaming services. At first, it seemed like the Holy Grail of audio – delivering music that is identical to the original master recording into your earbuds via streaming services such as Tidal. Then the whispers started – “It sounds like it is too good to be true because it IS too good to be true.“
Recently, a YouTube video appeared that blew the doors of MQA dissent wide open and seems to show that MQA technology is NOT doing what the company claims and leaves many to conclude that MQA is little more than a thinly veiled marketing scam. The company pushed back…hard. I asked Bill Leebens to investigate the swirling whirlwind of controversy now engulfing MQA.
See more on our investigation into MQA…[Read more…] about MQA Controversy – A True Audio Breakthrough? Or a Marketing Scam?
In a press release distributed Wednesday morning, Integrated Systems Events (part of Integrated Systems Europe) announced the conclusion of their annual ISE event, this year in Barcelona, Spain for the first time on June 1-2. It was a hybrid-style event, offering an online or virtual conference as well as an in-person event with exhibitors in the Fira de Barcelona exhibition center. The organizers heralded the event as helping “the industry getting back to business.”
But how successful was the ISE this year? See more…[Read more…] about ISE 2021 ‘Heralds’ Getting the Industry ‘Back to Business,’ But Did They?
Not long ago, I weighed in on whether I believed that the U.S. economy would “bounce back” after the impact of COVID-19 began to taper off. A vigorous debate had erupted at the time, with multiple market observers offering their opinions as to whether there would be a v-shaped, w-shaped, u-shaped (or another character) recovery. We all wanted a v-shaped recovery, which would mean that the economy would essentially snap back instantly to where it was before the pandemic.
I did not expect a v-shaped recovery because it seemed to me that reopening the economy would be less coordinated than when the entire country basically shut down at the beginning of the pandemic. The latest government data on U.S. job growth shows this to be the case.
See the latest US jobs numbers in our sloppy recovery[Read more…] about US Jobs Post-COVID: A Longer Slog Back Than Expected
Whether you are a manufacturer designing tech gear for the residential market, or an integrator designing systems for your client’s homes, it can be helpful to better understand how they wish to use the gear or systems to consume media content. New statistical research shows that – no surprise – the average daily time U.S. consumers spent consuming media hit an all-time high in 2020…the year of COVID-19. You probably already knew this fact or at least suspected it to be the case. Now the data is in and between digital media and traditional media, the average consumption moved up by almost an extra hour a day.
But what you likely don’t know is – which specific media category saw increased use, which specific media category saw decreased use? And, most importantly, what happens now?
See the latest data forecasting of consumer media consumption…[Read more…] about US Consumer Media Usage Hits All-Time High in 2020; What Happens Now?
Well after much coverage on the VOXX/Onkyo deal by Strata-gee, in which VOXX remained strangely silent, the company finally issued a press release today in which they acknowledged that they had signed an asset purchase agreement (APA) with Onkyo for $30.8 million. The deal remains subject to approval by Onkyo shareholders in a vote scheduled to take place on June 25, 2021.
This news was likely not a surprise to Strata-gee readers. But what was a surprise is that this purchase does NOT include the Pioneer and Pioneer Elite brands.
See more on the latest news out of VOXX about Onkyo[Read more…] about VOXX Finally Speaks: We Have an Agreement to Purchase Only Onkyo
Bryston Ltd., a well-regarded manufacturer of high-end audio and home theater gear, announced on Wednesday that it has partnered with Azione Unlimited, a nationwide buying group of integrators. The move looks to expand their potential network of dealers here in the U.S.