At the CEA Line Show last month, we saw a whole spectrum of exhibitors, including: 1) Unknown brands vying to get the attention of the tech press; 2) Well-known brands showing products again that have already been announced and shown; 3) And then there were a couple of surprises – well-known companies showing entirely new products or product categories. SpeakerCraft, a well-known predominantly custom integration supplier, surprised us with a new product in a new category for them…they call it Protegé.
Years ago, the step-up component audio world was dominated by the big three: Yamaha, Onkyo, and Denon. Having joined Onkyo in 1985, I got to participate in what some people called the “meat of the market.” These brands hit the optimal “sweet spot” of volume and profitability and literally could be the difference between life-and-death for dealers.
And we knew it. Those were heady times, and often we let our egos run wild – turning our noses up at mass market brands such as Sony, Kenwood, and Pioneer. Well, I’m older and wiser now – the big three aren’t what they used to be – and I recognize smart and savvy moves when I see them…and Pioneer is impressing me. Continue reading
One of the benefits of attending the 2012 CEA Line Show in NYC is that the sponsoring trade group (Consumer Electronics Association) brings their resident economist who provides the latest market research data of where the industry is now…and where he thinks it will be at the end of the year after the holiday selling season. He’s not always right…but he is always interesting. And this year, as always, there was a mixture of good news and mostly bad news.
See the latest CEA data – much of it surprising. Do you agree with their areas of opportunity?… Continue reading
Residential Systems Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Glowacki, probably one of the smartest, classiest guys in the industry, revealed on his blog earlier this week that he has been elected to CEDIA’s “Fellows” Program. A honor only bestowed upon a handful of industry executives every year, Glowacki displayed honest surprise at his selection. And, in noting that the honor apparently comes with lifetime CEDIA membership – turned wistful in an emotional blog post about the current state of the industry in So Many Departures in So Little Time. Continue reading
At the CEA LineShow last week, Monster put on a press conference that, as usual, was quite a show. And the first surprise was that the event was kicked off by a new Monster – recently appointed Global VP of Marketing and Web Tracy Benson. Benson, a former Senior Director at Best Buy, wasted no time launching into the presentation by reminding reporters that Monster Beats “proved them wrong” when many said consumers would not pay more for a better, more richer listening experience. Continue reading
Only weeks after reporting of the triumphant return of Oscar Ciornei to Russound, a company for which he was once COO earlier in his career, news comes to us that the parties have agreed to part company. A swift and surprising development – the company says the reason for the mutually agreed-upon separation was an emerging conflict with an existing client. However, we have received reports that suggest other issues may have also been a factor.
Only one month on the job, what went wrong?… Continue reading
The 2012 CEA Line Show wrapped up today and as usual, it was a combination of mind-numbing “me-too” posers, mixed in with a handful of some real, creative, innovators. The problem is, it took a lot of patience to wade through all of the literally hundreds of booths, and thousands of people to dig through muck…and find the gems.
See our show overview… Continue reading
Since 2007, the housing industry has been in a long, downward slump, with only a few positive bumps along the way providing some moderation. Today, however, we may be finally seeing some of the first “green shoots” of a possible turnaround in housing with two different and unrelated reports turning in positive numbers.
Is this the beginning of a housing turnaround?… Continue reading
On Tuesday, the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) held a webinar for the media called the 2012 Mid-Year Construction Forecast with presentations from some of the most powerful industry-related economists with fresh data and forecasts…and some surprises.
See new construction data and the latest trends it suggests will occur… Continue reading
THIEL Audio announced today that it has appointed Scowcroft Associates as its sales representative for the Rocky Mountain territory effective immediately. Well-known and respected in the territory, Scowcroft Associates is also very experienced in the sales of mid- to high-end product lines.