Retail Sales Declined for First Time in Seven Months as Economy Cools

Photo of Apple store in Chicago

In a new report by the U.S. Commerce Department released Wednesday, U.S. retail sales in September have broadly dropped for the first time in seven months. The report is seen by many economists as another significant sign of a cooling economy.

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Google Remains #1 in Search Ad Revenues, But is Feeling Some Heat from Below

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New research data released by eMarketer on the search engine advertising market shows that Google, the perennial leader in search advertising revenues, remains in first place. However, the data reveals a strongly rising competitor coming in second. Who that competitor is just may surprise you.

See who is rising as a threat to Google…

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With Loss of Two Potential Buyers, Onkyo’s Future is a Question Mark


As you most likely know by now, Onkyo Corp. and Sound United have called off their transaction which would have transferred ownership of the 73-year old Onkyo brand, as well as the Integra, Pioneer, and Pioneer Elite brands to Sound United. The shocking news capped off a nearly five month process where many in the industry tried to figure out just how this deal made sense.

This was the second loss of a potential buyer for Onkyo, which admits it is re-evaluating its future based on the failure to sell off its brands.

See why Onkyo’s future is a question mark…

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CEDIA19: Origin Acoustics in Big Entry into Commercial Market

Origin's Aaron Cattoir at CEDIA19 with a big subwoofer
Origin’s Aaron Cattoir showing me a new and very big in-room subwoofer [Click to enlarge]

Always an entertaining stop at CEDIA, Origin Acoustics didn’t disappoint again this year with a significant number of new models, some other updated models, and new announcements. See what caught my eye at this CEDIA Expo…

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CEDIA19: Fred Rosen Says Red Carpet Home Cinema is Ready for Their Close-Up

Red Carpet Home Cinema logo

While others are just now discovering them, Strata-gee first told you about Red Carpet Home Cinema back in April of 2019. At that time, they were really just a concept. But now, CEO Fred Rosen told me at CEDIA, the premium home movie delivery service has arrived and they are now in active beta testing in about 100 homes…

Rosen says why Red Carpet will succeed where others failed…

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Sony Announces Promotions in the AV Specialty & Custom Integration Sales Group

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Sony announced that is has promoted two of the members of its team to new roles in the wake of the recent retirement of Gary Frankel, Western Regional Sales Manager. Both new appointments are in their “award-winning” AV Specialty and Custom Integration sales group and were made effective as of September 1, 2019.

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Sound United Calls Off Onkyo Acquisition


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In a tersely worded release, Sound United announced today that its deal to acquire the Onkyo, Integra, Pioneer, and Pioneer Elite brands is off. Originally announced in May, the deal was said to be conditional on the completion of due diligence, the signing of “definitive agreements” and other specific elements. Apparently, that process was not successful.

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CEDIA 2019: In Turbulent Economy Sony’s Frank Sterns Tells His Team Just ‘Work the Plan’

Sony's Frank Sterns at CEDIA Expo 2019
Sony’s Frank Sterns addressing the media at CEDIA Expo 2019 [Click to enlarge]

Much like any trade show, CEDIA Expo 2019 was full of optimism and good cheer. But with just a few questions to top executives of major exhibitors it is fairly easy to pierce that veil of good cheer to reveal underlying concerns of approaching economic storm clouds. I chatted with Frank Sterns, Sony’s Vice President of AV Specialty/Custom Integration, about the turbulent waters our industry is sailing through and how Sony is faring in the face of these increasing headwinds.

See the course Sony has charted in these turbulent times…

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CEDIA 2019: OSD Audio Continues Expansion of Innovative System Solutions

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OSD Audio, a specialty supplier of a wide assortment of audio solutions, continues to expand their offerings with new subwoofers, amplifiers, and streaming devices shown at last month’s 2019 CEDIA Expo. The company also featured a dramatic 7.3.4 Dolby Atmos theater system which not only showcased their new Trevoce12 subwoofers (three of them, no less) but also their monster Theatro X11 amplifier with 11-channels of 380 wpc. To say it just about knocked my socks off would be an understatement.

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CEDIA 2019: Lenbrook Launches Array of New Models from Multiple Specialty Brands

Stephen Baker of Lenbrook showing their CEDIA Best New Product award
Lenbrook Senior Director of Sales Stephen Baker showing CEDIA Best New Product award [Click to enlarge]

At the the CEDIA Expo earlier this month, Lenbrook had a substantial launch of multiple new models from their collection of brands. Firmly positioned in the mid- to high-end technology market, the new products from Bluesound, Dali, NAD, and PSB continued to forge a path into the new digital audiophile market with high-quality streaming models and high-end in-wall and on-wall speaker and subwoofer solutions.

And in the case of one model, it was an award-winning presentation…

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