Pro Audio Trends: Blake Augsburger (2015 NAMM Show)
Blake Augsburger, president of Harman Professional, weighed in on pro audio and live sound trends during “Breakfast of Champions” at the 2015 NAMM Show.
In speaking with Joe Lamond, NAMM President and CEO, Augsburger commented, “where we’re seeing our main growth is in installation and touring, or live sound.” He mentioned that the portable P.A. business is still “a good business” but not a growth area.
Augsburger singled out houses of worship and restaurants as particularly strong areas of growth in the pro audio market. “The way [music retailers] get into it is really by providing a complete service,” he said. “So design, installation—and it’s got to be a quality installation, that’s very important—and then a full service at the end. I think that’s an area, if I was a retailer and wanted to branch out.
“A P.A. in a church is probably one of the biggest P.A.s you’ll find around. So I think that that’s a kind of business that would be very interesting to people in this room.”
According to Augsburger, an increase in touring activity and music festivals have contributed to live sound’s growth.
“We’re seeing more reunion tours, more festivals,” he said. “That’s great for the live sound business. That’s really where we started, and that’s what made our business what it is.
“What we’re also seeing is a return of the corporate rental business. More corporations are doing live sales meetings, product launches, big parties. That’s a business that completely went away during the recession.”