Tag Archives: music

Oh No! Not Guitar Center Too!!!

guitar centerIt looks as though Bain Capital i.e. Romney and Co. are about to lose control of one of the nation’s stalwart musical instruments retailers, Guitar Center.

For instrumental musicians, both professional and otherwise, this news may be of greater importance than the recent news surrounding Avid ( ProTools ) made public a few days ago.

Guitar Center seemed to begin having difficulties soon after they were acquired by Bain Capital in 2007.  Since then, in my opinion, digital audio solutions like Avid’s ProTools and others, have seen much more of an upswing.

Just to hit you with a few numbers, GC has reportedly amassed over $1.6 billion in debt.  The Wall Street Journal suggests that most of this debt stems from the $2.1 billion leveraged buyout orchestrated by Bain in 2007.

What does all this mean for music instrument manufacturers?  One source suggests that guitar makers may be greatly impacted.  GC keeps so much inventory on hand that the company’s financial problems may be forced onto instrument makers themselves.  This may also mean higher prices for that trusty Fender Strat you’ve been eyeballing.

JM

Pro Tools Parent Company Avid Delisted From NASDAQ

Avid

Many people can consider themselves “avid listeners” when it comes to music but the company that many in the business consider to be the “go-to product” for music production, may be hitting sour note.

Avid, the company that the majority of musicians know for their very fine product “Pro-Tools” has been de-listed from NASDAQ.  This news is not good for producers and musicians who use this longstanding product.

The financial site known as The Street was said to have reported recently, that Avid received a letter from NASDAQ, delisting them from the stock exchange.

Most insiders consider that the company, which also owns the music notation program, Sibelius, as well as other Avid hardware and software products, believe that this delisting is perhaps “not entirely about the company’s products alone.”

This is comes as quite a shock to most in the industry as the company sports a long list of Grammy award winners and technical awards, as well.

I expect that in the next few weeks, we will hear from many loyal Pro Tools users, about this most crucial news.

J

The Shift Out Of Neutral

Over the last few years, I’m sure we’ve all heard about this thing called Net Neutrality.  Right?  Only problem is that we didn’t have a clue what it was and how it affected us as users of the World Wide Web.

Let’s face it.  Who cares about the internet as long as it just works.  We get our videos, music and the Facebook on it and we’re good to go.

FCCMy main topic of conversation around this though, is how this so called Net Neutrality impacts my business and pleasure surrounding the way I present and interact with music online.

Low and behold, on Tuesday, January 13, 2014, an appeals court in Washington DC, ruled that the Federal Communications Commission’s “net neutrality” rule, is invalid.  This rule basically prevents big companies like Verizon from giving priority to certain types of internet traffic, over others.

This court ruling represents a massive “game changer” because it shifts the FCC’s current practice of requiring broadband internet providers to act as “common carriers”.  In other words, under the Net Neutrality ruling, these companies had to provide service in the same way as say, a phone company would.  This would prevent service providers from giving special preference to one type of service over another.

Having said that, I must now say that not too long ago, it seemed as though the internet could provide a bit more opportunity for commerce to musicians, indie record labels like my own, producers and writers.  However, in a post-net neutrality game, any chance of earning income in the new music economy would be in jeopardy.  Instead of earning money from sales of music and merchandise, the money would flow in the opposite direction. Not good!

It is possible that musicians and music services would be held hostage to ISPs if they wanted to continue to reach customers/fans, or, they would suffer the consequence of having their bandwidth degraded i.e. a reduction of sound quality.  This would have negative connotations for our fans, as well as, we the artists.

I hate to sound overly dramatic but this looks like trouble for the music ecosystem.

Can you offer up an opinion around this situation?

– JM