St. Albans, UK (August 16, 2018)—According to a new report released by Futuresource Consulting’s pro-audio team, mixing consoles continue to experience a customer shift towards low-end products.
“As the march of technology continues, low-end mixer consoles have evolved into highly advanced pieces of equipment,” claims Reid Rasmussen, associate consultant at Futuresource. “They far out-class and outperform their predecessors of just five years ago. Today, low-end consoles can provide much of what a mid-range console used to deliver, compelling buyers to purchase low-end solutions to meet their mid-range needs.”
Futuresource research shows that suppliers and channels alike have been taken by surprise by the strength of the market’s low-end. Many remain unsure of the nature of certain segments buying the hundreds of thousands of units shipped.
Despite this mid-range squeeze-out, the total market remains buoyant, valued at $724 million last year and on track to deliver a value growth of 5.3 percent CAGR, according to the Futuresource report. Verticals explored in the report are touring and rental, portable sound, broadcast and studio, installed leisure and installed commercial.
“Looking to the high-end of the market, we’re seeing a lot of saturation,” says Rasmussen. “Here, it’s mostly about replacements and upgrades, though there are still opportunities within broadcast, touring, concerts and large events.”
The highest price point at which analog consoles can be sold has always been limited by the low-end at which digital consoles are priced, opines the report, suggesting that with digital console prices falling, the market for analog consoles continues to shrink. End users replacing existing analog equipment with digital is another factor contributing to accelerated growth at the low-end of the market.
“Our channel research shows that customers expect new console products to do far more for less,” says Rasmussen, “delivering more features, more plug-ins, effects built-in rather than outboard, more input and output channels, DSP included and more busses. All at the same price or for less.
“With potential new market entrants looking to make quick advances and gain market share, the future landscape will be peppered with challenges and potential disruptions.”
Futuresource Consulting • www.futuresource-consulting.com