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2019 in review: July-September

Reflect on the biggest stories of July-September 2019 as we get ready to enter a new decade

L-R: Focusrite CEO Tim Carroll and ADAM Audio CEO Christian Hellinger.

It’s been a busy 12 months for the industry, with big-time acquisitions, company developments and venue installations in abundance, and of course, the inevitable weight of Brexit on many an audio professional’s shoulders. As we come to the end of another eventful year, PSNEurope is releasing a 12-month review of the biggest stories throughout 2019…

Focusrite invested in Adam Audio

The Focusrite Group, which comprises the Focusrite, Focusrite Pro, Novation and Ampify Music brands, acquired monitor manufacturer, ADAM Audio, on July 16, 2019.

This acquisition marked its first acquisition since going public in 2014, which the company described as representing ‘a clear demonstration of its careful consideration around which brands should join in the Group’s mission to remove barriers to creativity’.

Focusrite founder and chairman, Phil Dudderidge, said of the deal: “I am delighted that we have an important new addition to our family of brands. With a vision to create the most holistic creative experience for recording professionals and musicians alike, choosing the right high-precision studio monitor brand is key. Together with ADAM Audio we can achieve so much more, removing the technical barriers that frustrate artists seeking to record and reveal their true sound.”

Initial focus is to ensure Adam Audio has “all the necessary freedom and autonomy it needs.”

View an interview with Focusrite’s CEO Tim Carroll here and ADAM Audio’s CEO Christian Hellinger here.

MPTS took over BVE

The annual BVE (Broadcast Video Expo) was cancelled in late August this year, with its key assets acquired by MPTS (Media Production and Technology Show).

Taking place on May 13-14 2020 at London Olympia, MPTS will now become the biggest UK event for the broadcast production and technology industry, with MBI (Media Business Insight – publisher of Broadcast magazine) acquiring the rights to BVE’s intellectual property, marketing data, and marketing channels.

Charlotte Wheeler, MPTS event director, commented: “After reviewing the market, ITE Group decided they were not going to go ahead with their BVE show and approached us in a collaborative way to make sure the closure of their event led to one strong show for the broadcast production and technology industry. They wanted to do the right thing for the market and their former customers.

“That meant we could acquire both their customer data and intellectual property. It all happened quite quickly once it became clear that the industry was better served with one show.”

PSNEurope took a journey to Iceland, one of the world’s most unique recording locations

In September this year, PSNEurope editor Daniel Gumble donned his winter coat and made his way to Iceland to check out a plethora of recording studios as part of its Record In Iceland initiative. Though its entire population totals a mere 340,000 (according to Eurostat figures), the variety of top class recording facilities in Iceland’s possession could rival that of cities and countries 10 times as densely populated – a message the nation’s Ministry of Industry and Innovation is keen to spread. In order to achieve this, it has released funding for export office Iceland Music and its Record In Iceland initiative, which offers artists a 25 per cent discount on the cost of recording at any of its participating studios, many of which we’ll be visiting over the coming days.

For the past decade or so, Iceland’s studio sector has been in good health – a number of new facilities have opened up, while pre-existing studios have seen demand for their services rise. Yet there is a sense that it remains something of a hidden gem as a recording destination – a reputation that the Ministry is seeking to change. Not to dilute any of its mystical allure, but to raise its profile as a hub of musical excellence that extends beyond the likes of Björk and Sigur Rós. Central to this mission, aside from promoting its fabulous recording services, is reframing the commonly held perception of Iceland as being too expensive a place to make music. To dig into the finer details of the initiative, the Ministry’s Erna Jónsdóttir agreed to meet us for coffee at Reykjavik’s iconic Harpa concert hall.

“The thought process behind Record In Iceland came out of lobbying from people from the music industry, especially because we have a similar system for the movie business,” she explained. “They had argued for years that something similar should be done for music.”

Essentially, the 25 per cent reimbursement is open to both domestic and international artists and can be applied to the combined costs of both studio fees and travel to Iceland.

According to Jónsdóttir, it’s a straightforward enough process, and while the benefits for artists are substantial, the initiative also presents a lucrative prospect for the studios in question. “The application is quite simple and people need to understand that it isn’t too much work to apply, considering the money you can save,” she adds. “And it’s a business opportunity for the studios. They have advantages over a lot of other studios in the world [with the natural beauty and proximity to the city and the country]. Plus, the studio rates in Iceland are relatively low. It’s all about getting the word out.”

View the whole piece here.

You can read the full 12-month review in the digital edition here (p48-51). To receive regular copies of the magazine in the new year, print and/or digital, you can subscribe here.