Current Issue

Spotlight

This year, the 52-year-old National Association of Music Dealers (NASMD) will inaugurate the first woman president in the history of the organization. Rosi Johnson, CEO of Mississippi Music in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is a longtime member of the group, currently serving on its board as vice president, so her ascendancy to the position isn’t unexpected. But it serves as yet another in a series of important steps toward the increasing visibility of women in the MI world.

Read more: The New Role of Women in MI >>>

Survey

As any longtime reader of MMR knows, the past few – well, unfortunately, many – years have represented something of an uphill struggle for those who supply and sell pianos and keyboards in the U.S.

Long gone are the days when most American families aspired to not only own a comfortable home with a white picket fence, but to also purchase a piano for the living room within that home. The current national market for keyboard products is more accurately a number disparate of markets with widely ranging purchasing habits from region to region. For example, organ sales continue to be strongest in areas with high senior and retired populations, while regions such as the Northwest see comparatively healthy traffic of traditional piano consoles due to large numbers of immigrants from the Pacific Rim where, culturally, the piano remains vital to homelife and family.

Read more: Finding Keys to Success in a Struggling Segment >>>

Upfront Q&A

A global leader in the design and manufacture of music stands and accessories, Germany’s König & Meyer – most commonly referred to simply as “K&M” – has been celebrating its 65th year in 2014. Distinguished by pioneering designs which both respond to and anticipate emerging technologies within the market and the needs of end-users, the organization is also widely respected for its early (and continued) dedication to environmentally sound, “green” practices.

MMR recently spoke with CEO Gabriela König and Dave Trout, U.S. brand manager with K&M’s stateside distributor Connolly Music, to get the scoop on how the company is marking the anniversary and what’s in store for the future.

Read more: König & Meyer at 65 >>>

Upfront Q&A

At over 185 years old, Vienna-based Bösendorfer is one of the oldest piano manufacturers still producing instruments to this day. The brand boasts several key distinctions: it's been widely acclaimed as one of the top-built brands in the world, and several times has held the informal title of "world's most expensive piano" for several of its models. The Bösendorfer artist roster includes not only highly accomplished pianists of many genres, but also major concert halls around the world. Several 92- and 97-key models (offering more keys than nearly any other commercially available piano on the market) were created for specific performance scenarios requiring an expanded range.

Read more: Bösendorfer in 2014 >>>

Last Word

Marshall McLuhan’s famous dictum, “The medium is the message,” rings as true for retail as it does for media. While the Internet-era nostrum that “content is king” remains plenty valid, the package that content comes in has proven at least tantamount in value. Transpose “inventory” for “content” and we’re talking about store design. At a time when shopping has become an “experience” instead of simply a gerund, the store has to become a destination rather than a mere repository of stuff.

Read more: Retail Ready for Its Close-Up >>>

Editorial

There is a belief, which is just not true, that women are just in bad occupations and if we just put them in better occupations, we would solve the gender gap problem,” noted Dr. Claudio Goldin, a Harvard University labor economist, in an April 2014 New York Times piece on the “Pay Gap.” The idea being discussed was the notion – which a number of Republicans who voted down the equal pay bill in April of this year cited – that the lower average pay of women in today’s professional climate is not a byproduct of any rampant sexism in the workplace, but rather a result of females “choosing” lower-paying careers.

Read more: Paging Don Draper - Your Time's Up, Bub >>>

Veteran Voices

New business is falling out of the sky. All you have to do is accept the great margin and write up the deal. Well maybe it wasn’t quite that easy back in the day, but staying on top of the latest buying trends and consumer preferences can go a long way in sustained growth for your business now.

The global economy is experiencing minimal growth in 2014 as we see challenges from the lingering global recession, weaker than expected growth from emerging markets, and escalating geo-political tensions. When you add the major shift and increasing prominence of Internet purchasing, one has to see that the competitive waters are still rather choppy.

Read more: Sustained Growth and the Customer Experience >>>

What the Pros Play

MMR caught up with Satch just prior to his recent South American tour to get the 411 on his latest gear.

Read more: Joe Satriani >>>

Roundtable

"It’s a Swiss Army knife for keyboard guys.” Ed Diaz, a member of Roland Corporation’s keyboard product team, cuts straight to the chase when describing the keyboard workstation. While it may not be the most fashionable of instruments in 2014, it is arguably one of the most utilitarian and efficient ways to write and produce music on the market today, a workhorse whose appeal lies not in gimmickry or trendiness, but in power, reliability, and functionality.

Read more: Keeping Up with Keyboard Workstations >>>

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