The music product industry returns to businesses in every corner of the globe following the 2014 NAMM Show held last week in Anaheim, January 23-26. Expanding product categories such as technology-driven music products and emerging brands pushed the show to its one of its largest and most diverse editions yet.
“As the global platform for the music products industry, the NAMM Show is an annual checkup for what is happening in the music marketplace worldwide,” says Joe Lamond, president and CEO of NAMM. “A focus on doing business reflected confidence among buyers and manufacturers alike. Fortified with NAMM U education, networking and fun opportunities that only occur at the NAMM Show, NAMM Members expressed to me a renewed spirit for the year ahead. I believe that the stage is set for growth in 2014.”
Emerging brands, growth in pro audio and the music technology category, and an increase in international exhibitors, converged for the second-highest exhibiting company number ever. There were 1,533 exhibiting companies representing 5,010 brands.
Meeting those brands was a 2 percent increase in buyers over 2013. Buyers arrived in Anaheim focused on rebuilding inventory after a strong school music season, and on building up categories currently experiencing strong consumer demand. In total, 96,129 members of the music product industry registered for the 2014 NAMM Show.
Retailers large and small return to their businesses with new product lines and categories that will hit shelves in a matter of months. “I’m most focused on meeting up with major suppliers that I’ve done business with or do business with and seeing what they’ve got––new products in particular,” states Richard Ash, CEO of Sam Ash Music. “We are also looking for new companies that come out of the woodwork and have a product that will break through to the marketplace. If you’re a musician, it’s the ultimate kid in a candy store thing.”
In addition to products, retailers search for ideas gleaned from five days of educational offerings. “I come for inspiration and I always find it,” notes Rob Kittle of Kittle’s Music in North Platte, NE. “I find products I never knew were out there. The buying I do and the things I see at the NAMM Show definitely influence my business for the year.”
Rob Joseph, president of the manufacturers’ rep firm the R. Joseph group, saw a renewed interest in buying across the diverse categories they represent. “I saw more traffic on Thursday and Friday than any year that I can remember in a decade. Buyers and manufacturers are substantially more optimistic and that is reflected in the overall tone of the show.”
New entrepreneurs and categories entering the music market brought 303 new exhibiting companies to the show. NAMM membership and in turn the NAMM Show is increasingly global, as reflected in the 6 perent increase in international attendees.