Audio News for July 26, 2013
Published on July 26, 2013
British Hi-Fi Makers Into Audio’s New High End – UK brands once ruled the hi-fi world, but some of the most iconic British brands are regaining standing in high performance hi-fi and home cinema. An Arcam spokesman said Japanese manufacturers are putting more and more specs into their boxes as they go down in price, but audio performance is suffering. Instead of retreating from the tumultuous technology changes which have reshaped the music industry, these firms have embraced them. UK companies are now responsible for more streaming audio components than any other country. Some of the oldest names in the audio industry are now on the cutting edge of high performance electronics. There are also the super-high-end companies such as Chord (who still builds everything in their UK factory) and Meridian. Rega turntables are some of the most popular in the world, and Naim Audio has a new trio of amplifiers. Both Linn and Naim offer DRM-free hi-res downloads, with the majority of Linn’s sales from its Studio Master catalog being 24-bit/192K files. They will be offering hi-res version of albums by top names from Universal, adding to the 32 different labels they already have. One store owner says he now sells between six to ten media streamers for every CD player. Another said he believes the hi-fi of tomorrow isn’t just about technology—it’s about user interface. He says we need to make it easier for users to deal with different source components.
Huge Increase in Internet Video Streaming – Though still only making about 4% of total video viewing, online streaming has skyrocketed. This could be a big win for companies like Netflix and Amazon but there are some problems in covering the tremendous costs of creating original material as Netflix has just done. It’s interesting, though, just how many users are happy with viewing video on their computer or mobile device vs. on their normal home TV.
Three Reasons Digital Video Needs to Rethink Its Advertising – is the tile of an article by the co-founder of the mobile video discovery app Telly. He says the death of pre-roll video advertisements is upon us; that they have a negative impact on the message. A survey found that 70% of consumers skip the pre-roll ads after the required five or so seconds. Brands need to produce meaningful content for viewers. The second reason is that consumers want control over their content. The power of choice in messages drives nearly a 2X higher effectiveness compared to the standard pre-roll. Thirdly, the article says the model for digital video mobile advertising is broken. Pre-roll ads make no sense on mobile devices. Having to watch a 30-second ad in order to watch a 30-second video clip is ridiculous. Native ads (content in the context of the viewer’s experience) and content marketing generated a 82% brand lift among tested users.
New Orleans Trumpeter Still Going Strong at 102 – Creole jazz singer and trumpeter Lionel Ferbos celebrated his 102nd birthday July 17 by blowing high notes at the French Quarter club where’s he’s done a standing gig for decades. He was born several months before the Titanic sank and a few years before WWI started. He’s believed to be the oldest actively working musician in New Orleans. He’s adored by fans for his big band and ragtime jazz style. A friend said “You can throw anything in front of him, and he knows it.”