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Market report: Rental companies


(% of respondents in each group) 1-50

51-100 101-150 151-200 201-300 300+

Don’t know 12% 8% 4% 16% 28% 20% 22% 16% 24% 65%

H6: EVENT SIZE ACTIVITY (% by group)

Large: audiences 2,001+ Medium: 800-2000 Small: under 800

2013 38% 20% 47% 33% 41% 28% 31% 2014 30% 2011 8% 2013 16% 29% 12% 12% 2014 2% 22% 14% 12% 27% 36% 52% 2014 8% 2011 12% 12% 23%


(% of respondents in each group)

Increase Decrease

Stay the same 2013 48% 44% 2010



What new equipment or technological development do you think is going to be most important to the market and why? And what role (if applicable) do you expect to play in this? As DSP gets evermore integrated into every professional audio product, it’s becoming difficult to decide where the technology should be best deployed. In your desk? In your speakers? In your tablet?! Integration and interoperability need not be at the expense of simplicity and ease of use, and I think that the added value of – and I hate to use this phrase (!) – plug-and-play audio networking will continue to improve and, hopefully, become as easy as plugging in a multicore (but without the threat of dead lines!). Our new APA amplifier range will offer a better solution to the deployment of DSP, as well as being able to integrate with current systems and network both its audio and control simply and easily.

recent years – and that, too, is ongoing in 2014 (Graph H8). Once again, permanent staff levels are remaining broadly consistent, with 73% forecasting stasis this year (Graph H9). In a new area of enquiry, contributors

were invited to nominate the networking technology encountered most frequently in their daily working lives. Not entirely surprising given its number of licensees (now well over 100) and general industry profile, Audinate’s Dante solution emerged as the most ubiquitous individual technology, followed by Harman’s HiQNet (Graph H10). Rounding out the first half of the

survey, respondents were invited to take an overview of their industry and

14 l PSNLIVE 2014

assess the overall level of morale in the industry. On a rising scale of 1 to 5, the largest single share (43%) opted for a 4 – a pretty encouraging result by anyone’s standards.

IDEAL EQUIPMENT PURCHASES In time-honoured fashion, PSNLive concluded the PA/rental survey with some longer-form questions designed to elicit more considered responses about respondents’ own businesses – and the outlook for the industry they serve. Specific makes of compact consoles and high-spec line arrays have traditionally dominated responses to an enquiry about the piece of equipment companies would add to their rental inventory if

What could be done – by the industry, by your peers or even by government – to help grow European export markets?

I think that in these days of digital information exchange, there is the perception that digital media is the best way to reach people – and to a certain extent this is true. It’s certainly cheaper and can throw a wider net, but there is still no substitute for actually meeting people face to face, talking to them and letting them see or try out equipment.

Government subsidies to encourage attendance of far-flung foreign trade shows and exhibitions offer a great way for companies which believe this expenditure might be too risky in markets where they have little penetration. The AES show in Brazil is a worthy example of how British brands were able to reach a wider

audience without a hugely risky outlay upfront. It’s proved a great success for us, and in a very short space of time.

At this time, what is your greatest long-term concern with regard to the European live sound market?

I would say the convergence of technologies. Computer networking technology continues to converge with audio distribution technology, meaning that sound engineers need to be IT-savvy in a way they didn’t have to be even 10 years ago. The majority of computer-related breakthroughs that push the technology forward are not coming out of Europe these days – and European manufacturers need to stay on top of this side of the technology if they are to remain viable in live sound. With many musical artists (and so, by association, rental companies) now putting so much into their shows to justify the high ticket prices (to offset the falloff in hard sales of their music), top-quality sound has to go hand in hand with reliable, top- quality tech – the convergence itself need not be a concern, but not keeping up with it is!

Waring Hayes, technical brand manager, XTA/MC2

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