October 2021

12 Exploring the future of audio A

udio Collaborative, hosted by Futuresource Consulting, will be returning in virtual form for its eighth year on 10-11 November 2021. ERT is a media partner for the event, which is renowned for addressing the latest hot topics across the audio sector;

this year’s event will be no different, with two days packed full of data-rich presentations and panel sessions. Joined by industry thought leaders and innovators, Audio Collaborative 2021 will explore the evolution of audio, embracing the creativity, strategy and development of technology across the entire space. The pandemic has certainly enhanced our relationship with audio devices

more than ever before, with the role of radio, improved entertainment experiences, smart speakers, and headphones becoming more significant in both our personal and professional lives. As technology continues to accelerate in line with the need for high-

quality, immersive audio, how are businesses utilising creativity to meet the demands of an ever-evolving industry? Topics at this year’s Audio Collaborative virtual conference will include…

• Stepping up – the journey to better quality audio: The advent of streaming and wireless devices in recent years has seen many consumers compromise on audio quality in favour of convenience. But the last 12 months have seen major strides forward towards the adoption of higher quality audio streaming, with hi-res and spatial audio coming of age and reaching the mass market consumer. But what is the reality of usage and adoption? What is the opportunity for

device manufacturers? Will the bar for quality be raised for the mass market and are there any additional monetisation opportunities? This panel will dissect all the latest moves and discuss what it all means for the wider audio industry.

• What next in headphones and hearables mega convergence? As two booming markets combine and regulations ease, a new era of convergence has emerged and with it, huge opportunities. A panel of esteemed peers from leading players in the sector will discuss the size of the prize, expectations of further consolidation, who the target consumers are and what features we will see develop to help drive adoption of these converged devices to the next level.

• Live streaming – post-pandemic opportunities in the wider

audio ecosystem: Few sectors were hit harder during the pandemic than live music, but from this despair, live streaming has proliferated, enabling artists to engage with fans in a way many have not done previously. But is this a pandemic-driven fad and how will it co-exist when normality

returns on the touring circuit? Which services are well positioned to benefit from a hybrid approach? And what are the hardware opportunities in this new paradigm, either from a creator angle or a listening point of view? Experts from across the live music and streaming ecosystem will discuss what comes next.

• The return of live events and the future of live sound

technology: The live events industry has experienced an extremely challenging time; however, the next few years could see it faced with unprecedented levels of demand as attendees return to the physical event experience. Events come in all shapes and sizes, and so does the audio that powers them. How will these different events recover over the coming years and what

will be the opportunities for the industry emerging from the pandemic? Many challenges remain, but how will suppliers focus on innovation to provide value during the new era of in-person events? Hearing a range of perspectives from across the market, this panel aims to unravel the complex path towards future growth in live events and the live sound industry.

• Across the metaverse – is this the biggest deal since the

Internet and what does it mean for the audio industry? The emergence of virtual work practices, live streaming, esports, 5G and XR has seen the metaverse propelled as the next big thing. The convergence of multimedia worlds across music, video and gaming gives rise to endless potential and with it major opportunities for the audio industry. This session will explain the opportunities for the metaverse in the audio industry and beyond. It is free to register for the virtual Audio Collaborative conference, and you

can join from the comfort of your own home or workplace. Head online to:

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