Native Instruments sent a big F.U. to the music trade industry today, announcing that it will no longer appear at NAMM, Musikmesse and other trade shows:
Berlin, July 7th, 2009 – Native Instruments today announced that it will no longer maintain a booth presence at industry tradeshows like the NAMM Show, Musikmesse or AES in the future. The company has decided to instead prioritize online communication channels to engage with customers directly even stronger, and to allocate budgets accordingly.
This shift in priorities is exemplified by the new sophisticated rich-media website that Native Instruments launched recently, and will be continued through the establishment of further innovative online channels and other means of direct communication in the future.
“Times are changing and we have seen tradeshows become increasingly less relevant for our industry,” says Pablo La Rosa, International Marketing Director at Native Instruments. “By focusing our efforts in online communication and direct-to-customer events, we reach out to today’s musicians and producers in a way that we believe is more efficient for us and more engaging for them.”
This is bad news for music trade shows, because if Native pulls out, others are likely to follow. This may make sense for individual companies, but may be a loss for the music industry as a whole.
The announcement is a sign of the decline of the music trade show as an event to get excited about. It’s always been fun to see the smorgasbord of announcements that come out of an event like NAMM, and also to get the perspective of seeing and hearing a huge variety of gear in one location. It remains to be seen whether something new will emerge that can match the excitement of huge trade events.
It’s puzzling, though, that Native Instruments cites its new website as one of the reasons for the move.
Native calls Native-Instruments.com a “new sophisticated rich-media website”. Synthtopia readers, though, call the new site “rubbish” and “a post-apocalyptic view of Flash hell”.
Native Instruments new site seems amateurish, as if the company paid no attention to usability, accessibility or findability in creating it. They’ll need to fix the site quickly if they expect it to be able to take the place of their presence at trade shows.
What do you think about the announcement? Are music trade shows dead? Or do you think this is just a cost-cutting measure for Native Instruments?
Leave a comment with your thoughts!