Canadian MI Show Hangs Onto Attendance Number from Last Year – And Why That’s Good There were a few more exhibitors to MIAC/PAL show in Toronto this year than last. But a closer look shows that the lower number of MI companies exhibiting was offset by an increase in those setting up booths in the Pro Audio and Lighting (PAL) half of the show, something MIAC executive director Al Kowalenko acknowledged. “Some U.S. based companies didn’t come because of the soft economy,” he said. (Obviously the weak U.S. dollar and comparatively strong Canadian one played a role as well.) He added that while the exact numbers aren’t in, overall attendance to the show was on par with last year – and he’ll take that as a “win.”
Could there be more differences of opinion? Apparently not. Are the simulated music games “a gift,” as John Spinelli or Seminole Music & Sound thinks? And as Jeff Firestone of Keene, N.H. asks rhetorically: “How can this be bad?” Or, as Spike Klein of The Magic Flute so eloquently put it: “[The games] are like Dungeon & Dragons meets air guitar in Loser Land.”
“Freedom Pricing,” Strict Anti-Internet Policy Protects Dealers It’s no secret that there are many wind and brass instrument dealers frustrated by ever-shrinking sales and margins. Many are even contemplating or looking into “private labeling” of China-made instruments. For those, there is now the Anthem Music Group.
A Brief Chat with Harmonix Music Systems’ Daniel Sussman…As the developers of the original Guitar Hero games and now the driving force behind the Rock Band series, Harmonix Music Systems, Inc. is one of the key architects of the current music simulation video game phenomenon. Director of Hardware Development, Daniel Sussman has been with Harmonix since before the first end-user ever picked up one of those tiny plastic guitars and began playing along with the classic rock tracks featured in the first Guitar Hero.
There’s no shortage of opinions, and no hard data, but several ask: “How can this be bad?” The numbers are mind numbing. In January, Harmonix, owned by Viacom, reported Rock Band broke platinum, selling one million units. By May they had shipped a total of three million copies of the game. Also in January, Activision, maker of Guitar Hero, reported to have generated one billion dollars in sales in North America within 26 months. At the end of last year, that game had sold 7.5 million units. That number has moved over the 10 million mark. And counting – fast.