NAMM ooooh NAMM – Just in case you are wondering that was a failed attempt at using Guy’s song Teddy’s Jam as intro to talk about NAMM. With that being said, the music industry returned home to businesses worldwide with innovative ideas and products that will bring the power of music to the masses. Held January 21-24, NAMM welcomed a record number of exhibitors and registrants to Anaheim, CA. Hundreds of new-to-NAMM companies paired with an increase in global interest, and those quintessential “only at NAMM” moments made for what many NAMM members called the most exciting NAMM Show in the association’s 115-year history.
“As we look at the record number of exhibiting brands, influx of new entrepreneurial spirit and attendance from 125 countries, the industry seems poised for vital growth and breakthroughs,” said NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond. “The NAMM Show is a reflection of our industry, not only where it is now, but even more importantly where it is heading next. NAMM members brought their A-game to Anaheim this week with creative, innovative, beautiful products. They also came with inquisitive minds, filling NAMM’s educational sessions all four days.”
As the scope of music making expands, so do the number of brands that depend on the NAMM Show platform to unveil new products. This year’s show was the largest and most inclusive event in the National Association of Music Merchants’ (NAMM) 115-year history. A record 1,726 exhibiting companies representing more than 6,000 brands brought the entrepreneurial spirit to life. The energy was palatable, with a 7% increase in exhibiting companies over 2015’s event.
“We’re almost in a bubble focused on designing and developing products all year. But we set deadlines and goals around NAMM. NAMM is the platform, the only platform really, our flagship event to launch products,” said Brian Ball, president, Ernie Ball Inc.
A mix of NAMM member buyers and retail employees, exhibitors, media, artists, NAMM members’ invited guests, NAMM’s Generation Next (college music students) and Music Education Day participants (school music teachers) resulted in a record 101,736 NAMM Show registrants. This is a 2% increase over last year’s record-setting event.
The hot spots for NAMM this year included a multitude of areas. While most retailers and distributors come to NAMM to make purchase decisions, the show is also the place to see the big picture of where the industry is heading, and spot potential growth areas for the year ahead.
A trend in analog synthesizers made a major statement this year with a bustling neighborhood of small modular synthesizer brands and more established companies making it a focus. “The biggest thing is the analog synthesizer,” Mike Adams, president, Moog Music. “We’re all seeing the change in the market, the analog synthesizer is a big thing.”
The growth story for fretted instruments continued in 2015, with electric starting to catch up to its acoustic brethren’s hot growth. “We’re adding lots of new electric strings – electric guitars are starting to make a comeback,” Jeff Sefton, president, Butler Music in Missouri. And the balance between analog and digital continues with greater variety in both. Sefton added, “We’re integrating more analog-we tailor more to the entry/mid-level player, and they tend to want more low-end digital and some analogue pedals.”
The percussion world held a steady beat with buying interest meeting star power for many brands. The biggest drummers of our time including Questlove, Josh Dun, Tré Cool, Stewart Copeland, Carmine Appice, Josh Devine and many more stopped by the show.
With demos on every corner and big crowds, the dj and pro audio software market appeared vibrant throughout. “I’m looking for new dj controllers, headphones, speakers…this is the main show for us audio buyers,” said Kyle Kjensrud, Audio Category Buyer, Full Compass Systems.