Sonic Control is first to spotlight those U.S. publicly traded music companies that impact music production, promotion, distribution and retail sales.
Sonic Control’s reporting objectives are first, to present ongoing financial news. Second, many of these companies also drive online digital sales, an issue of vital concern to all present and future recording artist,. Third, to meet the heads of companies and key employees to learn the story behind the story. Great innovation goes on within this select group, and Sonic Control is where the story is told.
Meet the Sonic Control MusicTech 21
The MusicTech 21 are organized by six categories:
- Chips and Operating Systems
- Game Stocks
- Sequencing and Recording Software
- Hardware/Integrated Systems
- Distribution and Retail
Chips and Operating Systems
Computer companies directly affect music production because of their impact on recording with dedicated audio recording programs, sequencing/digital audio programs, virtual samplers and player programs, effects, CD and DVD authoring. Computer companies on the SC Music Tech 21 are Advanced Micro Design (AMD), Apple (AAPL) who occupies a second spot because of their purchase of Emagic Logic (now Apple Logic) and their inclusion of GarageBand with every Mac purchase, Intel (INTC), and Microsoft (MSFT). As a note, Apple also owns Final Cut Pro video software. Thus, Apple (AAPL), along with Adobe (ADBE) and Sony (SNE) has the added benefit of convergence power since each of these companies publishes both video and audio software.
The Game Stocks
Unique to the Sonic Control MusicTech 21 are those companies that produce and distribute electronic games. All electronic games use music. Game companies either contract out music composition and scoring, or hire staff composers. As such, this sector offers new employment and income opportunities for composers. Game companies on the Sonic Control Music Teach 21 are Activision ATVI, Electronic Arts (ERTS), international Game (IGT), Game Stop (GME), and THQ (THQI). Game Stop, while not a game producer, has the largest network of retail stores and also publishes Game Informer magazine.
Sequencing and Recording Software
Except for Cakewalk, which is privately held but has investment income from Rolandcorp, all the major sequencing and digital audio programs have been acquired by publicly traded companies. These are Adobe (ADBE), owners of Cool Edit Pro (now called Audition 2.0); AVID (AVID), owners of Digidesign, M-Audio, Pinnacle Systems and Sibelius notation software); Sony (SNE) because of their purchase from Sonic Foundry (SOFO) of ACID, CD Architect, Sound Forge and Vegas; and Yamaha (YAMCY) who purchased Steinberg (Cubase) from Pinnacle Systems (PCLE). Make Music (MMUS) owns Finale and is the leading music notation program used in academia and music publishing.
Three companies made the SC MusicTech 21. Creative Labs (CREAF) owns E-MU Systems, creators of the Emulator line of samplers, Proteus players and professional audio cards. Many E-MU products compete directly with AVID’s M-Audio division. Sonic Solutions (SNIC) owns Roxio and manufactures many high end DVD and film authoring programs. Harman International (HAR), like Yamaha, is a conglomerate, but with its heart and soul in audio. Harman brands include AKG Microphones, BSS Audio, Crown International, DBX, Digitech, DOD, JBL Professional, Lexicon Professional, Margi, Mark Levinson, QNX, Revel, SoundCraft, Studer and Wavemakers. Loud Technologies (LTEC) owns Mackie, TAPCO, SIA, EAW and EAW Commercial.
Distribution and Retail
Guitar Center, the world’s largest music retailer owning the Guitar Center chain, American Music, Music and Arts Centers, Musician’s Friend/Harmony Central, was bought by Bain Capital and privatized. They’re no longer publicly traded and so have been removed from the Music Tech 21.
Because of their recent announcement to open 65 music stores within the larger store, Best Buy (BBY) is the newest member of the Music Tech 21.
Kaman (KAMN) is one of the leading music instrument and accessory distributors in the music industry. But as a distributor, Kaman also distributes for industry (Kaman Industrial Technologies) and is an aerospace manufacturer. Says, the Kaman Aerospace web site, “Today the company manufactures maritime helicopters for the international military market and medium-to-heavy lift helicopters primarily for the commercial market. The company is a subcontractor providing aircraft structures and components for Boeing commercial airliners, the C-17 military transport, and many other aircraft.”
PriMedia (PRM) publishes Broadcast Engineering, Electronic Music, Mix, Music Education Technology, Onstage, Radio, Remix, and dozens of others.
And In Japan
Rolandcorp and TEAC are traded on the Nikkei Exchange. Stocks traded on the Nikkei are given ID numbers as opposed to stock symbols.