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Can a Spotlight on Music Lead to Audio Purchases?

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As a member of CEA’s Audio Division Board and the chairperson of the Youth Promotions Committee, we are organizing an effort to promote awareness of quality in audio products and media. As the industry continues to improve technology to offer consumers better recordings, we are making efforts to educate the public about the leading new products that can process audio data faster and more accurately, delivering consumers the best possible sound experience. Please contact me directly if you are interested in supporting this effort with audio products or resources.

Thank you,
Coleen Sterns Leith

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Original Article By Allyson Pahmer, Director, CEA Member Programs

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This week, the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences kicks off GRAMMY® week, several days of festivities leading up to “Music’s Biggest Night” – the GRAMMY Awards on February 10. Millions of viewers will tune in to watch their favorite artists perform and compete in their categories. Last year, the GRAMMY broadcast achieved its second-largest audience ever: more than 39 million people, according to Billboard.com. If you are manufacturer or retailer of audio products or accessories, these viewers are your customers – and if they aren’t yet, they should be.

The Consumer Electronics Association®is doing its part to convert young music lovers to audiophiles. As mentioned on this blog back in December, CEA joined forces with The Recording Academy’s Producers & Engineers Wing on a GRAMMY.com-based microsite, www.qualitysoundmatters.com. The goal of the site is to help consumers understand high-quality digital audio formats and equipment and why they should demand it. It offers information to music consumers about how they can enhance the enjoyment of their music by seeking out today’s higher-quality digital file formats and by using products that help retain the sound of the music as the artists and engineers intended.

CEA is also running a contest this week, leveraging the GRAMMY Awards and aimed primarily at the GRAMMY-watching audience, to alert consumers to the virtues of quality audio and to encourage them to seek products that will let them truly experience it. [Many, many thanks to CEA Members NuVo, Triad, Monster, and Polk Audio for the terrific contest prizes!]

These promotional efforts are important steps to raise awareness of better audio, particularly among young people who may not understand the difference between lossy and lossless files or who may not ever have experienced what truly great audio sounds like. But they’re only the first step. An Analysis Brief titled “Audio Content and Hardware Trends” released by CEA in December reports that over half of online adults experience digital audio content in the home (streaming and downloaded), with the 18-34 year old age demographic the largest user base: over three-fourths (78 percent) listen to digital audio formats (compared to 51 percent of 35-44 year olds and 25 percent of adults 55 and older).

Chances are this streamed and downloaded music is not what any of us would consider “high-quality audio,” yet the next generation of consumers is moving toward this delivery system in larger and larger numbers. Nearly half of this demographic (49 percent) plans to listen to more digital audio in the next 12 months, not less. It’s a huge opportunity for those in our industry who can help make that content sound as good as possible.

The message to manufacturers and retailers of audio gear and accessories is clear: the ones who help make it easier and cooler to make digital music sound as great as ever will successfully attract the dollars of these young consumers. We’ll find out in a few weeks how big the GRAMMY audience was for 2013 but there’s no doubt a huge audience of music lovers is out there. It’s up to you to help show them how much better the music they love can be.

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This article by author Allyson Pahmer was posted with permission of the CEA Audio Division. The original post can be found here.