beyerdynamic poised for next leg
Entertainment Technology Asia talked to Wolfgang Luckhardt, Managing Director and Michael Kinzel, Director Sales & Marketing Asia about beyerdynamic's future plans in Asia
beyerdynamic recently established its regional offices in Singapore and India. The magazine Entertaintment Technolgy Asia talked to Wolfgang Luckhardt, Managing Director of beyerdynamic and Michael Kinzel, Director Sales & Marketing Asia about their views of Asia and beyerdynamic's future plans.
Original Source: Entertainment Technology Asia, Issue May-June 2013, "beyerdynamic poised for next leg"
ENTERTAINMENT TECHNOLOGY ASIA: “Establishing a beyerdynamic office in Asia speaks volumes. What instigated this move?”
Michael Kinzel: “When I joined beyerdynamic in 2006, Asia represented roughly 6% of total revenues at the company. Through the steady work from Germany the dedicated team for the Asia region managed to increase this number up to 18% in 2011/2012.
This was a solid basis to do the next step. And the timing was just right – shortly after we “arrived” with our new offices in Bangalore and Singapore, Asia’s share got another significant push ahead.”
ENTERTAINMENT TECHNOLOGY ASIA: “Asia is a wide and diversified region. Could you give us a brief idea of which countries and what specific solutions are doing well for beyerdynamic?”
Michael Kinzel: “The region Asia/Pacific/India covers all countries starting from India all the way towards East/South-east-Asia down to Australia/New Zealand. Of course, China plays a major role for us – especially after the re-structuring of distribution channels in 2008. Consumer headphones followed by conference systems create the major part of our business there.
Thanks to our partner TEAC we significantly increased market share in Japan over the last couple of years. Their major focus is on Consumer and Pro headphones. Followed by India with our own operation (headed by Director of Sales India, Naveen Sridhar) where - interestingly enough - our high end conference system play the main part.
Other strong markets are Singapore, Korea and Australia.
You see – we’re doing well in many countries and enjoy a healthy diversification within our portfolio which is segmented into Conference, Pro Audio and Consumer.
ENTERTAINMENT TECHNOLOGY ASIA: “How much in terms of percentage has Asia contributed to beyerdynamic’s revenue over the past three years? What is your expectation for this year?"
Michael Kinzel: “As stated before we’ve managed to increase the percentage close to 20% already over the last 2 years. By end of first quarter 2013 we have achieved 25%! Of course, numbers will vary over the year – but I expect to keep it at least above 20% in 2013.
And this is already quite amazing for a traditional German company like beyerdynamic being in the market since 1924. Especially as we mainly speak about high end hand made products from the factory in southern Germany making their way to the Asia region.”
ENTERTAINMENT TECHNOLOGY ASIA: “Your responsibilities include the Consumer segment of beyerdynamic’s business in Asia. Please can you elaborate when did beyerdynamic get involved in a serious manner in this segment? What are the solutions being offered?”
Michael Kinzel: “Being in the headphone business since 1937 beyerdynamic is a legend in the Broadcast field. Already in the 1980s one could find some first “consumer” versions of the beyer headphone classics.
Actually the whole thing only significantly picked up since 2008 when we hired highly skilled staff from the Consumer Electronics field. This brought up new visions and finally went into a very healthy crossover from the Broadcast field into a very nice Portfolio of Consumer oriented headphones.
The release of our all new TESLA driver technology in 2009 brought another significant push into the right direction. But still we’re keeping our heritage as a broadcast legend. Our marketing is not shiny bright or supported by big endorsements – it is all based in our huge tradition of more than 88 years of experience.”
ENTERTAINMENT TECHNOLOGY ASIA: “What is your view of the consumer segment relating to beyerdynamic’s business?”
Michael Kinzel: “It will definitely play an even more significant role in future than presently. Our team in Germany is capable to come up with enough fantastic new products to keep the ball rolling and the market size alone will do its part here.
The Consumer segment has the potential to become the single biggest business for beyerdynamic in the future.”
ENTERTAINMENT TECHNOLOGY ASIA: ”beyerdynamic in the earlier years was renowned for its wireless solutions. It tapered off but most recently there has been a resurrection in this aspect."
Michael Kinzel: “Thanks for this nice lead…Yes, you could say “beyer is back into UHF wireless”!
After several years of being present in this field but not really recognized as a big player we’re now able to serve the market with a German made digital UHF system which is able to cover a frequency range from 470 -789MHz with just one hardware. All this combined with beyer’s famous changeable capsules, a very nice software, remote functions via smartphones and tablet PCs (each receiver carries its own IP address) and a remarkable latency of just 2.1ms…your readers will know what that means.
It is just fantastic value for the money for a solution made in Germany – and among others also caters for the very big events.”
ENTERTAINMENT TECHNOLOGY ASIA: “What happened previously where the company’s interest in wireless was distracted?”
Michael Kinzel: “Well, as a comparatively smaller player you sometime need to decide where to put resources into. And at the time when beyerdynamic lost grip in UHF wireless at the same time we invented the first wireless conference systems running on 2.4 GHz which was and still is a big success story for the company. We’ve just released the fifth generation QUINTA and it is making its way further.
Nowadays we’re in the position to do and support both – UHF and the GHz segment. So you could say we’re also a real wireless company.”
ENTERTAINMENT TECHNOLOGY ASIA: “What is the view now in relation to beyerdynamic’s wireless solutions?”
Wolfgang Luckhardt: “Our target is to maintain and increase our wireless knowledge and use it to extend our product portfolio step by step. With TG 1000 we have presented a product for the Top level. Now we will collect the feedback and the experience of the users. And of course we want to transform this to products for the semi-professional user. Our wireless microphone sound shall also be available for people with a smaller budget.”
ENTERTAINMENT TECHNOLOGY ASIA: “What are your expectations for the wireless solutions in Asia?”
Wolfgang Luckhardt: “Both, Quinta and TG 1000, the high professional products, will help us to create good solutions for our customers and to spread our brand name more and more also in the wireless area. We are optimistic to make significant sales with both products. And then follow the next (logical) steps.”
ENTERTAINMENT TECHNOLOGY ASIA: “beyerdynamic has incorporated some innovative technologies in its solutions. Could you give us a brief on some of these innovations and their impact for the industry/user."
Wolfgang Luckhardt: “Indeed, our flagship wireless system, TG 1000, is full of innovative features. The most obvious user advantage certainly is the huge bandwidth of 319 MHz. This gives rental companies and all other users utmost flexibility, and it makes TG 1000 a secure long-term investment in times of permanent frequency re-arrangements and Digital Dividends. Another major advantage of TG 1000 is the latency of only 2.1ms, which is a new benchmark of all digital wireless microphones. But we also paid a lot of attention to user-friendliness. A receiver with a large OLED display and all buttons being illuminated, a super-intuitive navigation menu, and our propriEntertainment Technology Asiary Chameleon software, which adapts to all operating systems and runs with all kinds of portable devices. Most of all however, TG 1000 delivers the high-end sound, which you can expect from a premium beyerdynamic microphone. First of all, there is a choice of changeable dynamic, condenser and ribbon capsules from our TG series. All of them are hand-made in Germany, and they all have the legendary “beyer sound”. On the receiver-side, TG 1000 has some of the finest 24bit/96KHz converters available, and most importantly, we develop our own TriplePlay audio codec, which combines high-end audiophile performance with high error-resilience. All of these features make TG 1000 a wireless system which truly stands out.”
ENTERTAINMENT TECHNOLOGY ASIA: “Finally what are your future plans for beyerdynamic Asia in terms of staff strength, services to be provided, etc.?”
Wolfgang Luckhardt: We go for the extension of our actual development. With Singapore as the centre we will build up more and more services within the next months, for example, technical support for partners and customers. And our clear focus is to strengthen all Business units. So, the group of beyerdynamic people in Asia will grow.
And in India we will intensify the communication and the support with partners and customers, too. To provide big and smaller dealers with installation products we will open up our warehouse and will do shipments from India to India in the second quarters this year. A very important first step to strengthen our presence in this attractive country.