In addition to having yours truly, your HRAC CCO, host five panels with some of the most innovative Hi Res Music Makers in the field of music (more on that in a bit), a number of hi-res audio devices and services — including a premium automotive music system from The Lincoln Motor Company and compatible smart phones from LG Mobilecomm and Sony Xperia — are being shown in the Hi-Res Audio Pavilion sponsored by Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group, in cooperation with A2IM, the RIAA, the Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing, and DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group. All of these products reflect the rapid growth in Hi-Res Audio — which, as FAQ for any newbies reading this and/or any of you new to the hi-res audio experience, is the “studio quality” listening experience that enables music fans to enjoy their favorite recordings as the artist, producer, and engineer intended.
The event also underscored that Hi-Res Audio continues to be embraced by consumers; as well as the electronics and music industries. In a report issued last fall by the NPD Group, U.S. sales of hi-res devices in dollars increased 77 percent in 2016 versus 2014; while unit sales grew by 118 percent in the same period. In addition, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) recently forecast that nearly 11 million buyers would be shopping for a Hi-Res Music player during the 2017 holiday season. The demonstration at CES of a hi-res compatible automotive OEM system, along with a variety of smart phones, addresses the increasingly important role that mobility plays in the emerging hi-res market.
According to Alan Norton, Senior Technical Leader at Ford Motor Company, “The growing acceptance of Hi-Res Audio by music enthusiasts creates an opportunity for Lincoln. It enables us to demonstrate the capabilities of our Revel sound system in the most impactful way possible, while providing our customers with an incredible listening experience.”
Hi-Res Audio for Every Lifestyle Need
Building on this momentum, the Hi-Res Audio Pavilion also features key technology provider MQA Ltd., as well as a record number of electronics companies including Astell&Kern, Audeze, AudioQuest, Audio Technica, Bluesound, dCS, Definitive Technology, DTS, ELAC, Kimber Kable, LG, Marantz, Mytek Digital, Pioneer Onkyo, and Sony. These participants will demonstrate their latest hi-res compatible devices for use at home, in the car and on-the-go, with many of these products supporting music streaming as well.
On-demand digital streaming is now the most popular way to listen to music, surpassing AM/FM radio, digital downloads and physical media. With the recent introduction of Hi-Res Music streaming, the latest research from MusicWatch shows that “studio quality” premium services have the potential to reach nearly 30 million subscribers. Other recent studies have also shown that “sound quality as good as the recording studio” is a key factor in motivating younger music fans to purchase subscription services.
Michael Nash, Executive Vice President of Digital Strategy at Universal Music Group, said, “Passionate fans around the world are seeking new, exciting ways to experience the music they love, and with Hi-Res Audio streaming they’re able to listen to music on their consumer electronics devices as it sounds in the recording studio. With an expanding number of Hi-Res Music titles available, the industry is working closely with device manufacturers and digital services to make studio quality sound widely available to everyone. We’re very proud to advance those efforts this year at CES with The Lincoln Motor Company by demonstrating the broad consumer appeal for Hi-Res Audio in vehicles.”
More than 500 hi-res titles, across every genre, are on display at the Hi-Res Audio Pavilion, from both major and independent labels, with many of these recordings being played at listening stations throughout the exhibit. Both Tidal, a leading hi-res streaming platform; and Qobuz, one of Europe’s biggest music providers, are also making their CES debut in the Pavilion.
The Pavilion also incorporates a Stream the Studio stage which will showcase a number of one-of-a-kind presentations, including a hi-res session conducted by Lincoln and panel discussions sponsored by The Recording Academy Producers and Engineers Wing, hosted by Mike Mettler (your HRAC CCO) and featuring award-winning producers/engineers Dave O’Donnell, Ryan Ulyate, Ed Cherney, Richard Furch, Chuck Ainlay, and Greg Penny.
Additionally, the Pavilion is hosting executive roundtables sponsored by the RIAA and MQA; plus special appearances by Styx lead guitarist and vocalist Tommy Shaw, producers Will Evankovich and Jim Scott, and country singer/songwriter Clare Dunn.
The Hi-Res Audio Pavilion, located in booth #14735 in the LVCC Central Hall, is the latest in a series of hi-res events that have been conducted globally by the music industry over the past year, in collaboration with key partners. Other venues include NAMM, Mobile World Congress, SXSW, AXPONA, Music Biz 2017, High End Munich, the LA Audio Show, MIDEM, IFA Berlin, CEDIA Expo, and AES New York.
For more information on the Hi-Res Audio initiative go to www.streamthestudio.org.