The MI industry in the news!

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Last week, the UK’s MI industry was the subject of some welcome and positive articles in the mass media. Publications such as The Financial Times and BBC News featured comments from the MIA, Millers Music, Gear4music, Focusrite and more…

The MIA were delighted to contribute along with our members, and report on the recent success of sales in our industry, and the interest and enthusiasm shown by consumers for playing a musical instrument.

Clearly not all businesses in the industry are thriving, and there are many sectors (live music venues and live event organisers to name but two) that are still in real peril… But, it’s nice to have some good stuff in the mainstream media about musical instruments!

The Financial Times published an article which featured on the front page of their weekend edition. Here’s an excerpt from the article: 

“As we headed into lockdown, I thought this is the end,” said Simon Pollard.

With Millers deriving 98 per cent of its £3.8m annual sales from customers buying in store, the future for the longstanding instrument seller looked bleak. But within a week piano sales “went through the roof”.

Having gone into 2020 as a traditional bricks and mortar store, Millers found itself thrust into the ecommerce age as customers stuck at home flocked to buy instruments from £1,000 digital pianos to £90,000 grands.

“It was absolutely ludicrous,” said Mr Pollard, who found himself politely turning down an offer from Amazon to join its online marketplace — something that would have been unthinkable only a few weeks earlier.

It was a situation replicated at other British musical instrument retailers as consumers rushed online to buy pianos, guitars, saxophones and even percussion instruments to make a louder noise when cheering the NHS.

Paul McManus, chief executive of the Music Industries Association, said that local music shops with a strong online presence have been doing “very, very nicely” as people took up learning an instrument or looked for ways to occupy their children. “People are saying now is the time to buy a ukulele,” he said.

You can read the full article written by Nic Fildes for The Financial Times at the link below. It includes more input from the MIA’s Chief Executive, Paul McManus and comments from MIA members Millers Music, Gear4music and Focusrite:

Sofa rockstars’ help instrument sales hit the high notes in lockdown

(Please note: content by The Financial Times is subscription based; you can only read a certain number of articles without subscribing, so depending on your personal usage, you may need to subscribe to read this article)

BBC News also featured an article which explores how life under lockdown has seen a surge in amateur musicians and podcasters. This piece focuses on the UK’s biggest online retailer of instruments and sound equipment, Gear4music.

In the April-to-June period, Gear4music saw the value of UK sales rise 80% on the same time last year to £21.2m!

You can read the full article written by Robert Plummer for BBC News at the link below. It includes comments from Chief Executive Andrew Wass:

Guitar sales rise as UK gets into lockdown groove