Shure: A Year in the Life of an MI manufacturer

Running a music business in 2020 was an experience like no other. There were many challenges, but there’s also been opportunities. Today, Jay Walpole,  Director of Musician & Consumer Audio for Shure UK shares his thoughts and reflections on one of the most unique years in MI history…

The year of 2020 started very positively with exciting news, new products and successful trade shows like CES and NAMM in January. We were delighted to release our new AONIC Premium Wireless Listening Line together with Adam Levine. In addition, 2020 marked the 95th company anniversary of SHURE in April.

When the Pandemic hit, the whole industry was and still is confronted with one of the biggest challenges in living memory. With no concerts, theatre shows or events taking place, the professional audio market saw a huge downturn in business.

Shure suffered, like most manufacturers, in the first few months with a slowdown in purchasing from our retail partners. Then the market adjusted to a different way of selling,  focussing less on in-store and more on e-commerce. Shure found themselves in a strong position with our MOTIV range of USB microphones.

The growing demand for home conferencing microphones and home recording has changed the landscape. We saw huge demand on a wide array of our wired microphones; in particular the SM7B. It became apparent, pretty rapidly, that musicians were adding to their home studio set-ups.

We adapted as best we could and made sure that our retail sales team could work from home as effectively as possible. This was reflected in a strong finish to the calendar year and lots of interest in our products for the start of 2021.

As with all manufacturers, we don’t know what this year will bring. We can’t wait for live music to return and are more than ready for when it does. While working from home looks set to continue, we believe that we are in a strong position to support our customers, whatever happens in the coming months.

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