Santa Monica, Calif. — As part of their ongoing partnership advocating for Hi-Res Audio across all formats, The Recording Academy®Producers & Engineers Wing®and DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group came together for an event dubbed “Hi-Res Audio Update” on Jan. 5, 2017, at the International CES convention in Las Vegas. The special event, held for press and analysts, heralded a series of exciting new developments: Universal Music Group, Sony Music, Warner Music Group, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and leading streaming and distribution platforms have agreed to a wide-reaching set of plans to support the expansion of the current Hi-Res Audio download market into studio quality Hi-Res Audio streaming. During the announcement, representatives from Rhapsody, Pandora, and HD Tracks expressed their enthusiasm for the plan, and for exploring opportunities to add new premium music offerings to their respective distribution platforms.
Legendary multi-GRAMMY®-winning producer and Recording Academy Chairman Emeritus James “Jimmy Jam” Harris served as the event’s spokesperson for The Recording Academy, noting, “Over the past decade, the music world has gone digital, and along with this came a greater emphasis on portability and convenience rather than sound quality. Thanks to Hi-Res Audio, music fans can now enjoy studio quality sound without having to sacrifice convenience. The Recording Academy’s Producers & Engineers Wing has over six thousand members whose primary mission is to help musical performers achieve their highest artistic goals: to create a more emotional connection between artists, their music, and their most passionate fans.”
The Recording Academy’s P&E Wing has a long history of supporting efforts to bring studio quality music to consumers. The Wing’s most recent contribution to this effort has been the development of a set of guidelines titled “Recommendations for Hi-Res Music Production,” which will be released during the 2017 NAMM (National Association of Music Merchandisers) Convention in Anaheim, CA Jan. 19-22
Stream the Studio
Until now, Hi-Res Audio recordings, which deliver the same quality as the studio master, could only be purchased from a select number of music download stores. The expansion of Hi-Res Audio into the rapidly growing streaming market underscores the recent rise in subscription music services.
In a further effort to expand the Hi-Res Audio market, the DEG has unveiled a consumer awareness campaign called Stream the Studio, specifically designed to align all of the various marketing messages that are currently being used to promote Hi-Res-compatible devices, technologies and music. The campaign will employ a variety of event marketing and social media to educate music fans on the benefits of studio-quality Hi-Res Audio.
For more information on the Stream the Studio campaign, go to www.streamthestudio.news.
During CES, major music companies also joined DEG and the P&E Wing in sponsoring a special Hi-Res Audio Pavilion. The exhibit was designed to highlight the benefits of studio-quality music and included a number of Hi-Res recordings from dozens of major and independent music labels, along with a variety of Hi-Res devices from leading electronics companies. The Pavilion also featured a fully equipped replica of a world-class recording facility control room. In addition to ongoing presentations on the benefits of Hi-Res sound, it showcased a series of live demonstrations conducted by award-winning members of the Producers & Engineers Wing.
In support of this overall initiative, Neil Portnow, President and CEO of The Recording Academy, noted how premium music services will be able to better serve musicians and consumers. “The Recording Academy’s Producers and Engineers Wing is extremely excited about the possibilities that this new studio quality music tier affords to both our members and music fans alike. Gone are the days where Hi-Res sound was reserved for those ‘behind the glass,’ as we are seeing a greater appetite and demand for better quality recordings, specifically through streaming. This announcement marks a transformative moment in the way music is consumed.”
The discussion will continue in the weeks and months ahead, notably at the upcoming NAMM Show in Anaheim. On Friday, January 20, 2017, the P&E Wing and DEG will host a press briefing at 1:30 p.m. to announce new music industry developments related to Hi-Res Audio and Studio Quality Sound. The presentation will take place at the Anaheim Hilton, in the Palos Verdes room, AB.
Photo Caption: James “Jimmy Jam” Harris, speaking at International CES on January 5, 2017, at the convention’s Hi-Res Audio Update a special talk on Hi-Res Streaming hosted by The Recording Academy® Producers & Engineers Wing®, DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group and other industry-leading organizations. Photo credit: Al Powers. © 2017