When D+M Brands held a press conference in Australia recently one of their key brands Boston Acoustics was missing from the line-up of products on show. Now speculation is mounting that the Japanese maker of brands such as Marantz and Denon is looking for a new distributor in Australia.
12 months ago the Company appointed struggling Sydney based distributor Amber Tech to market their products after a parting of the way with Video + Hi Fi Marketing who eventually closed their doors in Australia.
Amber Tech who have lost several brands due to poor marketing, have failed to distribute any press releases or marketing information to either ChannelNews or SmartHouse for Boston Acoustics since taking on the product range. In comparison the distributors of Marantz and Denon have issued several press releases about their product.
Among the distributors tipped to be talking to D+M Brands about the Boston Acoustics range of products is current Denon distributor Audio Products Australia, Melbourne based Marantz distributor Qualifi and Brisbane based Crest who distribute the Philips Audio range.
Senior executives of three other distributors have told ChannelNews that they have “heard rumours” that the Boston Acoustics brand is up for grabs and that several distributors have approached the Japanese based D+M Brands to try and get the rights for Australia.
Executives at D+M Brands recently said that they are keen to rebuild its share of the component-speaker market to complement its strong growth in active sound bars.
In Australia very few retailers range the Boston active sound bars despite the range being popular with US retailers.
D+M Brands Vice President Mitch Nollman said overnight that the Company is keen to grow market share and rebuild their share of the component audio market.
D+M brands said that they are currently investing heavily in product development and their new flagship M series of in-room speakers, which are priced up to $2,500/pair.
Nollman admits that the Company, whose legacy is in component speakers, has ignored the specialty channel in recent years.
In component speakers, “we lost our way and are coming back,” he said of the brand’s changed-over product assortment and D+M’s changed management.
To rebuild distribution through specialist channels, Boston Acoustics is joining sister brands Denon and Marantz to promote the brand’s full gamut” of products. The selection includes components speakers, active sound bars; sub/sat systems, in-door architectural speakers, and outdoor speakers.
Recently the brand changed its mind about launching a previously shown wireless multiroom-audio system, which consisted of tabletop speakers that wirelessly stream music from a one-piece tabletop music system equipped with AM/FM tuner, 30-pin connector for a docked iPod or iPhone, and stereo Bluetooth. The brand opted not to ship the product because of Apple’s switch to an 8-pin Lightning connector on the latest Apple devices and because the system used a proprietary wireless technology at a time when Apple’s wireless AirPlay is gaining acceptance, Nollman said.
In all of the audio markets in which it plays, the brand continues to focus on three key elements, Nollman said. They are quality sound, ease of use, and a good value for the dollar.” Boston Acoustics “will never be the cheapest,” he explained, but it will offer “the best value at a price point in terms of acoustics and fit and finish.
Twice Magazine said that globally, about 50 percent of the brand’s volume is in sound bars and, despite a surging sound bar market and flat component-speaker market, the brand hopes to keep the ratio the same, Nollman said. In the U.S., sound bars account for about 75 percent of the brand’s volume.
Boston’s sound bar sales include a sound bar integrated into a TV cabinet launched last year by furniture-maker Bassett. Bassett promotes the product and brand in its advertising, Nollman said.
Recently the Company started shipping r two previously announced sound bars, which connect to the audio outputs of TVs for simple setup. They are the everyday TVee10 without subwoofer and the TVee 26 with 6.5-inch wireless subwoofer, both with Dolby Digital 5.1 decoding and proprietary virtual surround processing.
In October, the brand shipped its first AirPlay speaker, the MC200Air, to wirelessly stream music via home Wi-Fi networks from Apple’s mobile devices and iTunes-equipped computers. The speaker system also incorporates embedded Wi-Fi, DLNA networking with PCs and smartphones, and Apple-certified iPod/iPhone/iPad-iPad USB port to change Apple devices and play their music when connected.