Just about a month away, HI-FI '98, The Home Theater & Specialty Audio Show, will interest thousands of audio enthusiasts when it visits The Westin Los Angeles Airport Hotel in Los Angeles, California from Wednesday, June 10 to Sunday, June 14, 1998.
The Three Tenors may have reached a global audience of 2 billion people during their performance prior to the final game of the World Cup, but they had only 80,000 fans on hand in Paris's Champs de Mars park, acording to estimates by Paris police. That number was only 10% of the anticipated 800,000, most of whom stayed away because of unseasonably cold and windy weather.
Late August news bites: Texas Instruments announced August 25 the completion of its acquisition of chipmaker Burr-Brown Corporation in a stock swap. Burr-Brown is highly regarded in the audio industry for its low-noise, high-speed digital/analog converters and digital signal-processing (DSP) ICs. The company also makes ultra-high-quality analog components, a segment of the semiconductor industry expected to grow by 25% in the coming year, according to industry analyst Dataquest.
Several news sources reported Saturday, January 22, that Time Warner is close to completing a merger with EMI Recorded Music. The combined company will be worth an estimated $20 billion, making it the world's second-largest music conglomerate, exceeded in size and scope only by Seagram Ltd.'s Universal Music. News of the deal came less than a week after the announcement of an impending merger between America Online, the world’s largest Internet service provider, with Time Warner, one of the world's largest media conglomerates.
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) reports that factory-to-dealer sales of audio products soared in March, with dollar volume increasing by 14% over March 1999, to a total of more than $721 million. According to the CEA, sales in the first quarter of this year were 10% ahead of first-quarter 1999, at approximately $1.75 billion.
Getting a jump on the RIAA's move to create a new music-download standard (see related article), Tower Records announced last week that it will feature a new song-download service, created by Atlanta-based amplified.com, on the Towerrecords.com website.
The ultra-High End may be stagnant in some areas, but the rebound in mainstream consumer electronics is visible everywhere. Canton, Massachusetts-based Tweeter Home Entertainment Group has announced record results for the quarter ended September 30, 1999: an increase of 39.5%, or $74.6 million compared to $53.5 million in the same period last year. The results are similar to those posted recently by nationwide electronics chain Best Buy, which also had a record quarter. Tweeter's comparable store sales increased 5.2%, not counting results from the recently acquired Home Entertainment and DOW Stereo/Video chains.
Last week, Tweeter Home Entertainment Group, Inc. announced that the company has reached an agreement in principle to acquire DOW Stereo/Video, Inc., located in San Diego, California. DOW is a nine-store specialty consumer-electronics retailer with sales of approximately $38 million, and has been in business in the San Diego market for over 30 years. The transaction is expected to be completed on or about July 1, 1999. Tweeter says it will pay approximately $5.5 million for the company excluding acquisition costs, and has the option of paying approximately $500,000 of the purchase price in Tweeter common stock.