Classical Dirt – Some revelations in the classical world: The outgoing Saltzburg Festival Intendant told the Agence France-Presse that the festival needs “millions” more in state aid or its existence is at stake. The NY Times reports that returning Osmo Vanska to conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra was not an easy decision because he is in a romantic relationship with the orchestra’s concertmaster, Erin Keefe, who is a strong contender for the same job at the New York Philharmonic. Singer Montserrate Caballé, 81, is being investigated for tax fraud in Catalonia. She has toured the world for 50 years, but the judge has been asked to set bail or seize assets equivalent to the amount allegedly defrauded.
Best Buy Says Consumer Technology is Changing Rapidly – New products have changed the way people interact with their electronics, and the electronics are interacting with each other more than ever. In the home theater arena, the retail TV wall display has remained about the same as it was envisioned at the dawn of the flat-panel era. But soundbars, streaming audio, multi-room audio and streaming set-top boxes are now the dominant products. TVs themselves are different, with smart TVs, UHD and curved screens, plus the growth of various new video services. Sales volume for 60-inch and larger TVs rose five times in the last four years while the overall market shrank. Soundbars, streaming audio and streaming boxes were niche items four years ago but today they account for almost $2.4 billion of annual sales. Best Buy is looking to redefine the mainstream in-store home theater experience.
Flagship CEA Study – According to the Consumer Electronics Association, the top consumer electronics products for this year are smartphones and headphones, both at 27%. Also among top planned purchases are TVs (20%) and computers (18%). Over the last year, households continued to buy connected devices at a good clip, causing gains in household penetration of Internet-enabled TVs (24%), Blu-ray players (39%), and portable wireless speakers (30%). 85% of U.S. households purchased their CE products at brick-and-mortar retail stores, but they said they are 49% more likely to make their CE purchases online in the year to come.
CEA Call for Speakers for 2015 CES – The “Call for Speakers” has gone out for the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Jan. 6-9, 2015. It a top speaking opportunity for CEOs, and features the leading visionaries in consumer technology addressing the latest trends, strategies and upcoming business opportunities. More than 160,000 industry professionals will attend, from more than 140 countries, and the 2015 CES will have over 3500 exhibitors showing their latest consumer technology products and services.
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