The past two years have been a challenge for many professional audio vendors, with the industry experiencing significant decline following the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020. However, key markets continued to see demand recover and confidence climbed in 2021. The industry has shown remarkable resilience during the pandemic, and Futuresource can expect to see more recovery with brands focusing on innovation and new opportunities for 2022.
As the market recovers, we can expect to see some important trends continue to emerge for live sound markets and end users within the live events sector. The long-term growth of installed live sound will be front and centre, with the stability of the segment during the pandemic drawing increased innovation from brands. Immersive sound continues to be a key trend, with greater awareness of technology at both performer and consumer levels expected to drive growth. Audio-over-IP will show increased adoption in the live sound space, with standards, such as Dante and Milan, implemented more in amplifiers and speakers.
Outside of live sound, the main trends expected to impact professional audio in 2022 are DSP, networked audio, software and device management, as well as significant opportunities in both content creation and remote collaboration. Audio over IP and DSP have been growth areas for some time now and additional opportunities are offered in the evolution of software products across these markets. The software-only DSP has been a significant emergence. As it combines with innovation in software-based audio over IP solutions and management/control software, the professional audio product landscape will see notable evolution over the coming years.
Remote collaboration and content creation were unique areas of positivity for professional audio during the pandemic and will continue to be significant growth drivers in 2022 across multiple verticals. The largest application here is corporate conferencing. However, space for pro audio continues to be prominent in a range of other applications. These include higher education, government buildings, healthcare and live event streaming, which offers potential for both virtual and hybrid event spaces. Across these applications, professional audio remains, in many cases, the ‘go-to’ for premium virtual/remote experiences.
Check out our feature on immersive audio in the forthcoming July/August edition of Installation, available from July 15th.