Benn Jordan predicts layoffs for Moog, Apple and Spitfire Audio: “I honestly hope I’m wrong”
“The financial forecast musicians wished they didn’t want.”
Benn Jordan, professional producer, musician and YouTuber, has recently shared his predictions for the future of the music production industry in a video entitled The Private Equity Buyout Of Music Production.
In the video, Jordan discusses the recent acquisitions and changes within various music-based software and hardware companies, predicting a bleak horizon of layoffs for Moog, Apple and Spitfire Audio.
He mentions that Native Instruments was acquired by a private equity group called EMH Partners in 2017 for $50 million. However, the company faced financial difficulties and underwent layoffs in 2020. Recently, it was acquired by Francisco Partners, he points out, a large private equity firm, along with Izotope, Plugin Alliance, Brainworx, and Sound Stacks. The total acquisition cost was reportedly around €773,000,000. Jordan expresses scepticism about the long-term success of these acquisitions.
He also mentions that Image Line, the company behind FL Studio (also known as Fruity Loops), has made acquisitions of its own, purchasing UVI and Melda Production. Jordan believes that Image Line’s strategy of acquiring smaller companies with growth potential is a smart move that helps keep industry money within the music production sector.
Moving on to other predictions, Jordan discusses the potential acquisition of Spitfire Audio, a popular high-end sample library and virtual instrument developer, by Native Instruments. He speculates that Native Instruments may bundle Spitfire’s intellectual property into a subscription service, leading to possible layoffs within the company. Jordan questions the viability of such a move in an era where AI engines and dataset articulation are becoming more accessible to musicians.
Tech corporation Apple is also mentioned. Jordan predicts that layoffs will take place in the company for the first time since 1997. This is, he says, because of a “lot of things: the pandemic just led to this weird tech adoption bubble that was coupled with chip shortages and supply chain issues right as blitz scaling strategies were not panning out combined with interest rates and a bear market that will probably be deflating the share prices.”
Jordan also discusses the acquisition of Moog Synthesizers by InMusic, which also owns Numark, Stanton, Denon DJ and Akai. He acknowledges that Moog has faced various challenges, including high prices, labour disputes, and a chip shortage. While the acquisition may result in further layoffs, Jordan believes that the intellectual property of Moog could potentially be integrated into more affordable reissues of classic instruments.
Avid, the company behind Pro Tools, Media Composer, and Sibelius, gets a mention, too. He suggests that Avid’s value has been declining, and the company may have leaked rumours of a potential sale to rescue its stock price. However, Jordan speculates that the market valuation of Avid may be overinflated, making it unlikely for any potential buyer to acquire the company at its current value.
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