November 28, 2006

NAMMbla...

by Chris Randall
 

So we have a bit of a connundrum. I'll be attending NAMM this year, and I wanted to be wearing an Audio Damage badge instead of another company's, just as a point of pride. So, we go to join AD up with NAMM, and hit a brick wall of sorts.


See, it seems the National Association of Music Merchants is technically only open to retailers and the companies that sell to them. Since Audio Damage doesn't sell boxed copies to retail or a distributor (because, quite frankly, for a 1 meg plugin it's just a stupid waste of plastic and paper, sort of like a CD longbox, and it's, like, 2006 and stuff) we don't qualify for NAMM membership.


I spoke at length with the person nominally in charge of such things, and was told we could have a Provisional Membership, where we could join now, get the badges I want, and in six months they would check back in on us to see whether we were selling to retail or not. I assume this is to provide new companies with a way to hock their wares at the show.


Since I am, at heart, an honest person, I pointed out that (a) it was 2006, and there was no need for a company like ours to go to retail at all, and (b) it was unlikely that Bob's Country Banjo Shoppe was going to want or know what to do with our products, so we'd just be stuck with the mass-market retailers like Musician's Friend and Guitar Center, which we didn't have any interest in working with in the first place.


This was something of a surprise to the lady I was speaking with, I think. She just couldn't get her head around the idea that a company would be happy with selling less product if it meant not dealing with the Wal-Mart and Target of the music industry, respectively. Apparently, in this business, principle and making money are mutually exclusive.


In any case, fuck all that shit. I don't have the time or energy to try and get the board members of NAMM to understand that yes, we are Music Merchants, and no, we don't need a retail store to sell our shit. So I guess I have to go begging for a badge. Whee.

 
 
 

32 comments:

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Nov.28.2006 @ 2:34 PM
Taxidermy
Why don't you just put bundles of your software on professional looking CD-r's, get the cases shrinkwrapped wrapped for cheap in bundles of say 25 and offer them off your site through paypal? Its easier than making a full box with art and all that stuff, and would qualify you as a retail operator.
 
 

 
Nov.28.2006 @ 2:42 PM
nung242
Man, I hate that too. Its just like when people dont think your music is legit unless a major lable releases it. [email protected]!#?, AD will keep making kick ass plug-ins, and musicians will keep making kick ass music with them, regardless of NAMM's corporate tyranny....... just my 2 cents.
 
 

 
Nov.28.2006 @ 2:46 PM
nousrnm
Can't you work something out with a place like Analogue Haven? Sell them a couple of AD t-shirts and bam -- you're a music software company that sells a product to a music retailer. :)
 
 

 
Nov.28.2006 @ 3:01 PM
Chris Randall
I could gin something up easy enough, and we do actually have B2B transactions to prove what they want proved, but it's just gay. We shouldn't have to lie about it.

As for the first comment, that wouldn't do it. As a manufacturer, you need to provide receipts that say that you sold to a distributor. Selling direct retail doesn't count for manufacturers.

-CR

 
 

 
Nov.28.2006 @ 3:36 PM
ecallender
Fuck NAMM. I'm sure it was great back when the Yamaha GX-1 was first shown, but who needs to travel across the country to see the latest 25-key controllers?
 
 

 
Nov.28.2006 @ 3:36 PM
Wade Alin
you should make some AD shirts that say "no one would give us a fucking badge."

W

 
 

 
Nov.28.2006 @ 3:42 PM
boobs
fuck NAMM if they are gonna be that way. i guess in the past they had to have some way of controlling things but it seems stupid in 2006 not to restructure their qualifications.
 
 

 
Nov.28.2006 @ 3:51 PM
moyashi
This is another (practically cliched) example of how big, monolithic organizations are so painfully slow to adapt to change. I'm surprised that I'm surprised by this particular incident, but I am. Pointless bummer.
 
 

 
Nov.28.2006 @ 4:01 PM
musicmachinemaker
i think if you open a stand and have a boat and some bikini ladies dancing around some plugin pictures they shouldn't give you any problem.
 
 

 
Nov.28.2006 @ 4:31 PM
Jeremy Cox
I dont know if AD even needs that kind of exposure. Every music professional i know is into the product anyway....
 
 

 
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