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Westworld-style self-playing pianos to threaten traditional piano sales over the next 10 years

Laura  Barnes
Westworld-style self-playing pianos to threaten traditional piano sales over the next 10 years

Traditional pianos, which hold a substantial market share, are expected to face strong competition by self-playing pianos over the next ten years.

That’s according to the latest report from Future Market Insights, which outlined the key trends in the global musical instrument market for the period 2016-2026.

The global market, witnessing passive growth since the global financial crisis of 2006-07, is estimated to continue sluggish development over the next 10 years.

Key markets, including the US, Germany, France, Italy, India, and China have experienced superficial growth in the demand for musical instruments, owing to which the global market is expected to thrive at a single digit CAGR throughout the forecast period.
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While North America and Western Europe will continue to hold leading market share, the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa are anticipated to account for sluggish volume-wise growth compared to major markets.

The firm reports that the US will continue to account for a leading share of the global musical instruments market. The prominence of keyboard stringed instruments will continue over the forecast period, creating consistent growth opportunity for keyboard manufacturers.

The trend of rising domestic demand and curtailed imported production observed in the recent past, is estimated to continue during the forecast period as well. Owing to the less-resource-hiring pattern in the overall musical instruments manufacturing industry, the competitive landscape seems to be fragmented and will continue to exhibit fragmentation. However, total production revenues are predicted remain steady during the forecast period.

Future Market Insights outlined a number of key market trends including electronic organs and pianos expecting to take over traditional instruments.

The firm also believes that high quality, and low operating and maintenance costs will significantly influence consumers’ buying decision.

Another interesting insight from the company is that it forecasts that traditional pianos, which hold a substantial market share, will face strong competition by self-playing pianos.

Invented in the early 1900s, the piano player’s popularity peaked in the 1920s and has since been an instrument seen more often in museums than in family homes.

While manufacturers managed a small revival in the 1960s, in more recent years, there has been greater focus on restoring original instruments.

Even more recently, the player piano has been thrust into the public’s eye once again thanks to new HBO series Westworld, which heavily features self-playing pianos performing old time versions of modern rock songs as a way of complimenting the show’s theme of futuristic technology existing in a world that’s designed to look like the past.

The player pianos that we’re likely to see over the next ten years probably won’t look much like the ones featured in Westworld though.

Earlier this month, Yamaha released what it has called the ‘world’s most advanced piano’.

The Yamaha ENSPIRE features an extensive Pianosoft software library, which enables users to download music so the instrument can instantly replay full orchestral – and vocal – arrangements, with the piano keys and pedals able to exactly replicate the physical actions of the pianist at the time of the original recording.

With one of the biggest piano makers embracing self-playing functions, we’re sure many other brands will follow.

Tags: westworld , Future Market Insights , global market report , player piano , self-playing pianos

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