Inside Audio-Technica and Martin Audio's German distribution partnership

Last month, Audio-Technica was appointed as Martin Audio’s German distributor, adding to its comprehensive offering in the region. To find out more about the new deal, Daniel Gumble spoke to Audio-Technica Germany’s general manager Matthias Exner and Martin Audio’s EMEA sales manager Brad Watson and MD Dom Harter...
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It’s a case of two great brands joining forces to create an outstanding offering,” was how Audio-Technica Germany’s general manager Matthias Exner described his company’s appointment as distributor for Martin Audio in the region back in October. And it certainly makes for an attractive proposition as far as pro audio customers are concerned.

With a strong reputation as a one stop solution provider for all manner of audio products and solutions, the addition of a brand such as Martin Audio to its already impressive portfolio of distributed brands sends a very clear message to the market about its vast offering. The benefits are, of course, mutual, with Martin Audio’s presence in the German market likely to be bolstered significantly by the backing of a fellow powerhouse brand.

“We felt that Audio-Technica in Germany had space in its portfolio for a professional, versatile and innovative loudspeaker brand to serve the live audio and commercial integration market,” Exner told PSNEurope. “Martin Audio had parted ways with its previous distributor and was looking for a professional partner active in both these segments. So this presented a win-win situation for both companies, with great opportunities for growth. Audio-Technica and Martin Audio have had various points of contact over the years and we are looking forward to a very successful long- term relationship for both brands.

“Audio-Technica Germany is now a one-stop solution provider in both live and installed sound, supplementing its own range of wired and wireless microphones, conference systems and mixers with Allen & Heath mixing consoles, Clear-Com intercom systems and Martin Audio speakers, amplifiers, controllers and 3D audio systems.”

According to Exner, customers in the region will also benefit significantly as a result of the new partnership.

“One of the key benefits is that it allows our customers streamlined access to a strengthened portfolio of world-renowned brands, and a pool of knowledge that will prove absolutely invaluable when assisting installers, rental houses and others on purchase decisions,” he continued. “This integrated approach is increasingly valued by customers when working on complex applications - we’re delighted to be in a position to offer an end-to-end solution with the addition of Martin Audio to the Audio-Technica family.”

For Martin Audio, the new distribution set-up will enable the company to capitalise significantly on what is a major area of opportunity.

“Martin Audio has grown substantially in Europe in the last year and strategically Germany is the biggest single opportunity for further growth, so we wanted a partner that could help deliver this,” explained Martin Audio’s EMEA sales manager Brad Watson.

“I was introduced to Matthias ‘Mex’ Exner - long- standing colleague and friend to [Martin Audio managing director] Dom Harter - to look at the potential option of Audio-Technica in Germany. Audio-Technica has an established platform in the German market, not only for the main microphone brand, but also with Allen & Heath and Clear-Com, so it’s clear to see that Martin Audio can easily fit with their current portfolio providing a transducer-to-transducer solution.”

Harter added: “I have known Mex since I was 21 when we both worked selling BSS, and I have always been impressed with his knowledge of the German market as well as his understanding for professional audio systems.

“As we have met more of the Audio-Technica team it was immediately clear that they share the same professional attitude and passion for professional audio as Mex and the whole Martin Audio team.”

 As for the logistics of the new agreement, Watson believes that it will be a seamless process.

“Audio-Technica have an experienced and comprehensive sales and back office team, so the transition for Martin Audio in the German market should prove to be a smooth process. Mex and Thomas Mikus, Audio-Technica’s sales and marketing director, pro audio, are building a team of experts and have a very good understanding of their market and our technology.”

He continued: “Martin Audio has traditionally performed very well in Germany, from the early W8/W8C range through to the MLA family and more recently Wavefront Precision, but we knew we could take this further.

Initial responses since the Audio-Technica announcement have been very positive, and with Tobi Franzgrote in place at the brand manager for Martin Audio in Germany, the future certainly looks very bright for the new Martin Audio and Audio-Technica partnership.”

“We get the benefits of a well organised, well-funded distribution partner who can supply end to end solutions and with the continuity of a deep knowledge of Martin Audio system from Tobi,” Harter added, discussing the positive impacts the new distribution agreement will have on both the company and its customer base. “I strongly believe that this is the kind of partnership which will help all our German customers grow with the brand whilst offering them the kind of support needed to do so.”

Indeed, with the end-to-end solutions of which Harter speaks becoming an increasingly sought after commodity in today’s industry, the alignment of Martin Audio with not only Audio-Technica but also its impressive array of high-profile distributed brands will be pivotal in furthering Martin Audio’s reach into the German pro audio market and bolstering its reputation across the region.

“The experience and exposure that Audio-Technica brings to this relationship is paramount to Martin Audio regaining the traction experienced in previous years,” Watson concluded.

“With the recent launch of the ADORN series alongside the VIA amplifiers, we now have a new and untapped market sector for Martin Audio, where the wider portfolio products from Audio-Technica will only be a benefit to the partnership.”

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