Vipin Pungalia, director, Professional Segment, Sennheiser India on the impact of COVID-19 on Broadcast Industry

Sennheiser, Audio, Covid 19, Pandemic, Sound, Technology, Media, #dontstopthemusic, David Guetta, Bob Sinclair

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The on-going pandemic has had a tangible impact across industries, including the Broadcast industry. All on-ground events, music festivals, concerts, award shows etc have been cancelled or postponed until further notice. The current circumstances have presented challenging circumstances for the entire broadcast industry. However, as the concept of normal changes and people get accustomed to this new normal, professionals have also started to invest in better audio solutions and technological tools to communicate effectively with the audience. Moreover, the Broadcast sector is an extremely important segment of Pro Audio and for us. Continuous upgradation of technology and products are always the key attribute of the Broadcast industry which will continue to evolve even during this unprecedented time.          

Today’s evolving technologies present both an opportunity and disruption for end users. It is critical to understand that we live in a dynamic world with several risks and changes taking place. This is an opportunity for us to grow- as technology has become the biggest enabler in assisting businesses and communities to sustain through this crisis. Audio solutions have now become an integral part as there is a growing need for such solutions to bounce back in business. Sennheiser will continue to deliver exceptional solutions to our customers who want to take their business to the next level.

·       #DontStopTheEducation role in upskilling professionals in media production and broadcast industry during these challenging times

To support our community and as a way of giving back the love and appreciation we have been receiving, we initiated the #DontStopTheEducation campaign for our customers, partners, and aspiring professionals. As an Original Equipment Manufacturer, Sennheiser has always given paramount importance to education and learning. So far, we have conducted more than 100 webinars (Globally and locally put together), conducted a series of 5 webinars in Hindi and 5 local round tables. We involved prominent personalities from India to share their journey, career progression, learnings and experiences over the years, challenges faced, their workflow, approach, strategy, tips and tricks. These webinars covered the live demo of Team Connect Ceiling 2, installation of evolution wireless G4 systems, mixing for live sound, the theory behind wireless microphones, best practices for designing antenna systems processes behind big live productions. By initiating this, we are utilising this period to upskill our partners and provide industry-relevant technical knowledge that will assist them in the future.

·       How is Sennheiser navigating through the rough weather?

The pandemic has led to drastic changes in everyday lives. Though people are now getting used to staying at home for their health and safety- running a household while working simultaneously and dealing with stress and anxiety takes a toll on most people. The pandemic has affected the economy of the world and has changed the realities of how the world functions.

We are currently expecting to see a change in consumer behaviour and content consumption patterns. Brands are already initiating new innovative ways to seamlessly integrate their products to fit the new lifestyle of consumers. It is important for brands to remain agile and resilient as it will play a huge role in determining how we move forward at the earliest and our ability to bounce back.

Sennheiser has always believed in giving back to the community. During the lockdown, Sennheiser initiated the campaign #DontStopTheMusic- an exclusive streaming concert on Sennheiser’s Instagram channel. We had a line-up of artists such as David Guetta, DJ Madoc, Murthovic, Bob Sinclair, Third Eye Blind amongst others. Through this initiative, we encouraged people to support the World Health Organization in its fight against COVID-19.

·       Sennheiser’s preparedness for post-COVID-19 situation

COVID-19 has disrupted the way the world is functioning today. With this being an unprecedented situation that multiple generations are seeing for the first time, it’s no doubt an extremely challenging time. The entire ecosystem is very volatile and dynamic.

We are closely tracking the market and also how consumers are adapting to this new normal as consumer behaviour is changing drastically.

Our customers and employees’ safety are the topmost priority. Since the markets are now gradually opening, we are ensuring that all our warehouses, service centres, and offices are completely sanitised. Moreover, for consumers, sanitisation will be the most important criteria for choosing a brand. They will also be ready to invest more in products that come with guaranteed safety. We are ensuring every product we deliver is completely sanitised and safe to use.

·       Sennheiser’s brand strategies post lockdown

Even post the lockdown, the customer sentiments are expected to remain the same. They will hesitate to step out in public places, be extra cautious about sanitation and hygiene and the content consumption will mostly be on digital platforms. As social distancing and digitalisation is becoming the new norm, we have planned to focus our communication through social media.

Like always, communication with consumers on quality, reliability, and durability will be critical. Post COVID-19, more consumers are expected to shift their preference to online purchases, however, we always take a holistic approach through omnichannel strategies (Extensive network of channel partners across the country and online as well)  and provide all the available options for customers’ convenience.

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