FACTOID: The World’s Top 10 Music Companies

The top 10 music and audio companies in the world ranked by annual revenues are:

  1. Yamaha Corp (Japan) $4.496 billion
  2. Roland Corp. (Japan) $1.020 billion
  3. Kawai Musical Instuments (Japan) $763 million
  4. Sennheiser Electric (Germany) $637 million
  5. Fender Musical Instruments (USA) $625 million
  6. Harman Professional (USA) $523 million
  7. Shure Inc. (USA) $425 million
  8. Steinway Musical Instruments (including Conn-Selmer) (USA) $318 Million
  9. Audio-Technica Corp. (Japan) $295 million
  10. KHS-Musix Co. Ltd. (Taiwan) $293 million
    Source: The Music Trades, Dec. 2011.

Everyone knows Yamaha as a manufacturer of all kinds of instruments, from plastic recorders to concert grand pianos. They have been the dominant player in the world market for many years. Among the others, several are known primarily for their audio reinforcement electronics (especially microphones), such as Shure, Harmon (maker of AKG mics), and Audio-Technica. Roland is well known for synths and other electronic keyboards, as well as amps and recording software (Cakewalk). Kawai is a major piano manufacturer. Steinway includes the iconic piano lines as well as the band instruments under the Conn-Selmer brands. KHS-Musix manufactures primarily band instruments for educational markets.Clearly the top players are largely not in what we would think of as musical instrument manufacturing at all. The list is really an indicator of the profitability of electronics rather than the health of the instrument trade itself.


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