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Digital piano sales during COVID-19
#2997094 06/30/20 12:23 PM
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This link showed up in the Piano Forum, but given that it includes insightful numbers on digital piano sales, I thought it would be interesting for this audience as well:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/29/...ll&pgtype=Homepage&section=Music

The most interesting tidbit:
Quote
The high-water mark of piano sales in America was 1909, when 364,500 new acoustic pianos were sold in the country. Since then, radio, television, recordings and instrument technology transformed the way music is created and consumed. Only about 30,000 new acoustic pianos are now sold here each year, but the number surpasses a million when all digital varieties are included.

And also:

Quote
Yamaha sold 60 percent more digital pianos this April than in the same month last year. He added that the sales increase was especially significant because, in a typical spring, schools tend to make big purchases in preparation for fall band season. Because of the coronavirus, he said, that segment has dropped away, so the spike in sales likely comes from individual buyers.


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Re: Digital piano sales during COVID-19
Gombessa #2997101 06/30/20 12:59 PM
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Hmm, a million digital pianos sold and only 30,000 acoustic pianos.



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- Robert Schumann

Re: Digital piano sales during COVID-19
Gombessa #2997129 06/30/20 02:15 PM
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Hmm, is the acoustic, as we know it, on its way out?

If so, I wager $1,000 on Steinway being the first to go.

Re: Digital piano sales during COVID-19
Gombessa #2997134 06/30/20 02:21 PM
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Acoustic pianos have been "on the way out" for nearly a century.

That "way" is quite long, eh?

Re: Digital piano sales during COVID-19
Gombessa #2997138 06/30/20 02:30 PM
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Okay, that was an unfair generalization; I should’ve asked if the acoustic ‘Steinway’ is on its way out.

I apologize for bundling all other -decent- acoustics with Steinway; but I assure you Steinway, his sons, and all their cachet are on their way out. I hope they start getting rid of all that extra wood, pronto! grin

Re: Digital piano sales during COVID-19
Gombessa #2997163 06/30/20 03:32 PM
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Acoustics are just plain and simple too expensive for the average person. The only people really buying them are people EXTREMELY into the hobby (such as the type that would even touch a forum like this lol) or people with excess money and thus can risk "Wasting" money on one even if they would not play it much

Re: Digital piano sales during COVID-19
Kougeru #2997169 06/30/20 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Kougeru
Acoustics are just plain and simple too expensive for the average person. The only people really buying them are people EXTREMELY into the hobby (such as the type that would even touch a forum like this lol) or people with excess money and thus can risk "Wasting" money on one even if they would not play it much

Sadly, I think these two markets account for much of acoustic piano sales today--there are far more hobbies, for much cheaper, available to the general population, and piano has over the decades become relatively niche.

I would bet money a HUGE percentage of acoustic sales today are parents buying pianos for their young kids who are starting lessons, probably on the recommendation of their piano teacher that a proper acoustic is necessary for learning. I think the industry would go into a catastrophic tailspin if piano teachers as a whole shifted their perspective to a digital being recommended for beginning students. If that happened, you might only have Steinway and a couple others left.

And from these sale numbers, a massive shift away from acoustics to digitals wouldn't even move the needle of digital piano sales, given how wide the disparity already is!


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Re: Digital piano sales during COVID-19
Serge88 #2997170 06/30/20 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Serge88
Hmm, a million digital pianos sold and only 30,000 acoustic pianos.

I believe that is a electronic keyboards of all varieties.

Re: Digital piano sales during COVID-19
Gombessa #2997177 06/30/20 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
I think the industry would go into a catastrophic tailspin if piano teachers as a whole shifted their perspective to a digital being recommended for beginning students. If that happened, you might only have Steinway and a couple others left.
Sad, but very probably true. I’m not even sure people who purchase digital pianos actually like pianos as an instrument. It’s again mostly because there’s the established profession of the piano teacher who is conservatory trained. There are not many synth teachers, right 😉 So, you want to play keyboards and there’s the piano teacher and so you purchase a piano. If your teacher is strict enough he would manage to convince you that you have to empty your wallet for a massive bunch of wood and metal that needs maintenance and is loud and can play mostly Bach, Chopin and the other fellows. If he/she can’t you end up with a digital.


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Re: Digital piano sales during COVID-19
Gombessa #2997196 06/30/20 05:05 PM
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We all know that ‘piano teachers’ are in cahoots with acoustic piano manufacturers in the same way doctors are in cahoots with Big Pharma.

So yes, they will prescribe an acoustic whilst claiming that digitals are dangerous and could end up harming you or your child. This has been going on for some time and it is very difficult to uncover because all the ‘transactions’ are done in cash (teachers usually get a white envelope every month; know what I’m sayin’?).

My own beloved teacher confessed to me on his deathbed that this was the case and apologized for having lied to me about how bad digitals are/were. He even confessed liking the Clavinova CLP-380 more than his old beaten-up Steinway.
Needless to say, I forgave him; but I’ve never been able to look piano teachers in the eye ever since.
I tend to look at the floor, instead, because I’m so angry at them!

Re: Digital piano sales during COVID-19
Gombessa #2997200 06/30/20 05:15 PM
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Only very top end teachers would get a kickback direct from the manufacturer such as those music school deans directly sponsored by yamaha/ steinway etc.

I'd imagine most piano teacher would relish such a position but it's highly unlikely they'd be sponsored given their lower spot on the food-chain. At best, they may be able to work out a deal with local distributors, and get a % on the purchase for the students they send.

Last edited by jeffcat; 06/30/20 05:16 PM.
Re: Digital piano sales during COVID-19
Gombessa #2997213 06/30/20 05:54 PM
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....but my teacher....he confessed on his deathbed!

Re: Digital piano sales during COVID-19
Pete14 #2997215 06/30/20 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Pete14
....but my teacher....he confessed on his deathbed!

Sometimes I almost take Pete seriously smile

I've heard frequently (but have no firsthand knowledge) that lots of teachers are affiliated with local piano shops (rather than manufacturers), particularly if they teach out of a studio at the shop. Of course that means they'll get a cut out of sales the shop makes to students.


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Re: Digital piano sales during COVID-19
Gombessa #2997216 06/30/20 06:00 PM
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.....but Gombessa, I’m telling the truth; there’s a long-standing conspiracy against digitals, and teachers are knee-deep in it! blush

Re: Digital piano sales during COVID-19
Gombessa #2997226 06/30/20 06:43 PM
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First there was the grand acoustic piano but it was too big and expensive so they created an upright piano. Again upright acoustic pianos were too big and expensive so they created digital pianos.



“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts - such is the duty of the artist.”
- Robert Schumann

Re: Digital piano sales during COVID-19
Gombessa #2997231 06/30/20 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Gombessa
I've heard frequently (but have no firsthand knowledge) that lots of teachers are affiliated with local piano shops (rather than manufacturers), particularly if they teach out of a studio at the shop. Of course that means they'll get a cut out of sales the shop makes to students.

This happens. But those teachers who are employed by the local music store are typically paid significantly less in exchange for getting some students, a place to teach, and access to a piano. I don’t like the practice, but I understand why it happens.


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Re: Digital piano sales during COVID-19
Serge88 #2997242 06/30/20 07:19 PM
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Next will size reduction will be the result of telepathic pianos, triggered by brain waves.
Originally Posted by Serge88
First there was the grand acoustic piano but it was too big and expensive so they created an upright piano. Again upright acoustic pianos were too big and expensive so they created digital pianos.
No more talk about pivot length, downweight, looping, latency ...
The brain-driven piano will be perfect!

There you go, CyberGene. Your next project!

Re: Digital piano sales during COVID-19
Pete14 #2997264 06/30/20 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Pete14
....but my teacher....he confessed on his deathbed!

Next thing you know, Pete14 will be telling us that Pianoteq is the best thing since the sliced VST! Oh wait...!


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Re: Digital piano sales during COVID-19
Gombessa #2997362 07/01/20 03:07 AM
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Sales are through the roof, product back-ordered, etc.

People are staying at home and got sick of ME TV....


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