Native Instruments and EMH Partners selling majority ownership to Francisco Partners
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  1. #1
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    Default Native Instruments and EMH Partners selling majority ownership to Francisco Partners

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    And this illustrates why without Amazon levels of investment. NI is dead.

    This place used to be the haven, the stronghold of the house of Traktor and 5 days after this gets posted, im the first comment.

    Nobody officially gives a shit if they live or die at this point

    RIP Native Instruments
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    Tech Guru SlayForMoney's Avatar
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    You do have a point there....I just wonder at exactly which point did they go wrong? Maybe when they brought their own line of hardware and started putting a wall around the software+hardware integration with other manufacturers? When they brought HID mode for only top Pioneer CDJs and ignored Denon and others? Should have brought a line of single deck jog controllers?
    Denon X600 - 2x Denon SC-2000 - AKG K181DJ - NI Audio 2

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    Quote Originally Posted by SlayForMoney View Post
    ...I just wonder at exactly which point did they go wrong? Maybe when they brought their own line of hardware and started putting a wall around the software+hardware integration with other manufacturers? ...
    Reminds me of a conversation I had, about 10 years ago, with Silvio Zeppieri the then Denon DJ Brand Manager who at the time thought that Native Instruments making its own DJ hardware was a mistake.
    Seems like he was right.
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    Tech Guru DJDoubleYou's Avatar
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    I think making their own hardware is one of the smartest things they ever did, the S4 models have in my eyes always been one of the best controllers out there and hence I probably will never switch. I think it is just mainly barely adding anything significant in a decade, whilst the competition is catching up.

    It is really a shame though that this forum is so dead, it used to be so much fun!
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    I think everybody went over to social media.
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    Tech Guru SlayForMoney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dj subculture View Post
    Reminds me of a conversation I had, about 10 years ago, with Silvio Zeppieri the then Denon DJ Brand Manager who at the time thought that Native Instruments making its own DJ hardware was a mistake.
    Seems like he was right.
    I do not believe that was a mistake, their line of controller was hugely successful. Problem was they made if difficult for other hardware to be used with Traktor, one way or another. It's all fine and dandy until your competitor starts putting better hardware and that automatically switches users to different software that is partnered with those controllers (Pioneer took a good part of their market with DDJ-SX line to Rekordbox and SDJ, not to mention Denon that was popular with mobile DJ). That was probably no 1.

    2nd was betting on "next level" DJ-ing that never got accepted by mainstream. Sync, remix decks, stems. It's all cool inovations but they forgot that core of DJ's still like to have the possibility of using pitch faders and jogwheels, even if they use sync. From S4 mk1 down to mk3 it would have costed them almost nothing in R&D costs to offer just a single deck version of those controllers to keep a bigger part of their base continue using Traktor.

    3 is the development of standalone units features in the last 3 years in which time NI did nothing to keep up with it. Cue Denon with their hardware that for the first time offered huge waveforms, streaming, pad modes on par with DJ software.


    Regarding this forum, that I think it's a story will ALL forums, social media etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlayForMoney View Post
    Problem was they made if difficult for other hardware to be used with Traktor, one way or another.
    Which is the point I believe Sivio was making at the time.
    Quote Originally Posted by SlayForMoney View Post
    2nd was betting on "next level" DJ-ing that never got accepted by mainstream. Sync, remix decks, stems. It's all cool inovations but they forgot that core of DJ's still like to have the possibility of using pitch faders and jogwheels, even if they use sync. From S4 mk1 down to mk3 it would have costed them almost nothing in R&D costs to offer just a single deck version of those controllers to keep a bigger part of their base continue using Traktor.
    I agree.
    Quote Originally Posted by SlayForMoney View Post
    3 is the development of standalone units features in the last 3 years in which time NI did nothing to keep up with it. Cue Denon with their hardware that for the first time offered huge waveforms, streaming, pad modes on par with DJ software.
    Great hardware, Engine Prime on the other hand...
    Last edited by dj subculture; 01-31-2021 at 06:38 PM.
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    Default traktor's future continued

    Quote Originally Posted by xtianw View Post
    And this illustrates why without Amazon levels of investment. NI is dead.
    ...
    Nobody officially gives a shit if they live or die at this point
    Um... it's all in the article. They've doubled their user base in four years. NI is doing well in many respects, but they need a lot more investment to be able to handle all the different kinds of business they've gotten into.

    So NI is not dead. A tech investment firm would not buy a huge chunk of a dead company.


    .I just wonder at exactly which point did they go wrong?
    S2 and S4 were gamechangers. They perfected the layout of DJ equipment, unrivaled since. And the build, although not great, still had a certain parity with pioneer. Pioneer's tech was sturdier, NI sounded better and was way more portable. And was incredibly reliable.

    S2/4 mk1 was the first fully reliable plug n play computer DJ tech.

    So that was the position they had to defend. The market leader in controllers, for a hot minute at least.

    But they went on the aggressive. Instead of leading the market in standard controllers, evolving the platter based paradigm, they tried to push the envelope. They bet the farm on stems, but got into this "betamax" type of jam. Cool tech but you could never really buy music for the format.
    The Betamax video format died because it was propriatary tech, you could only buy Betamax video cassette recorders from Sony, while VHS was licensable tech, so there was much more competition, more selection.
    The only company that has survived something like this is Apple. Everyone else needs competitors to adopt their tech.

    So the mistake they made, if any, was a mixture of too much ambition, a bit of hubris, and distraction from other successes.

    But you have to keep in mind that Pioneer DJ is a juggernaut. They are absolutely unique in scale and success, and their strategy made sure that there was very little space for competition. The only way I can imagine someone securely "taking out" a company like that is simply by losing a lot of money for a very long time, undercutting them on price until they go out of business.

    Pioneer is a business, first and foremost. They sell things and grow market share. They make sure that they never upgrade their gear fully, leaving space in their current lineup for their next lineup. Compare that to Denon, that compete on features, making gear that runs circles around the features of any Pioneer Gear. NI is a creative company, or a technology company, they run on passion, making things they believe in.

    Anyway.

    The question now is: is DJ software, and laptops in clubs, getting outdated?

    That would be the end of Traktor.

    Obviously, if you don't have a rekordbox USB stick these days you're just torturing yourself. But personally, I prefer traktor and S4 mk3. Ideally, they would take Traktor to where they have taken Maschine with the new Maschine+, that works without a computer. An all-in-one box from NI is the only all-in-one I'd consider.

    And there we come to Maschine. It's one of a pretty big lineup of NI hardware. The Maschines are very similar products to the Traktor controllers - as far as manufacturing goes. So investing in hardware capability was by no means a dumb step for NI.

    I think the Maschine came before S4, and the audio interface for Traktor vinyl control as well. So the S4 wasn't a big step.

    I think maybe that's the problem. Traktor wasn't NI's focus, and the all-or-nothing approach with S5/8 was an attempt to outrace Pioneer, instead of keeping a parity with them.

    NI has well over a hundred software products, so maintaining that size of codebase is obviously a challenge.

    I heard that the ipad version of Traktor was supposed to be a new codebase, programmed from the ground up, slated to replace the old Traktor. But I just checked and the ipad traktor was last updated 7 months ago, with bugfixes, but Traktor Pro dropped an upgrade with new features and the long awaited retina interface, so no more big pixels.

    It doesn't feel like they've given up on Traktor, is what I am saying. I do think they respect that there is still a lot of us. Throwing us under the bus as Traktor users would also affect the relationship for those of us that buy their other products, like Komplete and Maschine.

    That's why the rumors of them trying to sell it off make sense. A&H is a pretty great company, everything they do they do exceedingly well. And the strengths of NI, both in software tech and hardware, are at least matched by A&H. A&H makes huge digital mixers that need to work 100%, driving stadium concerts and the like.

    If the rumored buyer would have been someone in a more budget category like InMusic or Behringer's Music Tribe, I'd be worried.

    But even a Traktor + Denon combo would not be the worst thing, at this point.

    The only think I can declare with conviction about Traktor is that it's too soon to tell. There's too much value in the brand to discard it, but things need to move along, that's for sure.

    But I'm not going anywhere. nobody does DJ interface like Traktor.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terrordisco View Post
    But I'm not going anywhere. nobody does DJ interface like Traktor.
    I'm with you. I'm staying with Traktor until the wheels fall off.
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