An Interview with Greg Beebe, Director of Professional Audio of Sennheiser Group



AVL TIMES had the exclusive opportunity to an interview with Greg Beebe, Director of Professional Audio of Sennheiser Group, as he shares about his journey in the company, and especially what’s next for Sennheiser, a leading innovation‐ oriented global audio specialist.


From his humble beginnings as an Application Engineer who started out at Sennheiser close to three decades ago, Greg has been with the company ever since. During his time here, he has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience learning the different facets of the business – from the technical aspects to sales and spearheading the Group’s artist relations program.


Some of his Greg’s highlights include taking on VP of Sales and Marketing for Latin America in 2004, Director of Global Relations in 2007, being named President of Sennheiser for its US operations in 2012.


Today, he leads the professional audio segment for Sennheiser globally. As an authority in the pro audio space, he also sits on the Board of Director for the Professional Audio Manufacturers Alliance (PAMA).


Could you elaborate on Sennheiser’s decision to focus on the professional business? What are some key developments on a company level following this decision?


Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak with you and your readers! Focusing entirely on professional audio after more than 50 years has indeed been an important decision for Sennheiser, and one that was taken after a long review process.


During this in‐depth strategical analysis, immense potential was seen for all of Sennheiser’s four business units – Consumer Audio, Professional Audio, Business Communications and Neumann. While Sennheiser would be able to grow pro audio, business communications and Neumann using its own resources, the consumer audio business would have more growth potential with a bigger, consumer partner at its side. In Sonova, Sennheiser has found this strong partner.


With its new focus, Sennheiser can make even greater contributions to advance the art of creating, recording and performing. In many of the fast growing markets in APAC, we see big potential, especially in the fields of music and audio tools for content creation.


Given your history with Sennheiser, you’ve been a part of the company’s significant milestones – could you share with us more about this journey and how the brand has evolved over the years?


It has been an amazing journey with Sennheiser, and I am proud to have been with this company for 30 years now, and to have had the honour of serving it as their Director, Professional Audio for the past five years.


There are several milestones or memories I’d like to highlight. One of my earliest memories was being invited to join a five‐member global team to enter the music industry in 1996. The team led the introduction of evolution wired and wireless microphones. Today these award‐winning products are world renowned and staples in our industry.


In 2003 my family and I moved to Germany for a year to be one of 21 employees – the only non‐German – to participate in a management training program. While I was there, I helped manage our business in Greece, Turkey, Spain and Portugal. It was during this time I realized my passions for internationalism, building teams and developing our business.


One of my fondest memories was leading our business in Latin America from 2004 to 2006. This role was a perfect playground to explore my passions and to this day, this region, team and customers hold a special place in my heart.


My proudest moment was being asked by Professor Sennheiser to run our US subsidiary (2013 – 2015). By the time this opportunity presented itself, I had been working outside of the US for seven years. Seeing what our team did to develop the brands during that time was nothing short of amazing – specifically in the music industry.


Here we are today, I have the distinct pleasure of running one of our three global business units. Our brands have developed nicely over these three decades and continue to do so. While so much time has passed, I am often reminded it’s the people at Sennheiser who make this a special place to work… and call my home.


What changes (trends/technologies) in the APAC region in the last ten years have you observed for the professional audio business?


The most disruptive change – for the entire world – has certainly been the pandemic and the move towards home office, remote learning, video conferencing and virtual concerts that it has brought with it. While the live business suffered immensely, we have seen growth in collaboration solutions and in home studio equipment.


Also, the pandemic has further spurred the huge shift to e‐commerce platforms in APAC. The region accounts for two thirds of the global e‐commerce spending, and this can also be attributed to the growing middle class in APAC which provides for a strong customer base that drives the industry.

Other trends in the professional audio industry are certainly the digitization of pro audio tools, and app‐based remote control and monitoring. The mobile phone or the tablet has become a pro audio tool – who would have guessed that a decade ago?


Let me give you one example in the pro field: The Smart Assist App that works with our Evolution Wireless Digital radio microphone systems is like an engineer in your pocket. The app provides automated set‐up, mobile access to every system as well as remote monitoring. This is convenient and saves time – and bands or singer‐songwriters can fully focus on their performance.



What are the future plans for Sennheiser Group’s Professional Audio business and growth in APAC?


The APAC region is very diverse, and we want to take account of this diversity with six subsidiaries and their highly committed teams, who combine industry and market knowledge. But it’s not just about serving our APAC customers with products, expertise and services – we also want to contribute and give back to the communities we operate in. This includes, for example, working with local educational institutions to develop the next generation of professional audio engineers, or support of the local music and event scene.


What’s next for audio? (Emerging trends/technologies, audio for video)

We have been seeing the digitization of pro audio tools and the use of mobile phones and tablets for control and monitoring. Another big trend that was born out of the pandemic is touchless audio – which my colleagues in Business Communications cater to with the TeamConnect Ceiling 2 microphone.


For a few years, the democratisation of content has been a top trend, and this will continue well into the future. Sennheiser is catering to this ever‐ growing group of mobile journalists and content creators with its audio for video products, from the wired XS Lav USB‐C mic to the AVX wireless microphone system that has the wireless expertise built in. Also, many of the tools that were once deemed for professional use only have crossed the invisible border to the creator target group, for example the MKH 416 and MKH 8060 shotgun mics which are great both on camera and in the podcast studio, or the evolution wireless sets for filmmakers and reporters.


You are actually able to witness a very similar trend in the music industry: Instead of renting studio space, many up and coming musicians teach themselves the necessary tech online, often via YouTube and in forums, and become bedroom producers. While in the past musicians were almost fully dependent on the infrastructure that record companies offered, today they publish on their own channels.


www.sennheiser.com


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