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Mike Dias

Mitigating the Content Quality Mismatch

Mike Dias, PAMA.

We have all become connoisseurs of fine content. After sitting through years of endless Zoom meetings and sifting through thousands of hours of YouTube how-to tutorials, we all know what works—and what doesn’t. And yet, as professional audio manufacturers who supply the gear and equipment for the creative economy, we run the risk of looking and feeling woefully out of sync with our customers and their needs when the content that we produce in-house isn’t up to snuff.

(Image credit: PAMA)

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Bottom line: As businesses and individually as professionals, we can no longer get away with bad audio feeds and lackluster presentations. Especially when our clients and peers judge our performance and compare our mediocrity against that young talented streamer they were watching right before our meetings.

Keep Up with Creativity

There is a fundamental mismatch happening in the market right now between the content that businesses are producing versus what individuals are creating, with businesses falling short. It is time for companies to create evergreen content that looks and feels modern and relevant. It is time to turn those old conference rooms into productive resources as content creation and event-hosting centers. And for well-healed companies, it is time to start building out your own project studios.

If we don’t act, we will lack the means of communicating with our future customers. The only way to stay top-of-mind and relevant with consumers is for companies to produce content that is at least on par with the expectations of potential and current customers. Content created by businesses must look and feel as good as content created independently by end users and influencers.

Content created by businesses must look and feel as good as content created independently by end users and influencers.

Visual impressions should affect your gear choices. For serious video calls or productions, think in terms of professional broadcasts. You should consider whether a headset is the best look, or if it makes you look like a drive-thru worker. (Under no circumstances should you ever use AirPods in these settings.) If you care about how you look and sound, take a page from professional entertainment and start using in-ear monitors whenever you’re on screen.

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Microphones also matter visually as well as audibly. “Professional-level content creation tools are more accessible and affordable than ever for businesses,” said Eduardo Valdes, associate vice president for consumer and pro global marketing at PAMA member company Shure. “There are a variety of microphone types—and styles—that fit every business need. This includes in-house equipment as well as options for remote and mobile workers.”

Content Is (Still) King

How companies look and sound matters. What they produce matters even more. Half of all searches happen on social platforms. If your company is not producing videos, tutorials, and podcasts, you are missing half of all potential search opportunities.

Content is king and this applies to businesses now more than ever. As many have moved back to the office, we’ve seen and assessed what has fundamentally changed and what no longer works. Keeping the message within the old conference room walls no longer works—and the sooner we repurpose the space and our focus, the faster business can move forward.

PAMA member company Audio-Technica recently announced a new System Solutions Test Lab at its U.S. headquarters in Stow, OH, which addresses the new realities. The new facility was designed for analysis, development, testing, demonstration, and troubleshooting of Audio-Technica’s commercial products in applications including presentations, huddle rooms, classrooms, boardrooms, and more.

Audio-Technica recently announced its new System Solutions Test Lab. (Image credit: Audio-Technica)

"Commercial products, especially for videoconferencing, are best experienced from the far end as an end user will experience it," explained Mark Donovan, applications engineering manager, professional markets, Audio-Technica. "Additionally, the room lends itself well to content creation for short, informative 'how-to' videos about various aspects of our commercial lineup.”

Selling professional audio gear into the corporate environment is simply the next extension of the initial work-from-home wave. Now that employees have invested in their home office setups, it is only natural for them to want to continue to look and sound as good as they did remotely after they return to the office.

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As professional audio manufacturers, we’ve reaped the rewards from the openings of many new markets. Everyone is a creator now. And every business is a potential new customer for microphones, audio interfaces, professional lighting, sound paneling, speakers, headphones, and in-ear monitors. It starts with the conference room, but don’t be surprised to see high-quality broadcast gear in every office.

We’ve stuffed 15 years of change into the last 48 months, and we’re only now starting to unpack and understand all the ramifications and opportunities. One thing is certain: Consumers and casual content creators have embraced the technological shift and leapfrogged corporate content offerings. It’s time for the business community to catch up.

Founded in 2003, the Professional Audio Manufacturers Alliance (PAMA) is the collective voice and forum for the leading manufacturers of professional audio products and the people who use them. PAMA’s mission is to promote awareness and appreciation of high-quality professional audio through market leadership, communication, and education. Learn more at  

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