ATV plans new strategy for US, Australia

Wednesday, 5 August 2020 8:42 am

Japanese drum maker ATV Corporation is considering its distribution options in the United States and Australia, after the collapse of its independent sales partners in the two markets.

ATV president and CEO Tatsuro Shibuya blames the UN-China trade dispute for the company’s woes. “The increased import tariffs on our products manufactured in China effectively meant that we could not supply our distribution and sales partner in the United States (ATV US). It was a difficult situation for all concerned, and it only became feasible to ship back orders to the US when tariffs were reduced in February 2020,” he says.

Just as ATV was recovering from that situation, it had to face the global coronavirus pandemic which “seriously undermined our manufacturing, supply chain, and distribution operations”, he explains. “As a smaller international organisation, ATV Corporation and its partners were particularly vulnerable to the economic and operational impacts of the coronavirus.”

Shibuya confirms that ATV US and ATV Australia are no longer able to accept new orders.

“Although in partnership with ATV Corporation, ATV US and ATV AU operate independently as sales companies in their respective regions. It is deeply unfortunate for our organisation that these partners have been unable to endure the economic hardships faced by many SMEs across our industry,” he notes.

Mike Snyder, who has been the public face of the brand since its launch, remains an ATV officeholder but is understood to be looking for new opportunities in the music instrument sector.

Shibuya stresses that existing customers will not be affected by the demise of ATV US and ATV AU.

“Despite our sincere regret at this unforeseen change to our global business, we would like to reassure ATV customers in the United States and Australia that ATV Japan will assume direct responsibility for handling their warranty service and after-sales care.”

digitalDrummer also asked Shibuya about its newest competitor, EF Note, started by former ATV employees and producing electronic drum kits very similar to ATV’s.

“While it is true that a small group of engineers left ATV to pursue a different venture some time ago, it is important to stress that ATV retains the core intellectual property and capability to evolve innovative products.

“The events of the last six months have allowed us to look again at ATV products in the market and evaluate our long-term development strategy, taking into account the impacts of the coronavirus on the lifestyles of our customer base and the music industry in general.

“What we have learned from dealer and customer feedback is that the popularity of aDrums artist and the aD5 module are due to the realistic sound and natural playing experiences they deliver, which are so similar to acoustic drums,” he says.

The ATV CEO also points out that since its launch in 2019, the EXS series has also become popular worldwide because the kits retain many of the aDrums product features, but across a range of more compact and affordable models. This includes the three-sensor pads, 360-degree cymbal triggering, the super-fast optical sensor hi-hat, and its signature high-definition instrument sounds.

“Given what we have all been through and continue to go through, it is clear that ATV along with many other music companies are coming to terms with unprecedented social changes and market challenges that cannot be approached with conventional wisdom. While business conditions are set to remain tough for some time yet, ATV has also shown its resilience by continuing to have strong sales in Europe and Asia, including Japan. We are therefore looking forward and working hard to recover from our recent problems. As CEO, my mission is to build a strong and resourceful company that is ready to adapt to new market challenges,” Shibuya says.