Harman Acquires Roon

well now…


The thing is, we want to do more.

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A trade sale was always on the cards but would you have tipped Harman? I don’t think I would!

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Harman is a Samsung subsidiary. I hope the privacy of Roon subscribers will be maintained.

We expected to fight hard for the existing lifetimers, but Harman was awesome and didn’t even consider not continuing to support them!

This may change. These large corporate entities are all about MRR - monthly recurring revenue. But I hope it’s a small enough subset they’ll stick to the commitment.

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agree with sentiment above… as long as the new ownership respects

  • lifetime subscribers
  • user privacy
  • maintains their open for all strategy and…
  • continues to innovate

Personally I’m ok. If any one of these goes, I’ll likely look elsewhere

Harman’s record isn’t very encouraging. It might be time for me to learn how to use Mosiac.

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A friend of mine who works for Harman Intl’ both before and after the Samsung acquisition tells me that nothing changed with the Samsung acquisition except improved supply chain operations. So, *finger-crossed* :wink:


Fingers crossed indeed. I also hope Roon will not get instrumental in the fight between Samsung and Apple.

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Yeah, me too, Erno.

It’s now an area that Samsung is doing a much better job than Apple in my opinion. (Just indirectly and via a big purchase rather than their own hard work :smiley:)

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This one flew right by me. What are we thinking of here?

My first thought exactly … impact (or not) of lifetime license etc.

Just that the Apple Music UI baffles me. Roon isn’t perfect, but it doesn’t require me to hit and hope nearly as often as Apple’s Music app does. I hate it with a passion.

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Thank you for breaking the news @Urbanluthier!

@Anupc: … And with access to significantly more capital.

General thoughts:
There are a couple ways acquisitions of small-/medium-sized businesses usually go. Two are:

(A) core team who built the product cashes out and leaves, acquirer doesn’t know how to run the business, product stagnates, users flee, new product/category leader eventually emerges

(B) acquisition results in new incentives and motivation for the founders, additional senior leadership is brought in, product development and features expand/accelerate, international buyer pumps product into more channels, growing user base and revenues, ensuring company’s long term survival

I’m hoping for (B) on this one.


These are the bands cited by Harman as exemplars of acquisition by them in their press release concerning this:
AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson® and Revel®

Compared to what these brands represented when acquired how does their current market position or your perception of it compare? My own is that with the exception of JBL it has become difficult to even know what their current activities are or whether there are any.


Oh yeah, that one. I remember when iTunes was truer to its origins and usable, but its db back end tended to be unreliable. While I think it is now more reliable, and the rest of the family enjoys it, I do not. Or at least not the way I once did. I tend to bypass the “front end” that Apple pushes into my face with a lot of playlists that are all [still the good part] easily accessible across all my devices, including in the car. And then when on extended listen away from the house, I turn to Roon ARC. That’s the piece I hope Harman doesn’t screw up. Though given the deal, I think we can expect “not much change” for a little while. Pete identifies the Harman “Borg victims” well. I remember owning and loving several of those. But no interest any more. I’d like to think Roon is different, in that it is primarily a service, not a product. Can access to capital and retention of some core key team players be a positive? Fingers crossed.


Well said keiserrg! Having lived through a few versions of both A’s and B’s, the B path is highly preferable (except occasionally for the core team in your A scenario).

Here, like you, I’m hoping for a B-like outcome. I’d even be happy with a lowercase “b”!


Second the motion, when the mission changes…it changes no matter what the PR release says. Samsung/Harmon is aiming much higher than the core audience of Roon. Not a guaranteed bad thing for certain but most often it just is. Somethings will probably improve and many will not. Hence my second of the Mosaic thought. You can still get Qobuz and Tidal etc…Hey DCS maybe this is a wakeup call to take more advantage of developing Mosaic for your core high end customer…Roon just one to Samsung for no doubt adaptation to Samsung smart phones …

Mosaic is supplied to users free ( or at least the cost is covered in whole or in part by the original purchase). For it to be expanded beyond its basic functions of navigation, playing and system control to be concerned with a level of the type of enhancement that Roon provides will cost way beyond any provision they have. So a fee would need to be introduced IMO. Not a great prospect for those of us who may admire Roon as a nice thing but have no particular use for it or an equivalent ourselves.

BTW, irrespective of the above do not consider Mosaic as a done deal. It is constantly open to revision albeit with financial constraints. One day there may be a v.2.0, who knows? :smile:.

Likewise! It’s totally atrocious, and I refuse to use it even when I had free subscriptions.

Anecdotally, brands like Mark Levinson or Revel are certainly not what they used to be, but I believe their decline started well before the Harman acquisition, and certainly well before Samsung came into the picture. and there are no objective facts.

From an overall financial standpoint though, Samsung seems to have done an alright job naturing Harman’s growth since the acquisition.

(Revenue by Segment)

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