Audio device leader Rode just acquired rival company Mackie, creating something of a pro audio and streaming powerhouse. Rode used to exclusively deal with pro-level audio devices, like condenser microphones, but has since turned its eye to the growing streaming market. To that end, products like Rode’s PSA1+ boom arm have become fixtures with popular live streamers.
Mackie has taken a similar route. The company made a name for itself during the home recording boom of the 1990s and early 2000s by offering affordable, yet highly functional, mixers, PA systems and related devices. Nowadays, the company has leaned into the streamer/creator space with consumer-grade streaming mixers and monitor controllers, though it still manufactures pro audio gear.
It’s no secret that the streaming space is more lucrative than pro audio. It’s just simple math, as there are more content creators than serious audio engineers. The acquisition puts this new Rode/Mackie behemoth in a great place to compete with companies like Corsair’s Elgato. The Elgato Stream Deck controller has been a massive success, quickly becoming a ubiquitous fixture for podcasters and live streamers alike.
Rode has already made its own inroads in the space, thanks to products like the Rodecaster Pro series of mixing consoles and the Streamer X audio interface. Mackie has similar products, like the M-Caster line of podcast-adjacent mixers. The combined force of both companies could put a major dent in Elgato’s armor and offer more competition to burgeoning rivals like Razer.
As for pro audio, Rode/Mackie aren’t giving up that space anytime soon. If anything, the merger makes them a bigger threat to companies like Shure and Tascam. Rode’s parent company, Freedman Group, says that the merged entity will service “up-and-coming content creators to professionals working in live production and everyone in-between.”