Cakewalk Declares Its Independence From Roland
Cakewalk, in a letter to customers, has stated that it has not been bought by Roland. Roland announced that it made a substantial investment in the software concern at NAMM, which lead many to believe, including FutureMusic that they had acquired the company.
Greg Hendershott, Cakewalk’s CEO, declared “we’re announcing an expansion of our strategic relationship with Roland. This is the natural progression of a relationship that goes back more than a decade. In 1995 Roland began distributing Cakewalk products in Japan. In 2003 Roland invested in Cakewalk to help fund the development and marketing of joint products. At that time they also started distributing our products in many markets outside the U.S. Now in 2008, Roland is increasing their investment in Cakewalk, and together we are committed to creating a series of impressive software/hardware joint products. “Although Roland now owns a bigger share of Cakewalk, they didn’t acquire the whole company. Cakewalk is not becoming a division of Roland. On the contrary, we remain committed to developing stand-alone software, as well as hardware/software products.”
Even though Cakewalk has declared its independency, it was no accident that major trade publications perceived Roland purchased the software company outright. NAMM announcements included the Cakewalk by Roland moniker, and you just don’t put it that way if the relationship is a mere “partnership.” In fact, Cakewalk’s public relations director Steve Thomas referred to future products being branded as ‘Cakewalk by Roland,’ in The Upbeat Daily, which confirmed the perception. However, all this may just be semantics. Roland does have a majority stake in the company in terms of of stock ownership.
The Future: Hendershott’s chest-pounding may be more about ego, then reality. Buying into Cakewalk was a savvy, albeit way too late maneuver, from Roland whose business tactics seem to move at a 1970s pace instead of 2008. The real question is if they can actually achieve something “groundbreaking” – or will Roland continue to just play it safe.