What’s caused the movement?
Until recently, there was not really the option for the yachts to have this flexibility. It was seen as a choice of one or the other; you could either install a background audio system that fits into the boat’s aesthetic, or you could have a pro-audio set up involving massive block speakers which needed to be stored somewhere safe and wheeled out each time. Historically there haven’t been unified solutions that do both. Owners could have both separately, but this was confusing for crew and involved a lot of chopping and changing. Flexible audio systems are relatively new technology for yachts, and so until recently many didn’t realise that such an option existed.
Yacht owners have also not always been aware that you could easily hire talent as live bands and DJs for their yachts. Nowadays, people seem to be using their boats are more of a place to party. On top of this there are more large superyachts than ever, and these tend to be the vessels which host the biggest parties and hire live performers for their events.
The yachting marketplace doesn’t move quickly, with many ETOs anxious to see technology proved before investing the owner’s money in it. However, with innovative audio systems providers such as California Audio Technology (CAT) now firmly established in the marine market and many case studies proving the success of this approach, technical staff seem to be fully embracing this new flexibility.