Greetings from Las Vegas. I’d like to tell you what the weather’s like here, but as most of you know, going outside isn’t really part of the program in this town. However, the mood inside the convention hall is decidedly sunny. An upbeat front of optimism is sweeping across the industry as operators express their gratitude to AMI and TouchTunes for saving their music locations in the aftermath of Ecast’s demise. Attendance appears to be up, and the AMI and TouchTunes booths are the focal point of activity.
AMI has generated tremendous goodwill with its timely and streamlined solution for providing music to Ecast locations. Said one operator, “It’s not like there was weeks of down time while they figured something out. They were right there and made it very easy. Rowe saved our asses.” Operators were not talking about the terms of the new agreements they’re signing with AMI; they’re just very happy there was no interruption of service. It appears that AMI will pick up the great majority of the approximately 5,000 former Ecast locations.
TouchTunes is also enjoying a goodwill spike and will likewise pick up some of those former Ecast locations, albeit a smaller percentage than will AMI.<!> TouchTunes is making their big splash with an announcement that they have secured the Beatles catalog for their digital jukebox network. This appears to be an exclusive for TouchTunes and provides them with a significant catalog advantage over competitors. They are also rolling out their photo booth and karaoke applications for their Virtuo jukebox. Operators are responding positively to these new options.
NSM is also here with a small booth. They are offering machines with a software platform similar to the one we saw at the EAG Expo in London earlier this year. Although NSM boxes were previously on the Ecast network, they claim to have fully-licensed music for the States. It also appears that they are continuing to try to sell directly to locations.
Despite all the positive conversation about the state of digital jukebox music networks, most operators we’re talking to still claim to have CD jukes active on some portion of their routes. We think this is a good thing. CD provides a healthy hedge against potential further service disruptions on digital networks. Ecast’s demise should serve as a warning to music operators. CD allows operators to “control their own destinies,” as competition in the digital realm contracts. Enco can help you keep your CD jukes on the street working for YOUR route.
Feel free to call us on 866-235-8532 to find out how. I may be standing on line trying to place my March Madness wagers, but somebody is in the office waiting to field your call.