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Issue Date: Vol. 48, No. 9, September 2008, Posted On: 9/18/2008

Rock-Ola Moves To AMI Software, Ending Agreement With Ecast

Nick Montano

LAS VEGAS — Rock-Ola Manufacturing Corp. has chosen AMI Entertainment’s software and music services to ship with its commercial jukeboxes, ending a five-year agreement with Ecast. Rock-Ola made the announcement on September 10 at the Amusement and Music Operators Association’s International Expo in Las Vegas, where the jukemaker showcased its touchscreen jukeboxes in the AMI booth.

For the past five years, Rock-Ola has produced commercial jukeboxes for the Ecast network, which competes with AMI - both specialize in licensing music and developing technology for jukebox terminals that are managed remotely over broadband networks. Effective October 1, jukeboxes leaving the Rock-Ola factory in Torrance, CA, will be powered by AMI.

“In making our decision to change, we considered the needs of our operators and the best technology alliance for our company’s products,” said Rock-Ola president John Schultz. “AMI is the best choice for both parties. It provides more music management options for operators and still realizes that content is crucial to a jukebox network.”

Rock-Ola’s AMI-powered commercial jukebox line will initially include three models, all equipped with Peavey audio systems. The Slimline SL-2 offers sleek, contemporary styling in a freestanding format. The Rock- Star 3 and Wall-Rock PV provide attractive, narrow profiles in wall-mount design.

Rock-Ola jukeboxes running AMI software pair two of the best-known names in coin-op. AMI Entertainment is the successor to Automatic Musical Instruments, which began as a manufacturer of player pianos in 1909 and introduced its first jukebox in 1927. AMI today designs state-of-the-art digital jukebox applications. Industry pioneer David Cullen Rockola began building jukeboxes in Chicago in 1935; the Rock-Ola line still bears his name..

Today, Rock-Ola and AMI’s sister company Rowe International (Grand Rapids, MI) are competitors in the manufacture of commercial digital jukeboxes. However, Rock-Ola is the first independent factory in the U.S. to package AMI software and content with its jukeboxes.

“An alliance with a manufacturer of Rock-Ola’s stature adds tremendous strength to AMI digital music,” said AMI/Rowe senior vice-president of sales and marketing John Margold.

Rock-Ola chief executive Glenn Streeter, who also is the founder of Antique Apparatus Co., added: “It’s ironic. Twenty-five years ago when Antique Apparatus was first building nostalgic cabinets, I purchased mechanisms from Rowe. Now, in the digital music era, we are partnered with AMI/Rowe, coming full circle.”

In 1992, Rock-Ola merged with Antique Apparatus, which crafted nostalgia jukeboxes for the home market. The company is online at rock-ola.com.

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