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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 4, April 2011, Posted On: 4/3/2011

Roqbot App Could Compete In Jukebox Space

Marcus Webb
jukebox, juke box, juke boxes, bar jukebox, jukebox industry, Roqbot, Garrett Dodge, smart phone music app, digital music, amusement business, coin-op business, coin-op news, bar entertainment, bar music, pay-for-play music


SAN FRANCISCO -- A new smartphone app will soon allow bar patrons to pipe music from their smartphones into the location -- apparently via the smartphones of others in the location who have the same app. Several industry executives told VT that this up-and-coming technology could compete with jukeboxes.

Still under development, Roqbot was recent winner of a contest sponsored as part of at SXSW, an influential Austin, TX, pop culture festival. More than 400 apps were entered in the contest.

The program already covers licensing fees, according to recent story in Wired. SEE STORY

Roqbot is not yet available for sale but presumably will be soon. If it catches on with the public, the app could turn an iPhone or Android smartphone into a competitor with pay-for-play jukeboxes.

Roqbot lets the smartphone owner "buy songs jukebox-style," explained Wired. Players use their credit card to earn credits for song purchases. Players can also earn credits by confirming their email addresses, rating songs on a bar's playlist or posting song lists on the player's Facebook or Twitter accounts.

If the purchase occurs in a bar location, the bar can get a percentage of the sale revenues.

Roqbot spices up its customer appeal with social gaming elements. Users vote on each other's song picks. Those with the most votes get more visibility in the system.

According to the magazine, Roqbot cofounder and chief executive Garrett Dodge told interviewers that "The out-of-home music space hasn't kept up with technology innovations, and we think we can bring venue owners something new and interesting."

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