STUDY MAY POINT TO LOWER CD LICENSE FEES, SAYS AMOA CHAIRMAN
ITASCA, IL — A comprehensive survey of the U.S. jukebox market, released in May by the Amusement and Music Operators Association, points to some possible long-term future changes in the structure and price of CD and 45-RPM music licenses, according to Russ Mawdsley, chairman of the AMOA jukebox licensing subcommittee. The AMOA official told VT that jukebox operators must seek out new types of locations as the mom-and-pop tavern market continues to decline. He also said the survey indicates that the industry must react more quickly and more aggressively to compete against new entertainment technologies such as iPods and satellite music. And he admitted to being surprised by the extent that such technologies have infiltrated the nationwide location base. The owner of Russell-Hall Inc. (Holyoke, MA), Mawdsley also serves as 2005-‘06 secretary of AMOA. Look for VT’s full interview with Russ Mawdsley in the June issue, mailing this week.
GLOBAL VR FINALIZES ULTRACADE ACQUISITION
SAN JOSE, CA — Global VR said it concluded last week its acquisition of certain assets and products of UltraCade Technologies. The effort, lead by Global VR’s leading investor, Calim Private Equity LLC, and executive members of both game companies, was initiated late last year. Global chairman and CEO Jim DeRose described the transaction as “an asset purchase through a general assignment for the benefit of creditors.” Under California law, he added, this is a process by which a third party, an affiliate of Sherwood Partners LLC, took assignment of all of the assets of UltraCade Technologies. Sherwood will liquidate Ultracade’s remaining assets, examine claims against the company, make payments to creditors and wind up any residual affairs, DeRose said. UltraCade’s creditors can expect to be contacted by Sherwood within the next few weeks, he said. Meanwhile, UltraCade’s former top executive, David Foley, has become Global VR’s CTO and executive vice-president of gaming. Many former UltraCade staff have also joined GVR, said officials. For more information, visit http://www.globalvr.com
SUITOR’S BID POSSIBLE FOR PMI, OFFICIALS CONFIRM
SURREY, UK — Photo-Me International plc, responding to recent press speculation, has confirmed that it’s conducting a strategic review, which may or may not lead to an offer being made for the company. PMI has appointed JPMorgan Cazenove as financial adviser in this matter, officials said. More news is expected soon.
THE STINGER REPORT IS NOW FREE; VT COLUMNIST WILLIAMS SETS SPEAKING TOUR
LONDON — The Stinger Report, published by KWP Ltd., has now added a free subscription model. This change will make the popular e-newsletter available in full to the widest possible audience, said editor Kevin Williams, who is also a VT columnist. The Stinger Report will continue to be emailed four-times every month to all who supply an email address. This will include current subscribers and new recipients. The new policy is designed to ensure that all readers can access the publication’s influential market analysis and high-impact news on an equitable basis. As part of this change in its distribution model, The Stinger Report will now accept advertising and sponsorship from a select group of advertisers and sponsors. Interested parties can learn more at http://www.thestingerreport.com or email email@example.com… In other news, Williams announced a series of speeches at summer and fall industry events. He will keynote the Korea’s World Amusement & Gaming Summit 2006 (June 15-16), and address seminars at the Netherlands’ TiLE Exhibition (June 20-22). Closer to home, he headlines London’s PLASA Expo (Sept.10-13), and appears on two panels during Birmingham, UK’s Leisure Industry Week (Sept. 26-28).
DOWNLOADING JUKEBOXES ON PAGE ONE OF TODAY’S WALL STREET JOURNAL
NEW YORKCITY — Following the publication last week in The Wall Street Journal of a upbeat story by the Associated Press about downloading jukeboxes, the nation’s leading financial newspaper today highlights this product on its front page. Readers are directed to an article by Jason Fry at the Journal’s free online site. Fry praises the versatility of downloading jukes, but asks if this means boring, standardized playlists. (VT has already written to Mr. Fry, explaining that if anything, downloading jukeboxes lead to even greater customization.) Fry’s column may be viewed at http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB114927041789769978-MA6uB5Vbxe3tEP9TuOQfiBihV6c_20070605.html?mod=hpp_free_today
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Now available from JVL Corp. and Firestone Financial Corp. is no-money-down financing – 9.5.% APR (24-month term) and no payments for 120 days – for JVL’s Eclipse, Vortex or Orion touchscreen video games. The offer, which ends on Aug. 31, is available for three or more purchase orders.
…LAI Games said that the New Jersey attorney general’s office has certified the company’s Stacker line of amusement merchandisers as a game of skill, approving the device for operation in the Garden State. For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or Valley Dynamo’s service department at Mike.Prendergast@valley-dynamo.com for the New Jersey software…
…Merit Entertainment released its Megatouch ION and Force 2006.5 software. Both are free upgrades for systems running 2006 software. New elements include the puzzle game Sudoku6, the ability to link up to an AMI-powered jukebox, new trivia and picture content, improved touch-screen responsiveness and more. A Force or ION game system can now serve as a remote song selector for any digital jukebox from Rowe, TouchTunes, or Merit’s own MoD BoX.
The material here is from “Ahead of the Times, VT MUSIC & GAMES,” an electronic supplement that instantly delivers the latest news in the coin-op music and games industry. If you would like to receive Ahead of the Times by e-mail, or know someone who would, send a request along with the recipient’s e-mail address and company name to email@example.com; Subject: “SUBSCRIBE: AHEAD OF THE TIMES MUSIC & GAMES.” Subscriptions to the newsletter may only be requested by e-mail. Your request may not be fulfilled if the subject line field is incorrect or incomplete.