NEW YORK CITY -- The touchscreen digital jukebox is one of the coin-op industry's biggest success stories of the new millennium. Advances in equipment design have enabled operators to take full advantage of digital music technology. So it's no surprise that the Amusement Music Owners Association of New York is paying a big tribute to the jukebox during its annual gala.
This year, the regional trade group's fundraising event departs from its traditional Man of the Year format. "We want to recognize two content providers, AMI Entertainment Network Inc. and Ecast Inc., both of which represent vital economic development for operators throughout the greater New York metro region, and throughout the nation," said AMOA-NY president Ken Goldberg, PLK Vending (Woodside, NY).
AMI and Ecast will be represented by their chief executives, Michael Maas and John Taylor, respectively. Maas is a past recipient of AMOA-NY's Man of the Year award.
AMOA-NY's Tribute to Music will be held Feb. 27 at The Douglaston Manor, 6320 Commonwealth Blvd. in Douglaston, NY. Tricorp Amusements' Chuck Peitz was honored by the association at the same venue last year. | SEE VIDEO
"Our Feb. 27 'Tribute to Music' sends a message about how operators and content providers must be united and strong in challenging any forces which seek to undermine what is a valuable, proud economic engine going forward 100 years," Goldberg observed.
AMI Entertainment Network traces its roots back more than 100 years, when it began making player pianos as Automatic Musical Instruments in 1909. AMI merged with vending machine manufacturer Rowe in 1959, and produced vinyl and CD jukeboxes under the Rowe/AMI brand. It eventually became Rowe International Corp. In 2002, the company changed its name to AMI Entertainment. With offices in Bristol, PA, and Grand Rapids, MI, it administers a network capable of delivering an "unlimited" amount of music (now 750,000 selections) to jukeboxes connected to the Internet.
Ecast has been a major innovator in the digital jukebox market for over 10 years. The San Francisco-based company built the first broadband jukebox network, which reportedly delivers music and advertising content to 10,000 venues. Ecast was also the first to offer "single-song download" purchases, wireless deployment options, large-screen form factors and social media products. The Ecast platform can deliver 1 billion interactive ads each month and currently serves 6 million social media impressions.
AMI and Ecast are two of three interactive jukebox companies serving the U.S. market. TouchTunes Interactive Networks, which boasts the largest number of jukebox connections, and was the first company to put jukeboxes online, will not be sharing the spotlight. A TouchTunes spokesperson told VT that the company is committing its resources to the national industry, represented by the Amusement and Music Operators Association, to promote and protect legally downloaded music.
Founded in the 1940s, AMOA-NY Inc. is a nonprofit group that represents the interests of businesses that own and install coin-operated amusement and music equipment in locations throughout New York State. It has 65 members.
Information on attending the event and purchasing an ad in AMOA-NY's souvenir journal can be had by calling Danny Frank, the association's executive director, at (212) 279-1041.