AMOA JUKEBOX SURVEY FINDS HIGHER REVENUES, MORE COMPETITION
SOUTH BARRINGTON, IL — The Amusement and Music Operators Association yesterday released its 2006 Survey of Jukebox Owners And Operators, based on research conducted by academics at the University of New Orleans’ Division of Business and Economic Research. On the upside, the survey shows that “Download jukeboxes are consistently the highest yielding boxes per play…[and] revenue for Download jukeboxes is highest. Average weekly gross revenue is $268.22, with 89.4% yielding $100 per week or more. In contrast, jukeboxes using 45s bring in little revenue. Almost two thirds yield $25 or less. Boxes with CDs yield $75 or less for just over half (52%) of their operators.” However, the survey found growing competition from other forms of music delivery: “Satellite radio is present in more than one quarter (27.8%) of the locations in which jukeboxes are operated,” the survey reports. “MP3 players are also used in 13.4% of locations. These new media have replaced to some extent all of the other forms of music, including live bands and karaoke. These relatively new forms of competition create new challenges for the jukebox operators.” Anonymous comments by survey respondents included several statements such as, “Taverns are increasingly providing free music and entertainment for their patrons giving up juke income in favor of attracting and holding customers.” …Separately, Starbucks Entertainment president Ken Lombard said portable devices have become an important part of today’s consumer lifestyle. “Customers want to bring their [portable music] devices into our stores,” he said. “We don’t have a solution today, but we are committed to finding one.” VT will publish a full report on the AMOA Jukebox Survey in its June edition.
IOWA TOUCHPLAY PONDER OPTION FOLLOWING SHUTDOWN
DES MOINES, IA — Many operators of Iowa’s 6,400 gambling-type TouchPlay machines are “considering bankruptcy” in the wake of the May 4 shutdown of the market, according to the Des Moines Register. The state legislature adjourned last week without crafting any reprieve for operators who invested millions in the belief that they were participating in a solid, legal market. Courts also refused to stay the ban despite numerous operator requests for relief. Some operators say they’ll sue the state for damages. The Register quoted Bob Lentz of Bob’s Amusement Co. (Altoona) as saying he’d spend “every last penny” on such a lawsuit. Lentz also said he remains “in shock” and is considering bankruptcy, unable to pay the $180,000 he still owes on 30 TouchPlay machines.
SIMON AND FAGUNDO SPLIT BULK VENDING AND CRANE OPERATIONS AT COINSTAR
BELLEVUE, WA — Coinstar Inc., the country’s largest operator of bulk vending machines, skill cranes and other self-service vending devices, announced a redeployment that splits bulk vending and crane operations. Fred Simon, president of the firm’s Coin-Op Factory division, will now oversee the company’s bulk vending operations. Randy Fagundo will continue overseeing skill cranes and other amusement vending devices. This realignment – which follows the creation of Coin-Op Factory, launched in April, to develop merchandise for bulk vending and skill cranes – provides greater focus on two of Coinstar’s key areas of operation, the company noted.
AMOA ADDS MEMBER SERVICES MANAGER, PROGRAMS MANAGER
SOUTH BARRINGTON, IL — The Amusement and Music Operators Association named Susan Hall member services manager. She will oversee several AMOA committees, manage AMOA’s website, contribute to the bimonthly Edge newsletter and direct various new/existing member benefit programs. AMOA’s new programs manager, Maggie Kapinos, will also help direct the work of several committees, plan association meetings and handle other administrative responsibilities. AMOA executive vice-president Jack Kelleher said both new staffers have strong experience working with trade associations.
ECAST ANNOUNCES SEVEN NEW ADDITIONS TO TECHNICAL SUPPORT
SAN FRANCISCO — Ecast said it has added seven new employees to its technical support department to keep pace with its growing jukebox network. The new hires are Brian Jugarap, who will serve as technical support lead, and technical support representative Rodney “Cutty” Brown, Terry McBride, Rudy Reynoso, Nai Saechao, Randy Schmitt and Anthony Truong. Ecast maintains a full time staff of client service representatives and technical support representatives who are available 24 hours a day.
GREEN COIN OPEN HOUSE SPOTLIGHTS NEW PRODUCT
MYRTLE BEACH, SC — Green Coin Machines is hosting an open house that will feature the latest coin-op equipment on May 16. The event is being touted as a Spring Beach Fest and will have high-value prizes such as a TouchTunes jukebox, Bose speakers and Merit Force 2006 update kit. TouchTunes and Merit will have special onsite promotions amid the distributorship’s own discounts on all of its new and used equipment. The Myrtle Beach Spotlight Show will be held at 2961 Drywall Drive, Myrtle Beach, SC. Green Coin can be reached at (800) 232-6467 for more information.
ONLINE VIDEO GAMES TAKE CENTER STAGE AT E3 SHOW
LOS ANGELES — The Electronic Entertainment Expo is underway here this week. The big three – Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo – are focusing on home game consoles that support more interactive, networked gameplay over the Internet. The upcoming PlayStation 3 from Sony and Wii from Nintendo will join Microsoft’s Xbox 360, already released, as online portals that enable consumers to download movies and enjoy videoconferencing. A new poll from the Associated Press and America Online Games reports that 45% of home gamers now play online, a 450% increase over the past four years.
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