SAN LEANDRO, CA - Operators and distributors are responding with marked enthusiasm , and significant orders , for a new, economical kit that converts certain Rowe CD models into Ecast-powered downloading units. The kit, called "JukeBoost," retails to the operator for less than $3,000.
"JukeBoost" is the brainchild of operator Rick Caviglia of California Amusement Group (San Leandro, CA). Caviglia is manufacturing and selling the kit through a new, privately owned company called View Interactive Entertainment Corp., in cooperation with Ecast and distributors nationwide. The kit is being assembled in Stockton, CA.
According to Caviglia and Ecast, purchasing "JukeBoost" means that the investment amusement route operators need to make to increase their weekly net income with Ecast-powered broadband jukeboxes is now more than 50% lower. In pilot locations, they said, average gross jukebox revenues have more than tripled the previous CD jukebox earnings. A "JukeBoost" unit with the earnings of an average Ecast-powered jukebox can deliver positive cash flow in the first week, and a return on investment in as few as seven months, Caviglia said.
Ecast chief executive Robbie Vann-AdibĂ© said his company supports the kit because it can help increase operator revenues, and the affordability should speed up the conversion of many routes from CD to broadband. He noted, "With the average CD jukebox grossing roughly $100 a week, and the average Ecast jukebox grossing roughly $250 plus per week, 'JukeBoost' gives operators a way to increase their weekly net income for a significantly reduced upfront investment."
"JukeBoost" includes a core computer featuring an Intel Celeron 1.2 MHz microchip running Microsoft Windows Embedded XP with a 40 GB hard drive and an industrial-grade mounting and cooling apparatus. The kit also includes a 15-in. Elotouch touchscreen monitor, cables and easy-to-follow instructions. A contemporary backlit graphics package helps create a fresh new look with red and blue graphics options included in every kit. The kit further incorporates all the necessary components to hook up converted CD jukes to the Ecast Location-Based Broadband Entertainment Network, which provides a continuous feed of digital music on demand to more than 3,500 jukeboxes nationwide. "JukeBoost" works through any broadband connection. It can be installed in under two hours in Rowe "100" series (models A/B, C/D and E) floor models and second-generation CD wall-mount Rowe jukeboxes.
A former real estate lender with considerable financial expertise, Caviglia says he dreamed up "JukeBoost" as a way to ensure that operators could afford to convert to downloading technology across their routes, realizing greater ROI and reinvesting in more dedicated downloaders as well as other equipment. In addition, he believes "JukeBoost" will give the industry's CD-to-downloading conversion a big shot in the arm.
"The thing that's got me excited is I can talk to operators and say, 'hey, we've solved a big problem,'" Caviglia explained. "For years I've met with so many manufacturers and talked about how to help the operator, but most of my ideas were shot down. So now to be in the driver's seat and do some good for all of us excites the heck out of me. Operators across the country are telling us, 'This will save my route,' or 'Now I have an opportunity to take my business where I wanted to go, but couldn't afford it.'"
Caviglia went on to explain: "Ecast's digital platform and huge music library of over 200,000 songs , updated weekly with the hottest new albums , is one of the highest-earning street pieces on the market. So the ROI for 'JukeBoost' will be very substantial. It is our hope that operators will take the money from the earnings on 'JukeBoost'-converted jukeboxes and reinvest the profits into new pool tables and other equipment. That's certainly what I will be doing on my own route.
"But actually, most operators don't need to hear that from us," Caviglia continued. "They figure out for themselves that 'JukeBoost' is going to provide crucial leverage to upgrade not just their music, but their businesses across the board. Unbeatable ROI, ease of installation and service, quality components and affordable replacement parts are all in place for the first time ever. We would not be surprised to see the shift from CD to broadband accelerate dramatically."
Operators who have seen "JukeBoost" firsthand seem to agree. "It's a good product, put together well and priced right for the operator," said John Guthrie of G&G Amusements (Commerce, CA), the largest jukebox operator on the West Coast. "I have all the confidence in the world in Rick Caviglia and I am sure 'JukeBoost' will be a major success. It's great that this came from an operator; So many operators I talk to are enthusiastic about it and so are distributors."
What makes "JukeBoost" so promising? "I found the 'JukeBoost' kit to be complete and substantial," Guthrie said. "In my opinion, 'JukeBoost' is extremely important to the operator because it fills in the gap for B and C locations , places where we could not get ROI rapidly enough so that it made sense to install a dedicated digital jukebox. This is a dramatic, inexpensive improvement for any CD jukebox and a great way to bring broadband downloading jukeboxes to more locations."
Guthrie agrees with Caviglia that "JukeBoost" ROI is impressive. "For my route, I will continue to buy new downloading jukeboxes as well. There is definitely a role for both. Yet thanks to 'JukeBoost,' a jukebox that has already been paid for can now be resurrected and go on to provide longer service as a digital downloading device."
As a matter of fact, Guthrie believes so strongly in "JukeBoost" that he volunteered to be present in View's booth at last month's ASI Show to explain the product to operators and distributors. Guthrie shares Caviglia's expectation that the kit will have an impact far beyond individual route earnings increases.
"Today, 15% of my music route is made up of various brands of downloading machines," Guthrie said. "I believe 'JukeBoost' will help speed up the industry's conversion from CD to digital, which has been going relatively slowly to this point. And not only are operators excited about 'JukeBoost,' so are distributors. At the ASI Show, some of them expressed their intent to purchase 50 and 100 units."
Guthrie, whose company prides itself on first-class maintenance and refurbishing of older machines, sees "JukeBoost" as an extension of the value of CD jukebox cabinets "To realize the full benefit of an upgrade, operators should repaint their jukebox cabinets," he advised. "'JukeBoost' is so serviceable and user friendly that our installation was seamless. Rick Caviglia and I both use commercial-grade automotive paints to refurbish older jukeboxes on our respective routes, to make sure they leave our shop looking like new. I recommend other operators do likewise. The end product is so aesthetically pleasing that it looks like a brand new factory-built jukebox. View is currently finalizing a program to bring these paints , in spray cans , to operators and distributors across the country."
"JukeBoost" is also a boon to the distributor trade-in business, Guthrie said. "For distributors, the availability of 'JukeBoost' means they can confidently take a CD jukebox as a trade-in," he explained. "That helps with the industry-wide transition to digital, too, because operators will now have a more eager distributor trade-in market for their existing CD product."
Prior to founding View, Caviglia became known in the coin-op trade for pioneering, selling and supporting more than 10,000 patent-pending Mars Bill Acceptor Upgrade Kits, which became popular with operators as alternatives to lower-grade factory-installed bill acceptors common in CD jukebox models.More information about "JukeBoost" is available by calling tel. (800) 410-VIEW  or online at http://viewmfg.com.