INCREDIBLE TECHNOLOGIES TO SELL TO OPERATORS, DISTRIBUTORS ON EQUAL BASIS; TERMINATES RELATIONSHIP WITH BETSON
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL - Incredible Technologies today announced a new sales and distribution policy, effective immediately, enabling AMOA member operators to purchase equipment directly from the company at the same pricing tiers offered to distributors. IT also announced that Betson Enterprises no longer represents the company's product line, citing a conflict of interest between Betson's distribution role and its manufacturing business.
In an exclusive interview with VT, executives from Betson Distributing and its parent company, H. Betti Industries, deplored the new Incredible Technologies policy of direct operator sales as one that eliminates the distributor from the market chain. "Our philosophy is that we don't support companies that sell direct," said Betson president Rick Kirby. HBI chief executive Bob Geschine added: "We decided weeks ago that if Incredible Technologies was going to invalidate the role, integrity and value of the distributor, then we could no longer support that product. We believe the integrity of the distributor, and tomorrow possibly that of the operator, is in question right now. We want the traditional structure of the industry to survive." He said selling to operators and distributors at equal prices "essentially eliminates the distributor," adding: "I believe today IT basically dropped all distribution." He called this "a sad day for the industry," noting that he was "pleased" to sever the IT-Betson relationship based on IT's new philosophy. Geschine and Kirby emphasized that Betson would "never" revert to distributing IT's products in the future under any circumstances.
In making the announcement, IT chief executive Elaine Hodgson and other company officials stressed that IT will not sell direct to locations. They indicated that some distributors are doing a good job, but others are failing to sell enough IT goods, provide adequate service or educate the marketplace fully about IT products and services. IT's five-tiered pricing structure for annual purchases consists of: (1) zero discount to buyers purchasing equipment worth $29,000 or less; (2) 2% discount for purchases between $30,000 and $99,999; (3) 4% discount for $100,000-$249,000; (4) 7.5% discount for $250,000 -$499,000; (5) and a 10% discount for $500,000 and up. IT will provide service, parts and financing to its operator customers, although the methods or entities used for financing has yet to be determined, said Hodgson. The company has added two sales people who will contact smaller customers, presumably operators for the most part, approximately six times a year to explain new products, services and promotions. Additional service, parts and warehouse staff will also be added at company headquarters.
ROWE LICENSES DIGITAL MUSIC RIGHTS FROM HARRY FOX AGENCY
AMI Entertainment, a subsidiary of Rowe International, and the Harry Fox Agency have signed an agreement for HFA to provide licensing for songs from its affiliated music publishers for Rowe AMI's secure digital jukebox network. The Rowe AMI network will be launched with an all-digital jukebox featuring a touchscreen color LCD or CRT monitor and a "moderately-sized" hard drive. It will allow patrons to search for songs by artist, album or genre using graphical search and navigation tools. The jukebox will use a broadband connection for music on demand requests and for remote, Internet-based management of its inventory of encrypted MP3 song files stored on the internal hard drive, the company reported. HFA, a U.S. mechanical licensing organization, represents more than 27,000 music publisher principals.
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