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AMI Entertainment Bolsters Content Capabilities With Expanded Spanish Music Disk Cache, World Music And Country Catalogs

Posted On: 12/14/2006

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GRAND RAPIDS, MI -- Now available from Rowe International Corp. are premixed hard disks predominantly loaded with Spanish music stored in cache. The new Spanish music hard drive arrangements are available for all Rowe Internet-access jukeboxes and Merit Entertainment's MoD BoX, which connect to the AMI Entertainment Network. Rowe's content division also has added catalogs from several independent labels that specialize in niche music.

Rowe now builds 16 premixed hard drives, each of which stores up to 300 works in album format for locally stored music and up to 20,000 singles in hidden cache that represent the most frequently requested material on the AMI network. In the Spanish category, the hard drive premixes feature larger music proportions in four Latin music genres: Latin Pop, Regional Latin, Tejano and Tropical Latin.

"We believe that the Spanish music consumer and growing number of Latin locations will appreciate knowing that their operator is providing them with selections from their favorite artists," said John Margold, Rowe's senior vice-president of sales and marketing.

According to Margold, the Spanish cache enhancements benefit both broadband and standard dialup operating modes, the two connection methods Rowe jukeboxes are capable of supporting. Jukeboxes connected to standard phone lines, however, are the biggest beneficiaries since their data link's limited bandwidth is unable to support AMI's music-on-demand, which allows jukebox patrons to make selections from the entire AMI music library remotely. Therefore, additional music stored in a hard disk's cache emulates the on-demand experience, know as Virtual Music on Demand (VMOD).

"Now an operator can place an AMI-powered jukebox, on dialup mode, in Spanish locations and the VMOD choices will be what patrons want to hear," Margold explained. "This enhancement also opens up new markets for Rowe's AMI music service and can greatly increase collections for the operators who serve those areas. Latin communities in The Bronx, San Antonio, south Florida, East LA and Chicago are well known, and each has its own music preferences; but they are just a few of the important Spanish jukebox markets that are growing nationwide."

AMI Entertainment Inc. -- the Rowe subsidiary that provides jukeboxes with content and administers the manufacturer's nationwide music service -- continues to expand and refine its Latin music catalog daily. It has music agreements with major and independent labels representing Spanish music artists. VMOD is updated weekly on broadband jukeboxes and every other week on dialup boxes.

Rowe reports that 2006 has been a hard-hitting year for AMI's alliances among leading independent labels that offer music which meet eclectic demands of jukebox patrons and address localized tastes.

AMI recently signed Shanachie Records, a label founded in 1976 that features a rich catalog of Irish/Celtic, reggae and world music, along with jazz, R&B and folk.

"Some bars in Boston and New York City have thriving Irish communities," Margold said. "Locations in these areas may not give digital jukes a chance without the presence of a strong Irish music catalog. When a digital music service promises the world, but omits certain genres, it becomes that much easier for customers to feel neglected."

Among the artists signed are the venerable Irish flag-wavers, Wolfe Tones. To the Irish music fan, this means over 25 years of hits and traditional songs about the land of Guinness. The band has been a live favorite the U.S. Reggae artists include Black Uhuru, Eek-A-Mouse, Freddie McGregor, Skatalites, Wailing Souls and Yellowman.

Country artists also remain a big favorite on the AMI network, Rowe reported, mirroring the success of mainstream country radio. Its newly inked deal with Smith Music Group (Ft. Worth, TX), country label, deepens AMI's reach to the all-important country listener.

The label was started in 1998 by the late Rick Smith with releases by back-then upstart Pat Green and country legend Merle Haggard. Featured are Smith's "Live at Billy Bobs Texas" series, music from the celebrated Texas club. Other country music staples in the Smith catalog include Asleep at the Wheel, Cross Canadian Ragweed, David Allan Coe and Willie Nelson.

According to Margold, the Smith deal also helps deliver music to the Texan niche country audience. "AMI customers were frequently asking for Texas artists, and Smith proudly offers hometown favorites like Cory Morrow, Kevin Fowler, Randy Rogers Band and more."