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Ecast's New Playlists Help Promote Music Discovery

Posted On: 8/17/2008

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Further enhancing the music discovery experience for jukebox patrons, Ecast recently added 12 new playlists to its existing roster. The lists draw from the latest chart-topping songs in the popular country, rock, R&B and hip hop genres. New list titles include Bottom's Up, Party Central and Special Occasions.

Others are described as "playfully thematic in nature," with tags like Booty Shakers, featuring funky bass beats, and Guitar Gods, a collection from notorious axe heroes. The catchy titles are designed to attract listeners, officials said. Also new are One Hit Wonders, Now Music! and PureNRG.

Formerly known as Hot Hits, an Ecast playlist helps patrons find and play songs from the company's vast music library. Functioning as a content discovery tool on the jukebox's touchscreen interface, it allows users to browse songs logically grouped according to genre or theme. A standard list, or "no shuffle" mode, is limited to 15 songs. However, a new "shuffle" mode will draw from 100 to 200 songs in a playlist; when a patron touches the shuffle button, a new batch of music appears.

According to Lisa Tiver, Ecast's senior vice-president of business affairs, today's music patrons expect to see playlists on any music service they use, including a touchscreen jukebox. While these lists were available for awhile in the Hot Hits section, the music provider felt that changing the name of this feature to "playlist," a widely used term for consumer music services, would encourage jukebox patrons to use it more.

When creating a playlist, Ecast determines what content will drive revenue and greater expose the depth of its music catalog. After a patron opens the playlist menu, he or she is first presented with popular genre groupings like country, modern rock, R&B and hip hop, which include chart-topping songs that they might have heard on the radio or through an online music service. The Most Wanted (most played on the network) and Just Added (new music) playlists are also shown first. The Hot Hip Hop collection is based on music in that genre receiving top radio play and ranking high on various online charts. Touching a scroll button lets the patrons browse other playlists.

"Regularly refreshed, Ecast playlists are great at surfacing new popular material and turning up forgotten favorites so patrons play more music and expose the broader catalog," Tiver said. "That's good news for the music industry and Ecast operators alike."

Ecast periodically adds recurring playlist categories that cater to seasonal moods: Halloween, Christmas, St. Patrick's Day and Valentine's Day, for example. It can also create a list for any reason. The network's broadband infrastructure enables as many as 20 or more lists to appear automatically on its 10,000 jukeboxes.