TouchTunes And PlayNetwork Complete Merger, Promise Accelerated Innovation, Launch Background Music Service

Posted On: 5/25/2017

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TAGS: TouchTunes, PlayNetwork Inc., TouchTunes-PlayNetwork merger, digital music, in-venue entertainment, jukebox, Ross Honey, Craig Hubbell, background music, TouchTunes Background Music Powered by PlayNetwork

NEW YORK CITY -- TouchTunes Interactive Networks and PlayNetwork Inc. today announced the completion of their previously disclosed merger to create what they describe as "the market leader for music and branded entertainment." The merger joins two in-venue entertainment trailblazers and their complementary capabilities, they said, to form a new company with the global scale and resources to expand licensed music libraries, accelerate innovation and impact customer success.

The combined company is seeking to frame how businesses use music and original content, AV systems, technology and performance insights to increase consumer engagement in venues and on devices.

"Today is a defining moment for our company, and hugely transformative for our partners and customers that prioritize customer experience to drive revenue," said TouchTunes president and chief executive Ross Honey. "With the expansion of our products and capabilities, we will create immediate growth opportunities for our 2,500-plus operator network to better serve SMB, QSR and franchise customers with the most robust portfolio of solutions for music and media."

Together, TouchTunes and PlayNetwork reportedly serve more than 450 clients, reaching over a 100 million consumers daily. The company's media products are deployed in more than 185,000 locations in 125 countries.

PlayNetwork president and chief executive Craig Hubbell defined the merger as a major step forward for the in-venue entertainment industry. "Together we will accelerate our efforts to create the most comprehensive technology platform, music library, premium services and advanced capabilities our customers need most," he said. "This next wave of innovation will help businesses adapt to change and ultimately transform the way people seamlessly discover, access and share branded media experiences."

The combined company has headquarters in New York City and Seattle, and North American offices in Chicago, Columbus, Los Angeles, Montreal and Vancouver. Its overseas offices are located in Hong Kong, London and Santiago.

Founded in 1998 and headquartered in New York City, TouchTunes' primary business is the delivery of digital music through touchscreen jukeboxes. Its jukeboxes are placed in 75,000 locations around the world, with 87% of them in North America. Founded in 1994 in Redmond, WA, PlayNetwork specializes in supplying music programming to retail and restaurant locations, and the design and installation of sound systems.

The new company's first joint product is called "TouchTunes Background Music Powered by PlayNetwork." This background music service is designed for locations that are not suitable for traditional jukeboxes, the company said. However, TouchTunes plans to market the music service through independent jukebox operating companies.

The service can be tailored for the audio needs of any business type of any size, TouchTunes said. Options range from a simple 30-channel offering to a comprehensive 200-channel package that includes dayparting and music customization. For its operator partners, TouchTunes/PlayNetwork said it has created a seamless installation process, revenue-sharing opportunities and best-in-class support program. Other features include a content management system and marketing resources portal.

As the traditional jukebox market continues to mature, TouchTunes has been seeking new services to complement that core business. Where the jukebox is a call to action and interactive, background music is listened to passively. Over the past year, TouchTunes has been rolling up assets in the soundscape space, acquiring Music Direction (Vancouver) in July 2016 and El Media Group (New York City) earlier this year.

TouchTunes is planning a series of webinars to demonstrate the new service to operators. For more information, operators can call (847) 419-3300.