TouchTunes Unveils Breakthrough Services At Amusement Expo; Karaoke And PhotoBooth Give Jukebox Operators New Digital Product Lines

Posted On: 3/19/2012

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jukebox, juke box, TouchTunes, TouchTunes Karaoke, TouchTunes PhotoBooth, photo booth, karaoke system, Charles Goldstuck, digital entertainment, digital music, Virtuo jukebox, OpenStage, jukebox application, TouchTunes Services, myTouchTunes, jukebox mobile app, Virtuo Floor Stand, The Beatles, jukebox operator, Own the Moment, Haley Reinhart

Performance by Haley Reinhart, a favorite on American Idol Season 10, highlights president's party
TouchTunes Virtuo

PHOTO: From left, Virtuo is pictured in music (blue), karaoke (magenta) and photobooth (yellow) modes. The colors identify a box's service mode. TouchTunes Karaoke and TouchTunes PhotoBooth are the first service applications to be added to the smart jukebox system following its launch a year ago.

LAS VEGAS -- TouchTunes Interactive Networks rolled out several new services for its smart jukebox at Amusement Expo, held here from March 14 to 16. On the evening before the show, more than 600 guests got a first look at Virtuo's karaoke and photobooth applications at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino during a dinner celebration.

In addition to TouchTunes Karaoke and TouchTunes PhotoBooth, the latest myTouchTunes mobile app and a new Virtuo base shared the spotlight. The new services and products are now available for Virtuo jukeboxes, which rolled out a year ago. | SEE STORY

"TouchTunes is the industry leader of a dynamic entertainment category that continues to push the consumer experience to new frontiers," said TouchTunes president and chief executive Charles Goldstuck. "We are moving forward to create a wider array of in-venue experiences for consumers. This includes a music offering that is second to none; a smartphone app that keeps TouchTunes at our consumer's fingertips; a socially enhanced PhotoBooth designed to draw new consumers to Virtuo; and a karaoke service that positions Virtuo at the center of the social experience, generating new revenue where previously there was none."

According to Goldstuck, TouchTunes can now connect to consumers at home, on the go and in jukebox locations. "Now more than ever [consumers] can interact in a much broader social environment," he said.

TouchTunes describes its new services and products as follows:

TouchTunes Karaoke is a "cutting-edge, authentic service" that combines traditional karaoke with fun, interactive features. The fully licensed music service offers jukebox operators a new revenue-generating opportunity that includes all of the tools needed to deliver a world-class karaoke solution to venues. Karaoke inspires consumers to get involved, creating an attractive environment that draws them to locations.

TouchTunes PhotoBooth employs Virtuo's high-resolution, wide-angle camera lens to make it easy for consumers to capture images. Developed specifically for bars and restaurants, which typically have low-light settings, PhotoBooth allows users to capture and print their photos, and share them digitally through social networks. The new service marks the first non-music revenue source for the Virtuo.

MyTouchTunes Mobile App 2.0 enhances the myTouchTunes reward and loyalty program by allowing users to earn more for doing more on the TouchTunes network. When users check in and play music, TouchTunes rewards them with bonus credits, status levels, virtual pins and other popular social "gamification" perks.

TouchTunes Virtuo Floor Stand

Virtuo Floor Stand is a state-of-the-art base accessory that turns the Virtuo, which normally mounts to a wall, into a fully equipped freestanding jukebox. The pedestal's integrated sound package is described by TouchTunes as "incredible."

These new services and products are now available to an installed base of 4,000 Virtuo jukeboxes. Some 600 operators are running Virtuos, which now represent 80% of the products shipped by TouchTunes.

Karaoke hooks up to a location's TVs. Operators need to purchase additional supplies that include two wireless microphones, a specialized remote (that allows location management to activate the service) and plug-and-play Virtuo-to-TV connectors. TouchTunes licensed about 12,000 songs for karaoke operations. A companion Karaoke mobile app is in the works.

PhotoBooth can run alone as a digital imaging service that allows patrons to email their images or post them at social sties, or it can print poses when Virtuo is mounted to an optional stand equipped with a printer. It offers three different picture layouts, along with a wide variety of filter enhancements and frames.

TouchTunes is currently formalizing the pricing and revenue structure for its new services. The photo service will likely cost $1 for a digital image and $3 for prints. The jukebox owner could take 80% of PhotoBooth revenue. Karaoke will be activated and purchased by the location in weeklong installments; $1/song is the recommended vend.

The Karaoke and PhotoBooth applications run under OpenStage, TouchTunes's latest operating system for jukebox clients. OpenStage, which launched with Virtuo in 2011, has a new look that displays five basic jukebox selections on top of a background that alternates the images of artists. The main selections are Browse, Local Favorites, Search, New & Popular and Playlists. A fully equipped Virtuo will display selections for all services: Karaoke, Jukebox and PhotoBooth, which are designated by magenta, blue and yellow, respectively, on the box's LED matrix and lighting system.

Goldstuck said one of TouchTunes's main objectives is to create more value, and Virtuo enables product extensions because it's a platform that can do much more than play music. "The world of consumers is changing at a relentless pace," he told the audience at The Joint. "We're giving consumers rich, engaging experiences that are part of their world."

To that end, the TouchTunes chief pronounced the company's new consumer tagline for the first time. "Own the Moment" defines the environment created by Virtuo and OpenStage, and the services that the hardware and software make possible. "Let your customers 'own the moment,'" he told operators.

A special performance by Haley Reinhart, the third runner-up from Season 10 of "American Idol," concluded TouchTunes's preview event. Reinhart, whose first single "Free" is set to be released March 20, performed for the crowd of 600 operators and TouchTunes partners. Her first studio album debuts in May.

Before Reinhart annexed the stage, Goldstuck announced that TouchTunes negotiated a deal to add The Beatles' 13 renowned albums to its music library. TouchTunes and Apple's iTunes are the only music companies authorized to manage Beatles content in the digital space. The Beatles will begin playing on TouchTunes' 53,000 jukeboxes on April 1. | SEE STORY