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With cooperation from Roadrunner Records, AMI Entertainment is helping break Australia’s high-flying rock act Airbourne in bars and nightlife establishments a full month before their debut hits shelves. Airbourne, whose album Runnin’ Wild hits U.S. stores January 29th – is receiving an early boost in stateside exposure via on-screen promotion (promo loops) across over 10,000 AMI internet-connected jukeboxes.

AMI released the album to the pay-for-play network the last week of 2007. The promos hit locations starting January 4, 2008, serving the dual purpose of creating early buzz for the album, and providing consumers with a snapshot of this new band. The campaign is not unlike the “Hear It Here First” efforts seen across other mediums. It is a concentrated effort to help both operator and consumer find quality content, and is an important way to showcase something fresh amongst a sea of digital music releases.

Alongside Roadrunner’s commitment to promote the band across radio, TV and online - featuring the band in juke-joints will help music fans make some really important connections. Customers are learning they can count on AMI-powered boxes to have the newest releases, and that the network cares enough to look for artists that fit their interests. This in turn creates incentive for a label like Roadrunner to offer its titles via AMI, giving their catalog a chance for extra impact. These jukeboxes are, after all, in spaces where music is reviewed in important social circles… hitting very impressionable eyes and ears.

Airbourne is molded perfectly for the jukebox customer and the classic jukebox sound. For AMI, its rock genres and artists are always at the top of popularity reports, and this band should fit right in on the roster. It seems Airbourne is running with the gods of classic rock on their side. Runnin’ Wild boasts large fist-pumping choruses, guitars, and has a genuine focus on providing for a good time.

The band is seen onscreen in video loops jumping off risers, whipping their hair around, and wielding ferocious guitars, all while the bands logo gets recognition. In addition to on-screen, AMI featured the band’s release on operator music-selection websites and sent promo albums and posters to ops who have seen the most success with bands like AC/DC.
“This band has the AC/DC-thing down!” says AMI Music Content Manager, Brian Hoekstra.
“I got a promo of the bands album in the mail and thought it would immediately connect with the jukebox customers on a classic, familiar level, but they don’t feel like imitators. That, and it hit me right in the gut, it’s really some great, primal rock!” adds Hoekstra.

This partnership with Roadrunner Records is part of new goal for AMI to be recognized as a valid avenue of promotion for major and independent labels alike. Look for more efforts like this throughout 2008. Airbourne will be keeping busy in 08 with their first US headlining tour starting mid-February.

AMI Server Migration Is Complete! New Web Features Speed Management Of Music; Operator Input Is Basis Of System’s Design

Server migration is complete! All AMI Entertainment accounts were successfully transferred to the music provider’s new Web tool, which enhances and simplifies the remote management of digital jukeboxes. The migration process began on September 10 and came to a smooth finish on November 7.

The two-month transfer period allowed AMI’s software engineers to monitor and adjust network operations as the volume of client connections increased. With the updated system in place, AMI reports that operators are experiencing a new level in Web management efficiencies and speed, and accessing features that are saving them time and increasing bottom lines.

Unique to the AMI Web tool are several user and data features that were suggested by experienced operators. Among these are: (1) readily-accessible music popularity data that allow operators to make informed and quick decisions about content selections; (2) the posting of new music releases on the AMI homepage to keep jukeboxes up-to-date; and (3) the addition of “shopping cart” software that speeds the music selection and checkout processes.

“Operators told us they wanted features that would allow them to take full advantage of AMI’s catalog of 400,000+ songs,” said John Margold, senior vice-president of sales and marketing of Rowe International, a leading manufacturer of digital jukeboxes and AMI’s sister company. “Our engineers listened and we believe we’ve developed the best Web management application for the jukebox market.”

The Rowe/AMI technical workforce began soliciting input from operators in the spring of 2006, at the start of AMI’s website redesign project. The advisory group consisted of leading operators and their service personnel, who met with designers at the Rowe jukebox plant in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Among them was Jack Mascow, technical supervisor for Valu Vending, a Detroit-area operation that is reporting impressive improvements in its jukebox business following the AMI Web update.

“AMI was the only company that has ever invited us to participate in a product design process. And they were very receptive. Even more, I was amazed that one of my design suggestions – a method of retrieving and comparing popularity data by jukebox, route and across the whole network – was incorporated into the new Web tool. They were all ears.”

Valu Vending, a 17-year-old company founded and operated by industry veteran Dennis Langley, provides a full range of music and coin-operated amusement services, along with merchandise vending equipment. With bars representing a majority of its account base, the company recognized the potential offered by digital downloading jukeboxes and began installing them seven years ago. Today, half of its jukeboxes are online, served by high-speed Internet connections.

For Mascow, the availability of nationwide and localized comparative data is an invaluable resource on a jukebox route; and with 25 digital machines in Valu Vending’s stable, the ability to immediately pull popularity information from one machine at a location – and put it side by side with thousands nationally – allows the technical supervisor to make the best choices when programming local music (content stored on a hard drive) for a jukebox. For example, over a one-week period, “Kryptonite” by 3 Doors Down was played seven times on one of Valu Vending’s jukeboxes, compared with 2,027 times networkwide. With this information, the operator may want to add the group’s “The Better Life” album to the location’s local music menu.

Using the previous Web tool, Mascow pointed out, operators were required to write down popularity data because the system was unable to automatically isolate and calculate local and premium download purchases.

“It’s important that local music choices match customers’ tastes,” Mascow said. “Bar owners and managers often don’t have the time to make lists, and regular customers will be happier if they can play their music for one credit rather than having to spend two credits to download a single from the server. The use of popularity data helps keep boxes current.”

For Valu Vending’s Mascow, the general rule is to load for local play any song that has been downloaded (using AMI’s “Music on Demand”) 10 times or more.

Like all AMI operators, Mascow recently had the opportunity to take full advantage of the Web tool’s new “featured” albums application, a design recommendation from another operator. “About 20 Christmas albums were featured weekly during the past holiday season,” Mascow said. “I generally add five Christmas albums to a box. But if a location requests more, it’s easy to do. Additional choices are presented as soon as I log onto the homepage.”
Welcoming operators on the homepage, “featured” albums are selected weekly by AMI’s music librarian. They highlight new releases, available seasonal material and AMI favorites consisting of the top-played albums from the previous month.

In addition to the streamlined content management tools, such as relative popularity statistics applauded by Mascow, operators and their technical personnel are also benefiting from AMI’s enhanced server speed. Server capacity on the AMI Entertainment Network was significantly increased to handle an ever-expanding music library, new jukebox connections and additional applications. “Everything is much faster,” Mascow said. “Reports are quicker to generate and Web pages are easier to navigate.”

As a result of the increased server speed and intuitive content management tools, along with the ability to administer and update multiple boxes by grouping them, Mascow said he could remotely service 25 jukeboxes in about 30 minutes.

AMI Entertainment, which maintains a software development center in Chicago, is the music content and technology division of jukebox manufacturer Rowe International Corp. AMI powers digital downloading jukeboxes built by Rowe and Merit Entertainment. More information on both Rowe and AMI products is available from the Rowe salesforce at (616) 243-3633 or by visiting or calling an authorized Rowe distributor.

Rowe intends to defend against the Complaint allegations

On December 20, 2007, TouchTunes filed a Complaint in the Southern District of New York seeking judgment that it does not infringe seven of Rowe’s patents related to the sale of digital jukeboxes. The lawsuit is a reaction to TouchTunes’ longstanding knowledge that Rowe believes TouchTunes is infringing Rowe’s patent rights. Rowe intends to defend against the Complaint allegations and to aggressively protect its proprietary rights, including its patent rights.

TouchTunes’ Complaint also asserts that Rowe/AMI infringe several TouchTunes patents. It is Rowe’s longstanding policy to respect the legitimate intellectual property rights of others. Pursuant to that policy, Rowe has taken steps to ensure that its products and services have not and do not violate such rights, including the rights of TouchTunes. It is not uncommon, however, that a declaratory judgment plaintiff such as TouchTunes will add counts to the lawsuit asserting infringement of its own patents. Rowe vigorously denies TouchTunes' allegations and will defend its lawful right to continue to conduct its business as it has done in the past.

AMI Welcomes Premium Latin Music Inc. to its Catalog

aventura album coverAMI gets a highly-anticipated boost to its Tropical Latin music catalog with the recent signing of Premium Latin Music Inc. The independent imprint, with headquarters in both the Dominican Republic and New York, has really been lifted onto a pedestal over the last decade with the rise in success of the group Aventura.

Aventura commenced in the mid 90s as “The Teenagers” when four Bronx kids came together with the shared dream of creating music.  Aventura’s organic sound is deeply rooted in Bachata, a Dominican folk style once dismissed by high society and relegated to impoverished white collar neighborhoods in the Dominican Republic, but which gradually ascended to a position of respect and international acclaim. Because the boys were raised in the U.S. they followed their instincts in fusing sounds they heard on the New York streets: Hip Hop, R & B and rock with Bachata, creating an innovative style that has broken barriers for the group. Under the auspices of Premium Latin Music, Inc., an independent label, the band was able to grow slowly, gradually building its reputation in the North East as a fan-favorite through relentless touring and grass roots promotion.  

Aventura is totally auto-produced – the boys write and arrange all of their songs.  The band’s earthy sound and total artistic control of all aspects of their career cancels out the tendency to stereotype them as the Latin version of Backstreet Boys simply because there are four members – no “studio project” this group! This is the real thing! Aventura’s insistence in writing, producing and performing their own music has paid off, as the group has crossed over into mainstream success in Europe, as well as here in the U.S. Stateside, SONY BMG OBO Premium Latin Music, Inc. distributes the titles “God’s Project” and “K.O.B.:Live” “Love & Hate,” “We Broke The Rules” and “Generation Next.” All have hit number 1 on the Billboard charts for the Tropical Latin genre and have sold more than 1,000,000 units through Sony distribution alone. Aventura has also recently released “Kings of Bachata - SOLD OUT at Madison Square Garden” (Premium Latin/SonyBMG), showing the band at the height of its success, during a sold-out performance in New York City which debuted at #3 in Billboard. This band has truly earned its right to the self-proclaimed “Kings of Bachata” tag that graces their album covers.

The success of a now-mainstream act like Aventura has helped Premium Latin build and maintain a roster of diverse Dominican talent, delving further into the genres Pop, R&B, and Hip-Hop. Other notables for the label include Big Family, Negros by Wason, Jeffrey, Joaquin, and Ingco Crew

AMI Entertainment, the content division of Rowe International, will begin its release of Premium Latin music December of ‘07. AMI will continue to offer back-catalog and new releases from the label going forward.  

AMI gets Christmas Presence from Gloria Gaynor

gaynorDance music Hall of Famer, Grammy Winner, Billboard chart-topper, and all-around proper music legend Gloria Gaynor gave AMI Entertainment (Rowe Jukeboxes) a special treat for the holiday season. Christmas Presence, Gloria’s newest full-length album (on her own Personal Records label), is a set of warm classics alongside originals “Happy Time of Year”, “Christmas Prayer”, and “Christmas Blue”.

Gaynor, probably best known for her Disco staple “I Will Survive”, gets a chance to let her voice shine through on this album without the distractions that dance music can bring to the table. That said, the club faithful will be delighted with the two upbeat winter mixes rounding out the albums 17 tracks - built around “Let it Snow”.

Going into the holiday season, AMI received numerous requests via tech-support lines and e-mails for the album to be added to the network. Gaynor’s management was nice enough to oblige by licensing the tunes for jukebox use. The album is now a featured release on the newly re-designed AMI operator website under the Christmas music genre.

“We are always very proud to offer independent releases” says Brian Hoekstra, Music Content Manager for AMI Entertainment. “But… given the time of year, and knowing the importance of an artist like Gloria Gaynor, this was a pleasant deal to get right at the end of the year, Merry Christmas!” adds Hoekstra.

gaynor album coverThe album was released mid-December to the network, and is available for download to local hard drives. Here is the full tracklist:

1 Happy Time Of Year
2 God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
3 All I Want Is You For Christmas
4 Christmas Blue
5 Frosty the Snowman
6 Do You Hear What I Hear?
7 Joy To the World
8 Hark the Herald Angels Sing
9 Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
10 O Holy Night
11 Little Town Of Bethlehem
12 Winter Wonderland
13 Christmas Song, The
14 Joy Came To the World
15 Christmas Prayer
16 Winter Mix - (Radio Mix)
17 Winter Mix - (Dance Mix)

CSP Records signs to the AMI Entertainment Network

AMI proudly announces that it recently signed with independent label CSP Records, for a music catalog that boasts the best in Louisiana Swamp Pop, Blue Eyed Soul, and Texas Roadhouse Blues. This is a label that prides itself in promoting the best in local talent via friendly distribution networks throughout Texas and Louisiana. CSP is home to popular Louisiana compilation albums Pure Swamp Pop Gold, Vol. 1-8 featuring the music of Van Broussard, Wayne Foret, Crosscut, Mike Broussard, Fats Domino and many others.

CSP distributes collection albums by New Orleans legend Fats Domino. Many-a-music historian points to Fats as releasing the first Rock and Roll records in the 50’s, and CSP offers The First King of Rock and Roll, volumes 1 and 2, that highlight all his ABC/Paramount recordings. Also available Christmas ‘07 is Fats Domino’s Christmas Is a Special Day. This collection of holiday favorites will be available on AMI for download starting December of ‘07.

Van Broussard is a legendary name in the Swamp Pop music scene of Southern Louisiana offered via CSP. Claiming the title of “Swamp Pop King”, Broussard has put out over 100 songs for the CSP imprint, spanning over 50 years. He was rewarded for his work in 1997, being inducted into the Louisiana Hall of Fame. Between his solo work and with the regional favorites, the Bayou Boogie Band, Broussard is well versed in Zydeco, Country, Louisiana Blues and Traditional Cajun music.

Rowe subsidiary, AMI Entertainment, keeps looking to satisfy its diverse locales, by delivering on local music throughout the country. In 2007, the AMI Network added Cajun and Zydeco genres to its Internet jukeboxes, due to the growing demand for local flavor in New Orleans and beyond. AMI also actively promotes and releases titles from Texas-based labels such as SMITH Music Group (Country), Palo Duro Records (Country) and Hacienda Records (Latin and Tejano).

Rowe International Unveils GrandSTAR Internet Jukebox

New from Rowe International is the GrandSTAR™ free-standing Internet jukebox, which uses the same cabinet design of one the factory's earlier CD models. Like all of Rowe's digital downloading jukeboxes, the new model operates on the AMI Entertainment Network over a broadband or dialup connection.

Its door and lighting options are available in a choice of black/multi and orange/red. The cabinet's ultrahigh-brightness LEDs light up the jukebox faćade, and offer a mean time between failures of about 100,000 hours. A lighting control board allows operators to adjust flashing patterns, including synchronization with the beat of music.

This innovative LED lighting system, which has become a standard feature on many of Rowe's new jukeboxes, was introduced in 2002 on the StarGlo™ model CD-100K, the CD box on which GrandSTAR is built. According to Sr. Vice President, John Margold, "StarGlo was a beautiful CD jukebox and it was well received. When it was launched, however, many operators had moved on to digital jukeboxes and therefore StarGlo did not get much market penetration. You could say that Rowe had built a great knife but the market was involved in a gunfight. Based upon operator requests and comments, we decided to utilize the StarGlo cabinet for an AMI powered digital jukebox. Initial market acceptance tells us that it was a good decision."

GrandSTAR is also equipped with Rowe's top-of-the-line computer components. It features a 1.2-GHz processor and large-capacity hard drive that stores up to 300 albums and cover art. When using a broadband connection, Rowe jukeboxes can access more than 400,000 songs remotely, from the AMI music server, for Music On Demand. In dialup mode, Rowe hard drives store more than 10,000 songs in cache to offer customers additional selections; a dialup modem is built in as standard equipment. The new box also features a wireless router, which permits connections between Rowe boxes and Merit countertop video terminals.

Measuring 62.2 ins. H. x 41.5 ins. W. x 26.5 ins. D., the jukebox is outfitted with a 19" LCD touch monitor. The standard sound package includes Rowe's 1,000W. Studio Sound amplifier with 70V. transformer kit and 5-band dual equalizers, along with six onboard speakers. It ships with an MEI AE 2611-U10E $1-$20 bill acceptor with 1,000-note stacker and a quarter coin mechanism. Options include a second 1,000W. amp and credit card reader.

AMI Entertainment Launches Rich Web Tool For Remote Management Of Digital Jukeboxes

AMI Entertainment, the music content and technology division of jukebox manufacturer Rowe International Corp., is launching a new website designed to deliver tools that greatly enhance and simplify the remote management of Internet-enabled jukeboxes.

The revamped site was programmed with the latest Java technologies, including Spring and Hibernate. Making extensive use of dynamic HTML (via AJAX), the site is far more responsive than the previous version, utilizing caching to quickly present the AMI music catalog and enable single-click selections.

When logging onto the secure website for the first time, AMI jukebox operators will notice a new look. Clean and user-friendly Web pages will only show the most relevant information on the main displays. For example, the homepage greets the user with the latest AMI news and a set of recommended music albums. These include “featured” albums, selected weekly by AMI’s librarian, to highlight new releases, available seasonal material and AMI favorites comprising the top-played albums from the previous month.

For each of the lists, the operator can display selections across all genres or refine the search to a specific variety such as Country/Bluegrass or Alternative Rock. Users can click on the album jacket to easily add the music to one or more of their jukeboxes.

The new site uses a Music Tab that brings together all information required to analyze and manage music on an operator’s jukeboxes. These include:

  1. Play counts of local content and “Music on Demand” selections over the past month;
  2. Relative popularity statistics for albums across the whole AMI network;
  3. Recently added music to the AMI network;
  4. Featured albums selected by AMI’s music librarian;
  5. Filters to focus on and refine playlists of a specific genre.

In addition to the extensive information at the operator’s fingertips, the Music Tab offers an easy way to toggle from jukebox to jukebox and a straightforward one-click method for music ordering.

“It could be said that the website was designed along the same lines as the familiar shopping cart, recognizable to anyone who has shopped on the Internet,” explained Ron Richards, AMI’s vice president of software engineering. By combining the Music Tab feature with the ability to easily group jukeboxes based on music preferences, the operator can simultaneously make selections across any number of jukeboxes.”

Another new feature is the Order Tab, which allows users to view past selections. This tool was also designed to improve the management of dialup jukeboxes by displaying data related to music transfers. If a user orders music to be delivered by a USB thumb drive, the order will be displayed on a File Tab that enables the music update file to be downloaded.

A unique feature of the AMI system is its ability to support a standard dialup connection. While dialup jukeboxes are not always connected, they require some type of connection that allows the main server to poll play data; with a dialup system, the operator programs the hours for jukebox connection. But file transfers for one album and its artwork would take up to four hours, so new music for local selections and hard disk cache, delivered to the operator by email, is installed using a USB thumb drive. As many as 25,000 songs can be stored in the cache.

The AMI software team began the redesign process a year ago by listening to operators in the field. “We interviewed several operators to determine how they manage music on their routes and what were the most common tasks they performed,” Richards said. “The AMI software team then set out to design the website around making those tasks as easy as possible.”

During the Web development period, the music provider also made major improvements to the AMI Entertainment Network. Expanded network capability was added to handle the increasing load created by AMI’s growing music library and jukebox connections. AMI’s new website architecture was designed to scale upward to support the addition of new database and application servers and can support a several-fold increase in the music provider’s network size. “Both the network and new administrative site can now handle seamlessly both dialup and broadband connected jukeboxes,” Richards said.

AMI Entertainment powers digital downloading jukeboxes built by Rowe and Merit Entertainment. The company began migrating AMI subscribers to the new site – amientertainment.net – in August and expects the process to complete in the fall. It also maintains a website open to the public – amientertainment.com – where visitors can learn more about AMI music and jukeboxes.

AMI’s software development center opened in Chicago in February 2006. It focuses on maintaining the AMI Entertainment Network, oversees the operators’ Web-based management tools and supports back-office software development for administrative functions, which include royalty payments and music feeds from record labels, among other requirements of a digital music provider. Richards, who joined the company in July 2005, heads the software development center. His staff consists of top-level engineers with experience producing enterprise-class software for such Fortune 500 companies as eBay, Nestlé, Semantic, Ford Motor Co., IBM and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Bill Breaker Changers Connect to PCs

Rowe International Corp. is pleased to announce the industry’s first Bill to Bill Changer that connects to a PC. The interfaced unit is a must for store owners needing to monitor the Bill Breaker’s cash balance and display help codes. The convenience and security benefits of the connected units were demonstrated at the Clean 07 show in Las Vegas.

“Bill Breaker is ideal for locations that need to put currency in customer’s hands without involving an attendant”, notes Rowe Vice President of Major Accounts Tom Kozlik. “It is designed for locations that have a need for the handling of large bills and a desire to keep better control of that currency. It is a secure 24/7 attendant that reduces labor costs and increases control of coin and currency”. In addition, the Fujitsu ATM-type dispensers handle a wide range of currency quality reducing the hand sorting time required for competitive bill to bill changers.

Bill Breakers utilize rock solid software that has been used in over 600 casino installations since 1998.  All units are covered by a Rowe one-year warranty.
Further information is available from your distributor or by contacting Tom Kozlik at Rowe International in Grand Rapids, Michigan, tel. (800) 393-0201. Information about the Bill Breaker can be found on the company website, www.roweinternational.com.

CD-to-Digital Conversion JUMP Kits In Stock at Rowe

Rowe International, a leading manufacturer of commercial jukeboxes and provider of digital music management technology, is ramping up production of all JUMP conversion kits to meet market demands. With the recent announcement of View Interactive ceasing operation and production, Rowe would like to remind operators that there are available upgrade kits to convert select CD jukeboxes to operate on the AMI Entertainment Network.

Rowe JUMP kits, which provide all components to convert CD jukeboxes to AMI-powered digital, are currently available. Conversion JUMP kits are available for Rowe models CD100 through CD100K, Storm, Berkeley &  Eagle wallboxes, CD51, MMCD 1/2/3, Encore, and selected NSM wallboxes. In addition, Rowe has “Enhancement Kits” available to upgrade existing Rowe CD jukeboxes that currently have a View kit installed. Enhancement kits are available for the CD100 A/B/C/D/E, Storm and Berkeley. Rowe has also created an Enhancement Kit to allow the Rock-Ola Wall-Rock wallbox to operate on the AMI Entertainment Network.

Rowe is the only jukebox manufacturer that also maintains a nationwide entertainment network to manage music content. The strong combination of Rowe International for hardware along with its subsidiary AMI Entertainment providing music software makes it possible for operators to dial one number and reach a technician who can help troubleshoot issues over the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Standard features in the CD to digital JUMP kits are flat touch-screen monitors, core computers, high-capacity hard drives, and harnessing, wiring and communication electronics. Graphic panels illuminated by LED backlighting come in a variety of attractive color patterns to complement a model’s trim styles.

Rowe backs all of its JUMP digital kits with wide ranging warranties that cover electrical and mechanical parts and circuit boards for two years, LCDs for one year, touchscreen controllers for five years and sensors for 10 years. In addition, Rowe is the only jukebox manufacturer that offers a lifetime warranty on its hard drives and will replace them, at no charge, for the life of an AMI contract.

Rowe has been working with and supporting operators for more than 97 years, and stands behind its high quality products with technical assistance 24/7. For further information, please contact your Rowe distributor or call our Inside Sales Team at 1-800-669-7693.

Bask in the Sun This Summer with AMI Music

AMI Entertainment, the music content division of Rowe International, has recently entered into an agreement to offer albums and songs from the legendary Sun Records. Sun, located in Nashville, TN, is a label with the capabilities to transport its listeners to a golden time for Country, Pop, Rockabilly, and R&B music. Sam Phillips started the label in 1952 adequately naming it Sun, as the songs carry with them a feeling of warmth and optimism. Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Conway Twitty all got their start with the label permanently associating Sun with the birth of not only Rock and Roll but also Rockabilly, a sound that re-defined Country music for generations.

Presley started making waves with the label in 1954, as an artist who could bridge the gap between Blues, Country and R&B. This drew the attention of other soon-to-be legends - Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Presley, were famously called the “Million Dollar Quartet”. Other notable, and vibrant artists on the Sun roster include Roy Orbison, Charlie Rich, Peggy Scott, The Dixie Cups and Bill Justis.

“In a way, this is a chance for AMI to get its customer base back to its roots” says Brian Hoekstra, Content Manager for AMI. “We have been in the music entertainment business over 97 years and our customers know the importance of the Sun catalog. It only feels right to offer these legendary tunes via AMI in the digital age” he adds.

Starting August of 2007, AMI will release around 40 titles from the Sun archives and will slowly add more over the following months to its network of over 8,500+ connections across the United States. Sun boasts a catalog of over 6,500 masters, most of which fit the interests of jukebox culture. Rock and Roll, in all its forms, and Country/Bluegrass continue to be the strongest genres played on the AMI Entertainment Network on a day-to-day basis.

AMI Music Grabs Matador Records by the Horns

Matador Records, the independent label that many other independents look up to, has signed on with AMI Entertainment. Matador, part of the Beggars (Banquet) Group in the United States, is home to a wide range of influential sounds in the area of Alternative and College Rock. In recent years the label has gained mainstream success with artists like Cat Power, Interpol, the New Pornographers, Stephen Malkmus, and Pretty Girls Make Graves. The buzz surrounding these acts have earned them national headlining tours and are all staples of the festival circuit.

Since its creation in 1989, Matador has become the adored imprint of the college rock scene with releases by Guided by Voices, Pavement, Yo La Tengo, and Belle and Sebastian. Each has a very different sound from the next and influenced waves of contemporary indie-rock bands. Guided by Voices sounds like the Who, but entirely re-imagined by the avant-garde leanings of their front-mad-man Robert Pollard. Pavement sounds like nobody else, and is an enviable blend of beautiful pop and experimental rock. If you are, or if you ever were, a College Radio Program Director, Pavement was always the band others were compared to. Recent years has seen their neo-classic albums Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, Slanted & Enchanted, and Wowee Zowee re-released as deluxe editions with extra tracks.  Yo La Tengo continues to be genre-less without alienating their devoted fan base. Yo La Tengo goes anywhere from free-form jazz to alternative rock in a heartbeat, maintaining an atmosphere uniquely their own. Belle and Sebastian, from Glasgow, are sensitive pop-darlings with a fierce following. The band released its strongest album-to date in 2006 with The Life Pursuit.  

Past catalog artists for Matador include Mogwai, Liz Phair, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Pizzicato Five, among others. Matador has been a launch pad of sorts for many-a-band that made the leap to a major label. Interpol, for instance, has just released its first album for EMI/Capitol. Liz Phair has also seen her career jump from underground-to-mainstream via newer albums with EMI.  

Current priorities for Matador are the upcoming releases from the New Pornographers (Challengers, August 21), and recent releases by The Ponys, Shearwater, Love of Diagrams, and Lavender Diomand. AMI Entertainment will begin releasing digital albums to its nationwide network in August of 2007.

Playball! AMI Is A Hit In Cooperstown

Visiting Cooperstown, NY, is something every baseball fan dreams of doing at least once in his or her lifetime. The birthplace of America’s favorite pastime is today the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and it attracts thousands of fans and tourists each year.

Now Rowe International’s AMI Entertainment division is proud to announce that the first Internet digital jukebox has arrived in the famous upstate New York town where Abner Doubleday tossed that first historic pitch in 1839 in a field in a settlement founded by the father of 19th-century novelist James Fenimore Cooper.

Pioneer Street runs through the town center and is a hub for tourist activities. Meandering visitors who stop in Cooley’s Stone House Tavern, an original 1839 tavern, will now have an opportunity to play Cooperstown’s first and only Internet jukebox. This downloading digital juke is powered by the AMI Music Network, was put into play by operator Tally Sales of Rome, NY.

Cooley’s owner, Tim Gould, commented, “Our relaxing pub and eatery now offers a new dimension and opportunity to the many guests from around the world. We are pleased to be able to allow guests the pleasure of bringing a piece of their home to Cooperstown through the power of the [AMI] jukebox experience in the form of music that they love and enjoy.

“As in baseball,” the tavern owner continued, “there are other players in the downloading music business, however, it appears that AMI and Cooley’s have arrived at the Hall of Fame just before our competition.”

The relationship between Cooley’s and Rowe/AMI is fitting because both businesses have a rich, long history steeped in American culture. Rowe/AMI is approaching its 100th anniversary of bringing music entertainment to all corners of the world.

Cooley’s is located at 49 Pioneer Street. Information about Rowe/AMI can be found online at www.roweinternational.com or by calling 1-800-669-7693.

America loves baseball, good times and music and it can all be found at Cooley’s in Cooperstown.

Rowe International’s New NiteHAWK Wallmount Jukebox With 1,000-Note Stacker

Payment system upgrade will help music operators reduce service cycles, and save money.

Rowe International is pleased to announce that its latest wall mount Internet jukebox has been upgraded with a payment system accommodating a 1,000-banknote stacker. This cash-handling expansion capability – made possible by the new NiteHAWK’s spacious jukebox design – is a giant step forward for operators who provide jukebox services in rural markets or for those who just want the option of decreasing their service cycles to reduce the rising costs of route overhead, explained John Margold, Rowe’s senior vice president of sales and marketing.

The NiteHAWK’s superior cabinet design supports several expansion features that are vital in jukebox operations, including the ability to add a second 1,000w amplifier with 70v transformer. The NiteHAWK comes equipped with an standard MEI (Mars) AE 2611-U10E payment system featuring a stacker with a 1,000 banknote capacity. According to Rowe, the NiteHAWK is the only digital jukebox available in the U.S. that can accommodate a 1,000 banknote stacker.

Margold explained that the capability of handling and securing up to 1,000 banknotes, coupled with coin acceptance and the Rowe optional credit card reader, will allow operators to take full advantage of the digital jukebox’s online administrative features, including remote content management and technical services.

“This latest advance from Rowe will be extremely important for jukebox operators who are looking for increased flexibility in managing the service cycles of their routes, and to leverage further the digital jukebox’s remote content management capabilities,” Margold underscored. “Because bills are still used for the majority of jukebox transactions, music operators running the new NiteHAWK will have an advantage on their routes by possessing the ability to cut overhead by changing collection periods from once a week to every other week or from twice a month to once a month, and so on. It might be operators in rural markets who sometimes service accounts 100 or more miles from their main offices. Then again, it might be operators in overcrowded urban markets, like New York City, where the cost to stop the collector’s vehicle – and the time required to get it to the location – is increasing due to rising parking and fuel costs, parking limitations and violations, and the ever-growing traffic congestion.”

The NiteHAWK is now shipping from the Grand Rapids facility, and is the latest jukebox powered by AMI Entertainment, Rowe’s music content and networking technology division. It joins the manufacturer’s growing line of purpose-built AMI systems, which include the NiteStar and Solara free-standing and StarBrite wall mount digital downloading jukeboxes.

Rowe/AMI Jukeboxes Are Focus Of New Museum Exhibit

‘Jukebox Heroes’ Is Rockin’ Grand Rapids

A new museum exhibit examines the progress of the coin-operated music industry, and the jukebox’s close connection to American culture, from the early 20th century to the present. It opened last month here at the Public Museum, where jukeboxes built by the Rowe/AMI organization, a hometown factory hero, are the focus. Located in Van Andel Museum Center, the exhibit is scheduled to run through December 31, 2008.

Called Jukebox Heroes, the exhibit features 10 automatic music machines that the museum bills as “Eighty Years of the Coolest Music Machines You’ve Ever Seen!” According to Rowe, museum personnel hand picked the models and created an eye-catching display to reveal their distinctive characteristics. To enhance each jukebox’s lighting theme, officials darkened the display area to show off their brightly lit colors and skillfully crafted cabinets.

On display are classic machine models, on loan from Rowe International’s own collection, that reflect various eras of modern American history. The pieces also explore developments in technology that inspired the engineering and manufacture of automatic player pianos and 78-RPM and 45-RPM coin phonographs, along with laser compact disc and contemporary digital downloading jukeboxes. Rowe/AMI jukeboxes are known for their styles that echo the periods they served, from the “Art Deco” motif of the 1930s to the vivid sci-fi designs of the 1960s.

The museum’s tribute to the jukebox follows one of Rowe’s biggest milestones: the production of the one-millionth jukebox reached in July 2006. That jukebox, a digital NiteStar that connects to the AMI Entertainment Network, Rowe’s online music management service, is a central part of the exhibit where it is fully operational, allowing museum-goers to select music from different jukebox eras.

Rowe’s senior vice-president of sales and marketing, John Margold, brought the idea of a jukebox exhibit to the Public Museum. “The pride of all Rowe personnel was evident when they watched the millionth jukebox roll off the production line, and we really wanted to share the history of our company and these classics with the community,” he said.

Chris Carron, the museum’s director of research and interpretation added, “This is an excellent example of a long-time Grand Rapids manufacturer producing a product that really touches people. These music gems have been a part of our culture for almost 100 years providing entertainment, creating memories and playing the songs everyone can relate to.”

The museum unveiled Jukebox Heroes on May 5. Joining museum officials for a grand opening celebration on May 23 were representatives from Rowe; Merit Entertainment; Harbour Group, parent company of Rowe and Merit; Felder Communications, Rowe’s PR firm; Wolverine American; and Professional Marketing.

This spectacular array of music jukebox history is a display not to be missed. Rowe has been an American leader in the development and manufacture of jukeboxes and audio technology for almost 100 years and Rowe will continue the production of these music gems well into the future.

Jukebox Heroes runs from May 5, 2007, to December 31, 2008. Location: Van Andel Museum Center at the Public Museum in Grand Rapids, MI. Times are Monday-Friday, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and Sunday from noon to 4:00 PM. Admission: adults, $8.00; seniors, $7.00; and children (3-17), $3.00. Focus: Jukebox Heroes looks through 80 years of music by way of Rowe International, the oldest surviving manufacturer of jukeboxes. The millionth model, a NiteStar Internet jukebox, allows guests to select and play music from all of the different eras represented. Jukebox Heroes is free with admission; tickets can be purchased at the door. Museum information can be had by calling (616) 456-3977 or visiting www.grmuseum.org.

Nettwerk Music Group Partners With AMI Entertainment

Nettwerk Music Group (NMG), Canada’s leading privately owned record label and management company, has entered into a partnership with AMI Entertainment, the music content division of Rowe International, to make music from artists on both the management and label side available to AMI Entertainment’s network of over 7,000 digital jukeboxes across the United States.  Some of these artists will include Barenaked Ladies, Be Good Tanyas, BT, The Cardigans, Kinky, Old Crow Medicine Show, Skinny Puppy, and The Submarines, with genres ranging from electronic to rock to pop to folk to bluegrass.

"Nettwerk is constantly looking for new avenues of music distribution, and we encourage fans to share music from our artists.  We understand that it’s up to those fans to decide how they want to access music, and we are happy to partner with Rowe and AMI to give music fans another medium to find and legally download music from our artists," says Brent Muhle, Nettwerk General Manager.

NMG’s views on music distribution definitely fall inline with the goal of AMI Entertainment - bring music where it is culturally relevant to reach people wherever they are.

"Jukeboxes bring the tunes into social circles, where they belong," says AMI Content manager Brian Hoekstra. "Having an artist’s music out in public--where it can create dialogue and new fans--is too important an avenue of promotion to ignore."

Alligator Records Newest Blues and Rock On AMI Powered Jukeboxes

Rowe International and subsidiary AMI Entertainment, a leading manufacturer of commercial jukeboxes and provider of digital music content, has teamed up with Alligator Records.

Wherever there is an AMI-Powered jukebox, Alligator Records is there too, providing your nightlife spots with solid doses of Blues and Rock with their Spring releases. These are the sounds of the swamp and of the city both. There are new releases available now from Koko Taylor, and by newcomers JJ Grey & Mofro.

First off, let’s talk the return of Koko Taylor (“the Queen of Chicago Blues”). With her newest album, aptly titled ‘Old School’, she continues her enviable legacy with little effort. It is her first album in seven years, opting for a return to straight-ahead Blues. She did a heavy bit of her own writing, but also covers Willie Dixon, Magic Sam, and Lizzy Lawler. From the liner notes to the tunes, the newest from Koko Taylor is an ode the Chicago scene that she created, and continues to define.

JJ Grey & Mofro is rather new to the scene, but brings Rock riffs and Soul to the Blues landscape. The groups new album ‘Country Ghetto’ comes right out of Grey’s Florida-swamp roots, and accentuates in the right places with harmonicas, organs, horns, keyboards, and string arrangements. “War” could easily carve itself a niche on Classic Rock radio. The title-track is a dirty, harmonica-laced battle with southern-boy stereotypes.  

JJ Grey has a raspy, soulful voice, which leads the way through this down home set. Things get spiritual when back-up singers and organs swirl about Country Ghetto’s twelve songs. This is fresh territory for a label like Alligator, one that usually sticks to traditional Blues. What we have here is an able answer to the Black Keys and Ray LaMontagne’s brand of Blues and Soul.           

AMI Entertainment entered into agreement with Alligator in 2004, and has released the best of their catalog ever since. Look for other catalog titles on any of Rowe’s 7,000-plus digital jukeboxes by artists like Marcia Ball, Buddy Guy, Elvin Bishop, Guitar Shorty, Otis Rush, Magic Slim, Coco Montoya, Delbert McClinton, and many more.    

Sounds like jukebox music to us!          

Further information about Alligator Records can be found on their website www.alligator.com.

Chrysalis Music Brings Jethro Tull, David Bowie, and many others to the AMI Network

AMI Entertainment, the music arm of Rowe International, has reached an agreement with Chrysalis Music, an international independent publishing company.

The deal opens up a music catalog for the AMI Entertainment network from some major artists including Jethro Tull, David Bowie, Billy Idol, My Morning Jacket, Gnarls Barkley, Van Halen (w/David Lee Roth), Galactic, Secret Machines, Ray LaMontagne, John 5, Priestess, Shadows Fall and many others.

Chrysalis clears licensing and copyrights through its offices in Germany, Scandinavia, France, Spain, Holland, Italy, and the United States. The group is responsible for large groups of writers, A&R reps, and artist development teams, and is also responsible for setting up collaborations between its affiliated writers. In short, Chrysalis just so happens to be affiliated with some of the biggest names in music history, which is of course a major focus for the jukebox market.

In the digital arena, jukebox companies like Rowe-AMI have become highly-involved mediums, as well as necessary promotional avenues for artists. The changing digital landscape demands close connection between licensing companies and music providers. It is crucial to form relationships with enviable music catalog, as today’s digital music customer is used to easy access to their favorite songs, when they want it. 

The Grand Rapids, MI based jukebox company has many parallels with Chrysalis Music, in that both have been involved with providing the public ear with quality music for decades. Rowe-AMI has been in the jukebox business, during its various phases since its inception some 97 years ago.

Many of the artists on the Chrysalis Roster have become classic jukebox artists, making the agreement essential for AMI. Jethro Tull in particular, the flute-wielding Classic Rock outfit, has never been offered on AMI digital jukeboxes, though they were favorites on the traditional vinyl and CD formats sold in the past.

More contemporary artists like Shadows Fall and Priestess get to use the AMI Network as useful promotional tool, extending fan base, and cultural relevance. Jukebox plays, historically, mirror the efforts of national tour activity and follow popular radio play. Both bands have been quite visible on each of these fronts in recent years. Shadows Fall, who released ‘Threads of Life’ on April 4, 2007, is currently on the high profile Jagermeister Music Tour with Stone Sour and Lacuna Coil.

AMI Signs Tommy Boy Entertainment

AMI Entertainment, the music content division for Rowe International jukeboxes, recently signed with Tommy Boy Entertainment. Tommy Boy is a well-respected urban label that grew up alongside the birth of Hip Hop music in the 80's. Founder Tom Silverman started the label in 1981 from his apartment in New York City, releasing Hip Hop when it wasn't such a highly fashionable idea. Waves of cultural change started with Tommy Boy's release of 'Planet Rock' by Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force, and the imprint never looked back.

Tommy Boy celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2006 with the release of the first four volumes of its 'Hip Hop Essentials' collections. This collection has grown to 12 volumes since, and features the cream of the crop from the early days of Hip Hop. The songs featured in this collection stand as the foundation of today’s popular Hip Hop and Rap music, and include songs by Beastie Boys, Salt N Pepa, Doug E Fresh, Grand Master Flash, A Tribe Called Quest, Tone Loc, Big Daddy Kane, Digital Underground, and many more. In other words, these collections offer the best of a golden era.

After years in the biz, and facing some cultural shifts, Tommy Boy has reached out into other popular genres. One may be pleasantly surprised to see the Tommy Boy brand releasing Soundtracks for hit TV series' the L Word' and 'Queer as Folk'. The mixes are IPod generation friendly, featuring Indie and Pop artists such as Iron & Wine, Ladytron, Le Tigre, Broken Social Scene, TV On The Radio, Ima Robot, Scissor Sisters, and Fatboy Slim.

All these ventures into the realm of the Soundtrack doesn’t mean Tommy Boy turned on its Urban roots by any means. 2006 saw the release of ‘Hard To Kill’ by rapper Gucci Mane, which cracked the top 5 on the Billboard charts for Independent albums, and ‘Too Bad’, which marks the return for Reggae/Dancehall star Buju Banton.

The Whispers Join the AMI Music Network

AMI Entertainment, the subsidiary of Rowe International providing digital music content, has teamed up with veteran R&B hitmakers The Whispers, to offer their independent 2006 release For Your Ears Only. The quartet was formed in 1964, in Los Angeles, and features twin brothers Walter and Wallace Scott as its centerpiece. Through the years, the brothers have moved in different directions, offering solo projects, but have found home with The Whispers once again. 

Their career has produced several top 10 R&B and Soul radio hits including ‘The Time Has Come’, ‘Seems Like I Gotta Do Wrong’, ‘And The Beat Goes On’, and the number one hit ‘Rock Steady’ from 1987.

The newest album is made available to the AMI Network via partnership with their independent imprint Satin Tie Productions. This is a first for the band, producing the album themselves.  ‘For Your Ears Only’ is the groups first since 1997, and delivers to their core audience with classic Soul, R&B, Jazz, and Pop. “Butta” is a smooth track that was written and arranged by Teena Marie. The album is a return to form, sure to help fans new and old, in the quest to find love. The last song is a classy profession to their fans called “The Whispers Love You Too”.  

The Whispers have returned to classic Soul radio formats in all of the major markets with tracks like “Hold On”. Fans can also catch their act live, as they have tour dates through the rest of the summer. And of course, you can hear more of their best wherever AMI powered jukeboxes are found.

Rowe International Names Betson Enterprises As Its Jukebox Distributor in the Greater Chicago Area

Rowe International Corp., the leading manufacturer of commercial jukeboxes and provider of digital music services for public locations, announced today that it has appointed Betson Enterprises as the authorized “Rowe” distributor in the Chicago market. The new distribution alliance goes into effect immediately.

As a result of the agreement, Betson’s Midwest office, based in Bensenville, IL, will provide exclusive sales, service and support for Rowe’s commercial jukebox lines, designed for professional music and games operators, and Rowe money changers. Betson’s expanded Rowe business also includes equipment and parts sales, as well as technical support, previously provided by American Vending Sales (AVS) of Elk Grove Village, IL, which will no longer handle Rowe products. Betson will honor Rowe product warranties.

“AVS has been a long-time distributor of Rowe products in the Chicago area,” said John Margold, Rowe’s vice president of sales and marketing, “and we thank the AVS organization for those years of devoted service. Rowe’s distribution network is the strongest and one of the most established in the coin-op industry, and our partnership with Betson in the Chicago area will better position Rowe products in one of the nation’s biggest jukebox markets. Most importantly, the transition will benefit music operators who serve that market.”

Rowe is the only jukebox company that manufactures digital jukeboxes and maintains its own nationwide network to support those machines. Its music content and technology division, AMI Entertainment, provides operators with a vast music library tailored for jukebox play and user-friendly jukebox and Web software. AMI-powered jukeboxes connect to the AMI Entertainment Network using a variety of broadband services, including wireless, and can optionally support dialup connections.

Betson Enterprises, a division of H. Betti Industries Inc. (HBI), is North America’s largest coin machine distributor. Additional HBI divisions include Imperial International, a leading wholesaler of billiard accessories and related items, and Betson Imperial Parts & Service Co., a major supplier of equipment parts, components and accessories to merchandise vendors, amusement operators and OEMs. Headquartered in Carlstadt, NJ, Betson also maintains branch offices in 12 major markets in the U.S.; the 75-year-old company opened its Chicago-area office in 2005. Betson Midwest is located at 1158 Tower Lane, Bensenville, IL 60106; tel. (630) 238-9400.

“Having represented Rowe for nearly 20 years, we are proud to bring this prestigious line exclusively to Betson Midwest, serving the greater Chicago and Illinois operator community. We look forward to providing Rowe/AMI customers with Betson’s great level of service, new exciting promotions, and greatly enhanced internal financing and leasing models designed to improve the operator’s cash flow,” noted HBI president Bob Geschine.

Rowe teams up with Firestone offering ZERO% Financing

Rowe International, a leading manufacturer of commercial jukeboxes and provider of digital music management technology, is offering a ZERO% financing rate and ZERO money down for 12 months on all Rowe-built digital, downloading jukeboxes. This program is available through Firestone Financial Corporation but is a limited time offer.

John Margold, Rowe's Senior VP of Sales/Marketing stated: "We have heard from many operators that they would like a program allowing them to grow their music route with no strain on cash flow. Working with our friends at Firestone, we have developed a finance option that will suit just about everyone."

Two additional options include a 5.99% APR for 24 months or 8.99% APR for 36 months. All options have a two-unit minimum purchase and the first payment is not due until 30 days after the contract has been funded. These offers expire June 30, 2007. For further details, contact your local Rowe distributor or Firestone Financial at (800) 851-1001.

AMI Joins Forces With America's Best Wireless Network - VERIZON

Rowe International is pleased to announce that the AMI Entertainment Network can now connect to the Verizon Wireless broadband network.

Now available from Rowe are upgraded connection tools, which includes a configured router and Verizon Aircard to enable a wireless connection. The new connection option is available in 242 major metropolitan areas where the Verizon Wireless "Broadband Access" exists. Verizon's high-speed wireless broadband network is based on Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) technology, which is as fast as many high-speed wired connections. Rowe's standard router is not only reasonably priced, it also provides Wi-Fi and extra ports. Among the many advantages of operating AMI-powered Rowe equipment on a wireless network are support for wireless connections for Merit Entertainment touchscreen terminals and fully authorized access by Rowe's 24/7 technical team, who can service and troubleshoot jukebox systems remotely.

To learn more about this exciting development, please contact AMI Entertainment Inside Sales at (800) 393-0201.

Chrysalis Music Brings Jethro Tull, David Bowie, and many others to the AMI Network

Rowe International, a leading manufacturer of commercial jukeboxes and AMI Entertainment, a subsidiary of Rowe which provides digital music management technology, announced a deal today with international independent publishing company, Chrysalis Music.

The deal opens up music catalog for the AMI Entertainment network from some major artists including Jethro Tull, David Bowie, Billy Idol, My Morning Jacket, Gnarls Barkley, and many others. Chrysalis clears licensing and copyrights through its offices in Germany, Scandinavia, France, Spain, Holland, Italy, and the United States. The group is responsible for large groups of writers, A&R reps, and artist development teams, and is also responsible for setting up collaborations between its affiliated writers. In short, Chrysalis just so happens to be affiliated with some of the biggest names in music history, which is of course a major focus for the jukebox market.

In the digital arena, jukebox companies like Rowe-AMI have become highly-involved media outlets, as well as necessary promotional avenues for artists, putting them in close connection with licensing companies. For Rowe-AMI, the Grand Rapids, MI based jukebox company has many parallels with Chrysalis, in that both have been involved with providing the public ear with quality music for decades. Rowe-AMI has been in the jukebox business, during its various phases since its inception some 97 years ago.

Many of the artists Chrysalis is responsible for have become classic jukebox artists, making the agreement essential for both parties. Jethro Tull in particular, the flute-wielding Classic Rock outfit, has never been offered on Rowe-AMI digital jukeboxes, though they were favorites on the traditional vinyl and CD formats sold in the past.

AMI Gets Presidential With Presidents Of The United States of America

With the chaotic wheels of the upcoming election turning, AMI Entertainment signs the independently-awesome band Presidents of the United States of America. The 3-piece rock outfit from Seattle, Washington is best known for blasting a hole in the 90’s grunge scene with a slew of bouncy hits, including ‘Lump’, ‘Kitty’, and ‘Peaches’. Their self-titled debut was initially out on Columbia Records, and has since reverted to the band who has re-issued it on their own label. Another noteworthy point in the bands history came when they covered Ian Hunter’s ‘Cleveland Rocks’, for the Drew Carey Show theme song.

Oddly enough, it seems the band has a new habit of releasing albums alongside the actual Presidential elections. The bands most recent release ‘Love Everybody’, came out in 2004 to warm fan reception. The re-united Presidents toured on their own terms, and hired Fuzed Management. After a healthy dose of touring, the band is active once-again, working on songs for a 2008 release, and has re-released their 1995 debut, complete with DVD footage.

Their brand of rock music is a perfect fit for the highly democratic jukebox format.

“Rock music continues to be king (most-played in terms of genres) on the Rowe-AMI jukeboxes, and the Presidents have the songs that customers of all-ages can sing along to” says Content Manager for AMI, Brian Hoekstra.
The new deal with The Presidents has just been processed, and their albums will be released to Rowe-AMI jukeboxes starting April 07.

Rowe and AMI Support the Distribution Channel

Rowe International Corp., and its AMI Entertainment music subsidiary, held a press conference today to reconfirm the company’s commitment to maintain and support the traditional distribution channel in which jukebox equipment, and digital content services, are placed on location by the long-standing professional operating trade. 

The announcement was made by Jeff Martin, Rowe’s chairman, who underscored Rowe’s commitment that Rowe has no intent to circumvent the professional operating companies, which have recently been threatened by the emergence of a jukebox supplier that is marketing a digital jukebox directly to locations.

“Rowe jukeboxes powered by the AMI Entertainment Network are marketed by an established network of distributors who sell to and support professional operating companies,” Martin said. “AMI’s music and software, which support a growing number of operating companies, will not be sublicensed to companies engaged in the harmful practice of selling equipment and music services to locations.”

Martin added, “We are first and foremost a jukebox company.  Start-up software companies may not fully appreciate the role of Operators in this industry.  Operators have made Rowe successful for nearly a century.  Aggressive direct sales programs, which circumvent operating companies, undermine the entire industry and deliver inferior services to end consumers.  We are in this for the long haul and so are our customers.”

“We have seen companies in various industries that forget their roots and ultimately perish.  When the dust clears, Rowe will continue to set the standards for the jukebox industry working in conjunction with our valued customers,” the Rowe exec observed. 

Sanctuary Records - Releases Now Available On Rowe / AMI Jukeboxes

Rowe’s jukebox music content subsidiary, AMI Entertainment just released the catalog distributed by The Sanctuary Group, which owns over 20 labels from all corners of the globe.

The Sanctuary Group has had recent success with releases by Morrissey that has marked a well publicized return for the former Smiths lead singer.

The independent distributor also owns the enviable Reggae catalog from Trojan Records. Trojan represents what is widely considered as the roots of today’s popular Reggae, offering classics from Delroy Wilson, Dennis Brown, Desmond Dekker, Gregory Isaacs, and many others. Trojan is gearing up for a compilation (due March 6, 2007), featuring classic tunes hand-picked by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, titled “Jonny Greenwood Is the Controller”.     

Other artists on the Sanctuary roster include Billy Idol, Biohazard, De La Soul, Dragonforce, Gamma Ray, HelloGoodbye, Helloween, Marc Bolan, Megadeath, Motorhead, Rollins Band, Sly and Robbie, The Buzzcocks, The Damned, The Dubliners, The Pogues, Widespread Panic, and Wu-Tang Clan.

Dave Logan to Leave Merit and Rowe

Merit, Rowe, Harbour Group, and David Logan announced a management transition plan today, where David Logan will resign as President of Merit and Rowe, while continuing to serve as a consultant to both companies and Harbour Group during a transition period. A new President, Mike Maas, has been successfully recruited, and will join Merit and Rowe tomorrow.

"Merit and Rowe have made tremendous progress during my time here," said Logan. "I look forward to continuing to support them, while also beginning to pursue other personal, family, and business interests. I believe both companies are strategically poised for further growth and value creation for customer, and I'm really pleased to be able to hand the reins to Mike Maas, who I believe has the background and leadership to take Merit and Rowe to the next level."

"We appreciate Dave's contributions to Rowe and Merit, and his willingness to continue to support and consult to the companies," said Jeff Martin, a Group President of Harbour Group. "We wish him all the best in his new endeavors." Added Jeff Fox, President of Harbour Group, "Dave has made many contributions, not only to Merit and Rowe, but also to the overall coin-op industry."

During Mr. Logan's tenure at Merit, the company was awarded the industry's Manufacturer of the Year award five straight times, and introduced many new products, including the Force platform, the Radion, the eVo, and the Ion platform. During his tenure at Rowe, the company began to coordinate activities with Merit, and co-developed a link to Merit products, while accelerating the rollout of its broadband-connected digital jukebox line.

For further information, contact Jeffrey Martin at 314 727 5550 or David Logan at 215 639 4700.

Michael Maas Named President and CEO of Merit Industries and Rowe International

Michael Maas, a former executive at Microsoft and IBM has joined jukebox and countertop entertainment leaders Rowe International and Merit Industries as president and chief executive officer. Maas succeeds David Logan, who will continue in a consultative role, according to Jeff Martin, Group President of Harbour Group.

Maas joins Merit and Rowe from Microsoft Corporation, where he was the General Manager responsible for Microsoft’s marketing programs for enterprise accounts across the US. Prior to Microsoft, Maas was a Vice President at IBM Corporation, where he held several key positions covering Media, Entertainment, Telecommunications, Wireless/Mobile computing and Technology. Maas’ early career was in the supercomputer industry performing various technical roles.

“We would like to thank David for his dedication to making Merit and Rowe the industry brand leaders. With the rapid expansion of the Rowe/AMI business and significant opportunities for new products in both Merit and Rowe, Mike’s technical background and strong customer skills will enable us to take these companies to the next level”, stated Martin.

Maas added, "I am very excited to be joining firms with such rich traditions and established brands. Rowe has been the jukebox leader over several decades and recently produced their one millionth jukebox. Merit is the most established coin operated equipment in taverns today. Together they have a fantastic base from which I expect we will drive considerable additional growth."

Maas holds a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Notre Dame and an MBA degree from Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.

Rowe Announces AMI Entertainment Software Development Center In Chicago

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (December 22, 2006) — Rowe International Corp., the leading manufacturer of commercial jukeboxes and a provider of digital music and content management software, announced today the expansion of and key staff appointments to the Chicago-area software development center of its AMI Entertainment division.

The center, which opened in February 2006, focuses on maintaining and enhancing the AMI Entertainment Network, which administers music services for digital jukeboxes.  The primary focus of the center is the development of www.amientertainment.net, the website from which jukebox operators can monitor and update their jukebox clients. In addition, the center develops the back-office software functions required of a digital music provider including invoicing, royalty payments, and processing music feeds from record labels.

AMI Entertainment’s software development center is headed up by Ron Richards, vice president of software engineering, who joined the company in June 2005. The Chicago-area staff boasts top-level engineers with experience in producing enterprise-class software for such Fortune 500 companies as eBay, Nestlé, Semantic, Ford Motor Co., IBM and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. They are Dan Garrett, architect and director, Marc Saegesser, John Groppe, Mary Grygleski, Eran Loewenthal and Jesse Buck.

The new team will work closely with AMI’s jukebox client, quality assurance and operations teams, all of which are based at Rowe’s headquarters in Grand Rapids, MI.

“To meet the growing demands of the AMI network,” Richards said, “Rowe set out to recruit a team with proven capability in building a robust communications software system. We located the development center in suburban Chicago to take advantage of the area’s historic expertise in communication software. With local employers such as Motorola, Lucent and the world’s largest options exchange, the Chicago area contains a deep pool of talent from which to recruit.”

In early 2006, the AMI network began to show the stress associated with a successful growing network, Richards observed. “The expanding AMI music library and growing number of jukeboxes connecting to the network caused the AMI website to become sluggish at times,” he explained. “The new team came along just in time to address these growing pains.”

Within six months of forming the new team, Rowe/AMI implemented a number of performance improvements to the AMI Web client. These performance improvements, rolled out over the summer and in early fall, dramatically improved the speed of selecting local music for the jukebox. The team is now busy at work enhancing the new AMI website that will launch in 2007. The enhanced site will further improve the operator’s ability to configure music and will allow Rowe/AMI to support the anticipated rapid growth of its jukebox network over the next several years.

The new office of AMI Entertainment is located at 2021 Midwest Road, Suite 200, Oakbrook, IL 60523. Ron Richards can be reached by phone at 630.705.5115.

AMI’s Brian Hoekstra is Elevated to Content Manager

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (December 12, 2006) — AMI Entertainment, the software and music subsidiary of jukebox maker Rowe International Corp., has promoted Brian Hoekstra to the newly formed position of Content Manager. 

Hoekstra, who joined AMI two years ago as Music Librarian, will exercise greater authority in developing and expanding AMI music products in his new management post. He also takes on additional duties, which includes the writing of press releases announcing new artists and label deals, and will author monthly AMI updates for various trade publications within the music industry designed to keep Rowe/AMI patrons on top of the latest, hottest and upcoming music playing on the AMI Entertainment Network.

Rowe’s music expert will continue to be involved in the tasks for which he was responsible as music librarian. Among these are communicating with more than 50 record labels, coordinating the flow of new content to jukeboxes, and managing and overseeing re-releases, title editing, issues concerning explicit lyrics and audio replacements. In his customer service functions, Hoekstra identifies and obtains music for niche markets and educates record labels about Rowe’s digital jukebox products and the coin-op industry’s resurging role as a promotional tool for the music industry and artists.

“Brian’s love of music and his growing experience in the jukebox segment make him a perfect fit for the new position of content manager,” said John Margold, Rowe’s senior vice president of sales and marketing, “and he will participate in decisions pertaining to different areas of AMI music that he was not involved in before. And because he understands and relates well to music fans of all ages, Brian can offer valuable insight during the design and update phases for our jukeboxes’ graphic user interface and the system’s attract loops...just about any software component related to the selection of music at the point of sale.”

Prior to joining Rowe’s AMI Entertainment division in November 2004, Hoekstra held a variety of jobs related to music. He was music director for radio station WCKS (1610 AM) at Grand Valley State University (Allendale, MI), where he was an adjunct professor of media planning. He was a member of the production crew for stage and lighting at AVR Productions for such international touring acts as Keith Urban, Edgar Winter, Gladys Knight and Starship. He also was media services director at Rivertown Media & Communications. His writing credentials include published articles in Creem Magazine (Detroit), D.I.W. Magazine (Modesto, CA), Spin (New York), Harp (Maryland), Lansing State Journal (Lansing, MI), HearSay Magazine (Streetsboro, OH), Big Idea Magazine (Detroit), Music Revue (Grand Rapids, MI), and Indulge GR Magazine (Grand Rapids, MI),

What are the new content manager's favorite bands of all time? “Oasis, Boston, Van Halen, Buffalo Tom, Dandy Warhols, and Descendents,” Hoekstra answered. “All the music I listened to in high school provided a blueprint for my listening habits. In a sense, I am eternally 18 years old.”

Hoekstra is passionate about music and would be happy to discuss content issues with jukebox operators. He can be contacted by calling (800) 393-0201, ext. 294, or by emailing bhoekstra@roweinternational.com. 

AMI Spreads Holiday Cheer

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (November 28, 2006) — Rowe International’s music and digital software subsidiary, AMI Entertainment, has a new on-screen look for the holidays. The display on AMI Powered Internet jukebox screens will help ring in the holidays by attracting patrons to play their favorite Christmas songs and in turn, fattening up the cash box. The jolly loop will certainly get anyone into the holiday spirit. From the little Charlie Brown Christmas tree to the plump, dancing Santa it sends a whimsical message sure to bring a smile to the customer’s face.

“We are always looking for ways to increase profits for AMI operators, and making even a slight change to something that has been in a location for awhile does draw people over to investigate” said John Margold, senior vice-president of sales and marketing. He also noted that most operators will see an increase in Music-on-Demand play because most of the holiday songs will be found in “search” mode.

The holiday music is in its own genre category and can quickly be listed on screen. The search method for Music-on-Demand songs is also simple; even people who have had a bit of “holiday cheer” will find it easy to order songs on AMI Powered jukeboxes.   Just hit “search” and tap the All Music arrow. Then touch “Christmas”, which opens a vast selection covering everything from classics by Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole to newer music like the NOW That’s What I Call Christmas Vol 3 featuring artists like Jessica Simpson, Christina Aguilera, Pussycat Dolls, Rhianna, Ne-Yo and Relient K. Look for other new holiday albums by Destiny’s Child, Twisted Sister, Rat Pack, and an expanded version of A Charlie Brown Christmas.
This new holiday attract loop is available on Rowe jukeboxes, CD boxes converted into digital by Rowe Jump Kits and on Merit Mod Box and MoD BoX Deluxe. If you don’t have any AMI Powered boxes on your own route yet, you can see the product line (and the Christmas Attract Loop) at your authorized distributor.

Rounder Records Joins the AMI Music Network

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (December 5, 2006)Alison Krauss and Rounder Records are bringing their music to Rowe, AMI-powered Jukeboxes. Grammy award winner Krauss, and her famed Union Station band, started recording for Rounder when Krauss was just a teen, and has changed the landscape of the Country and Bluegrass scene. Krauss is one of those rare artists that can successfully appeal to Country, Bluegrass, Pop and even Rock audiences. This crossover appeal makes it possible for AMI to add her albums to pre-made, local hard drives, for a variety of locations.

The Rounder catalog has been heavily requested since Rowe began connecting digital boxes. Rounder Records is more of music collective, specializing in various genres, where your typical label may only explore one dimension, or sound. Krauss is the obvious standout in a deal like this, but for AMI’s near 400,000+ song-cache, this relationship also brings a deep catalog of Zydeco, Cajun, Country, Blues, Reggae and many others.

Other noteworthy Rounder acts include Buckwheat Zydeco, Boozoo Chavis, Bruce Cockburn, Bela Fleck, Beres Hammond, Lead Belly, Lee “Scratch” Perry, and Jo-El Sonnier. The Zydeco and Cajun music is of particular importance, as Rowe continues to place more and more boxes in the New Orleans region. AMI Entertainment will start releasing Rounder content starting December of 06. Rounder will continue to service AMI with new releases in the future, so jukebox fans can hear their favorite Rounder releases on, or close to an album’s street date.

Texans YeeHaw! AMI Signs Deal with Smith Music Group

Grand Rapids, MI (December 1, 2006) – Rowe’s jukebox music content subsidiary, AMI Entertainment, is proud to announce a newly inked deal with Smith Music Group. Smith, based in Ft. Worth Texas, is a Country label slightly under the radar, but is no stranger to success. The company was started in 1998 by the late Rick Smith, with releases by upstart (back then) Pat Green and Country legend Merle Haggard.

Smith’s “Live at Billy Bobs Texas” series is reason enough for excitement. The series brings the atmosphere of the famed Texas club to listeners across the country who otherwise may not make the trip to the “Lone Star State”.

Other Country Music staples of the Smith catalog include Asleep At The Wheel, Cross Canadian Ragweed, David Allan Coe, and Willie Nelson. Most importantly, this deal helps deliver music to more of a niche Country audience, namely…Texas. AMI Customers were frequently asking for “Texas Artists”, which Smith proudly caters to, offering hometown favorites Cory Morrow, Kevin Fowler, Randy Rogers Band and more.

2006 has been an aggressive year for AMI in terms of adding Independent labels, reaching further into the digital crates, so to speak, to satisfy listeners whose tastes are affected by their locale. Country Artists remain a huge favorite on the AMI network, mirroring the success of mainstream Country radio in recent years across the United States.

Irish Music Fans Take Note - AMI and Shanachie Records Unite

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (November 29, 2006) — AMI Entertainment, the content wing for Rowe International Corp, recently signed with Shanachie Records, as part of their continuing efforts to meet eclectic demand across the globe. For AMI Entertainment, based in Grand Rapids, MI, it would be easy enough, just to offer what Billboard Magazine and MTV deem as “mainstream” or “Top 40” music through their jukebox service. In this, the digital age, new jukeboxes are connecting daily, and the niche markets need to be satisfied. Customers are getting used to music available over the internet, which means larger catalogs…on demand.

Enter AMI’s new relationship with Shanachie Records as a case study. Certain bars in Boston and New York City have thriving Irish communities. 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. 

Through this deal, venerable Irish flag-wavers, Wolfe Tones, are now offered. 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 here in the States, leaving a lasting impression over the years via their extensive summer touring. Irish locations with Wolf Tones CD’s earning the bulk of the income, can now compliment these songs with thousands more, made possible by Music on Demand. 

Shanachie doesn’t cater to just one pin on the map by any means, as they also provide AMI Entertainment with an enviable array of World Music. Reggae Music for instance, is another Shanachie specialty. Artists such as Black Uhuru, Eek-A-Mouse, Freddie McGregor, Skatalites, Wailing Souls, Yellowman, and others, will be blaring from Rowe Jukeboxes the world over. The international audience is the future of the digital jukebox market, and AMI has made major strides in 06 to meet this demand.

Rowe offers exclusive CD-to-Digital JUMP Kits for several Rowe 100CD model jukeboxes

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (November 21, 2006) — Rowe International, the leading manufacturer of commercial jukeboxes and digital music software, is the sole producer of CD to digital conversion kits for their 100F, 100G, 100H, and 100K models. The kits are available for shipping now, and in the 100G/H kit, Rowe is including a brand new set of “73” bulbs (peanut lights).

Operators have enjoyed revitalizing the older CD boxes with Rowe Jump Kits.  Rowe has kits for the 100A/B, 100C/D, 100E, Eagle, CD-51, Encore and CD Wall boxes (Berkeley and Storm). With these new Jump Kits Rowe offers the most complete line up in the industry. The new 100F, 100G/H and 100K kits are available for immediate delivery. Contact your local authorized Rowe distributor for details, or call 800-393-0201.

Watch for future Jump Kits scheduled for release in early 2007 including the 100I/J (Saturn and Saturn II).  All of the Jump Kits are Powered by AMI.  Each gives the operator the choice of Broad Band or Dial Up operation. And all the exclusive AMI Entertainment features found on StarBrite, NiteStar and Solara are available with AMI Powered Jump Kits.  These include a lifetime warranty of the Hard Drive, 24 hour technical support and revenue enhancing KWIK PICK.

Rowe Boosts Spanish Music Support

Rowe International Corp., a leading manufacturer of commercial jukeboxes and provider of digital music management technology, announced today the introduction of premixed hard disks featuring predominantly 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 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.

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 know, 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 / AMI Inside Sales Team Expands

The AMI Entertainment family of operators and jukebox connections continues to grow and much of this growth is because operators love the quick response they get to any questions. Although the Regional Sales Managers provide a wealth of information, they are often tied up in air travel or in meetings with operators. So Rowe has developed an Inside Sales team to be available to operators virtually all day.  Music content questions… questions about software features… whatever the need, the Rowe Inside Sales team is available to help.

And since the AMI Network is expanding by the day, Rowe has added to this team so that operators will continue to receive immediate response when they call.  Steve Littell, a 20 year Rowe veteran, forged his way into this newly created department in August of 2005 and Broderick Norkus was added to the team in November of 2005. The staff has increased again with the addition of Matt Longcore.

Formerly serving in the health care and retail industries, Matt has an impressive 20 years of experience in customer service and inside/outside sales positions. Matt has been through extensive training to acclimate him to the Rowe products and clients. As stated by Matt, “My focus is to follow through on the issues at hand and carry through on what I say I’ll do. I empathize with the callers by putting myself in their shoes – that is what I would expect if I were asking for help.”

The Inside Sales Department was created to enhance the service and communication between Rowe / AMI distributors and operators. And response has been more than positive. There is no doubt that the friendly, knowledgeable Inside Sales team at Rowe is a big reason that more and more operators continue to install more and more AMI Powered jukeboxes.  Here is how you can reach the Inside Sales team:

Steve covers the Eastern states and can be reached on his direct line 616.248.9418 or via email at slittell@roweinternational.com.

Broderick handles the Central states and can be reached at 616.246.0449 or via email at bnorkus@roweinternational.com.

Matt has charge of the Western states and can be reached at 616.246.0498 or via email at mlongcore@roweinternational.com.

Rock Around The Clock: Rowe’s AMI Technical Service Hotline Is Now Live 24/7

Rowe International Corp. is pleased to announce that its technical service hotline will be available 24/7 to answer questions and provide technical support for operators who subscribe to Rowe’s AMI Entertainment digital music service.

Rowe’s 24 hour service, called “Rock Around The Clock,” streamlines the phone support process:  no pagers, no waiting and no recorded service messages. John Margold, Rowe’s senior vice-president of sales and marketing says that the Hotline is fully staffed and when an operator calls he will speak directly to a factory trained service tech.

The AMI technical service hotline may be reached at (877) ROC-N-ROL (762-6765).

The 24/7 telephone support program is the latest enhancement to Rowe’s digital music technical service group, which was created last year to address the special needs of downloading jukeboxes and AMI Entertainment, Rowe’s digital music division. The group is comprised of Rowe product experts and computer and network specialists who now provide round-the-clock coverage, seven days a week, for technical issues related to the AMI Entertainment Network and Rowe jukebox software and hardware. Gordy Anderson, a 24-year Rowe veteran who has extensive experience in manufacturing and service with the Grand Rapids jukebox factory, directs the team.

From Bebop to Hiphop, Rowe International Produces its One-Millionth Jukebox

Renowned, Grand Rapids-based  coin-op machine manufacturer observes 97 years of innovation.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Rowe International Corp., the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial jukeboxes, is celebrating a musical milestone: the production of its one-millionth jukebox. The jukebox, a digital NiteStar that connects to the AMI Entertainment Network, Rowe’s online music management service, rolled off the assembly line July 11. The milestone represents the company’s 97 years of ingenuity in the automatic music industry, from the design and manufacture of automatic player pianos and 78-RPM and 45-RPM coin phonographs, to laser compact disc and digital downloading jukeboxes.

“Since the early days of the Automatic Music Industry, Rowe has been making musical history and advancing jukebox technology,” says John Margold, Rowe’s senior vice president of sales and marketing. “Back then, we were the first company to play both sides of a record.  Today, Rowe is the only factory that maintains an online music service to support its jukeboxes, offering even more value to the coin-operated amusement industry. The strong acceptance of NiteStar, and all of Rowe’s new Internet-access jukeboxes, has helped us realize the extraordinary accomplishment of manufacturing 1 million jukeboxes.”

Many of the classic models from the various jukebox eras are on exhibit today in Rowe’s jukebox museum in Grand Rapids. Their unique styles reflect the periods they served. The stylized “Art Deco” motif of the 1930s gave way to “Arts and Crafts” theme and then to the “Classic Mid-Century Design” and the flamboyant sci-fi designs of the 1960s. “Some of these early designs are a far cry from present-day computer-driven jukeboxes,” Margold said, “but they were the modern marvels of their time.”

While Rowe has earned its place in history as one of the most influential organizations in the coin-operated music industry, its new jukeboxes, also on display in the museum, illustrate how skillfully the company has kept pace with, and taken full advantage of, today’s information technology to provide the 21st century patron with the best musical entertainment available.

Proof of this capability, which has enabled Rowe to adapt to technological and social changes, is the cumulative production of one million machines. Jukebox number 1,000,000, a NiteStar, features both broadband and dialup functionality and is powered by AMI, which provides and manages digital music content, software and networking technology. It offers the patron a choice of more than a quarter-million songs and the ability to enter searches by easily defined criteria. It allows them to pay a premium to move their selection to the front of the queue, and to use coins, bills or credit cards to make purchases. It enables music vendors to apply genre filters to tailor content for a jukebox location’s music tastes, and customize selections according to the time of day and the day of the week.

Rowe Introduces Conversion Kit To Upgrade NSM CD Jukeboxes To AMI-Powered Digital Systems

Shipments will begin in late June; full production to follow in July. Based upon early demand, operators are urged to contact their Rowe distributor and reserve quickly.

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (May 24, 2006) - Rowe International Corp., the only company that manufactures jukeboxes and maintains a nationwide entertainment network to manage music content, announced today the availability of a conversion kit that upgrades NSM jukes to contemporary Internet-access jukeboxes. Called the NSM Jump kit, the newest CD-to-digital conversion solution from Rowe is designed specifically to upgrade legacy NSM wall-mounting jukeboxes to full-featured downloading systems powered by AMI Entertainment, the jukebox manufacturer's music content and technology subsidiary.

Rowe's latest Jump kit converts all NSM wall models using ES audio technology versions 4.0 through 5.1, excluding the Gemstar and Gemfire brands. It joins Rowe's original Jump digital upgrade, the only authorized conversion kit, which rolled out last fall, that updates the manufacturer's popular 100, 100A, 100B, 100C and 100D compact disc jukeboxes, and Jump kits for the factory's Encore compact floor model and Berkeley and Storm wall-mounting boxes, which shipped in March. Rounding the conversion kit lineup is new Jump upgrade for the Rowe's Model E. The wide-ranging options provide Rowe/AMI operators with the most comprehensive "kitting" tools, allowing them expand digital music services on their routes without investing in a brand new digital jukebox.

The new NSM Jump upgrade kit consists of a new front door fitted with a 15-inch touch-enabled flat monitor, which replaces the CD title display rack on the NSM box. Other key components include a core computer, Rowe's high-capacity hard drive and a four-port router, along with hardware – harnesses, wiring and communication electronics – for all connections and hardware and harnessing for mounting MEI (Mars) AE2411 or AE2611 banknote validators. Also included are schematics and user-friendly technical manuals containing instructions on how to connect a jukebox client to the AMI Entertainment Network and how to operate and remotely manage a digital jukebox.

To streamline the conversion procedure, Rowe designed a new door that replaces the NSM box's original door. The new front fixture, a modification of the same door fabricated for Rowe's Berkeley, Storm and Symphony wall-mounting LaserStar CD lineup, permits the removal of various NSM lighting parts, creating room for the optimal installation of the new digital components, thus, greatly simplifying the conversion. The new door's graphics, which are available in a choice of blue burst or pink burst, are backlit by solid-state LEDs, which replace short-lived fluorescent bulbs.

"We developed a flawless adaptation that produces an attractive, functional and modern Internet-access jukebox that is in demand at locations nationwide," said John Margold, Rowe's senior vice president of sales and marketing. "The kit, which comes with a thorough installation guide, is so well designed that an operator's technical and service people can easily install it themselves. Rowe's phone technical support team, who can be reached at (877) ROC-N-ROL, is available to assist operators with any issue."

The door secures to the original NSM cabinet using special mounting hardware provided in the kit. Also recycled are the top crown and wall-mounting bracket. The update requires that the original keyboard/display unit and central computer remain operative to maintain the integrated tone and volume controls for the original NSM amplifier, which also is reused.

Standard features in the Jump digital upgrades for Rowe-built CD jukeboxes, which convert eight different Rowe models, are 15-inch. touch-enabled flat displays, core computers, high-capacity hard drives and harnessing, wiring and communication electronics. Graphic panels, illuminated by LED backlighting, come in a variety of attractive color patterns to complement a model's trim styles: red planet, blue swirl, orange grunge and colorburst, along with blue and green. For the new 100E kit, Rowe suggests the red planet or orange grunge pattern to balance the cabinet's black and silver trim colors.

For all of its digital jukebox products, both new purpose-built and CD-to-digital conversions, Rowe offers an optional terminal kit for cashless transactions, allowing customers to use their MasterCard or Visa credit cards to make music purchases. The kit easily retrofits into any jukebox running AMI software. AMI's cashless payment solution is supported by Peppercoin Inc., a leading small-transaction processing company that specializes in micropayments. AMI is also the only Internet jukebox service provider that supports broadband or dialup connectivity.

Rowe backs all of its Jump digital upgrade kit with wide-ranging warranties that cover electrical and mechanical parts and circuit boards for two years, LCDs for one year, touch screen controllers for five years and sensors for 10 years. In addition, Rowe is the only jukebox manufacturer that offers a lifetime warranty on its hard drives, and will replace them, at no charge, for the life of an AMI contract.

Jumpstart Earnings Again

Jumpstart earnings again. Upgrade your Rowe CD 100, 100A, 100B, 100C and 100D model jukeboxes with the Jumpô Upgrade Kit. The only Rowe authorized digital upgrade kit.

Rowe International Combines Promotional Resources with Merit Entertainment to Create an Exciting Offer for the New Year.

"Jump into 2006" makes MegaNet connectivity and Merit software upgrades available to AMI Music operators at No Charge. Program coincides with release of AMI's exciting WOW software and introduction of Rowe CD-to-Digital upgrade kits.

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (January 12, 2006) - Rowe International Corp. and its digital content subsidiary, AMI Entertainment, have joined forces with Merit Entertainment. In the first quarter of 2006, any operator who purchases an AMI powered jukebox and connects it to the AMI Network via broadband in the same location with a similarly connected Merit Ion Counter Top game connection will receive Merit's MegaNet package FREE for one year. In addition, the operator will get the next Merit software upgrade for that Ion for FREE as well. Total value is $ 750.00.

Rowe distributors have strong incentives for operators to upgrade their routes to the AMI powered jukeboxes - both "dedicated" jukeboxes (NiteStar and Solara floor models and StarBrite and StarBrite-Lite wall models) and the new Rowe "JUMP Kits" that will convert older Rowe CD jukeboxes into digital jukeboxes that connect to the AMI Music Network. Unlike the cross promotion with the Merit Ion, supplies are limited and may run out before March 31. Operators must move quickly on this "first come, first served" program. Rowe encourages them to ask their distributors for more details.

AMI is also releasing the software enhancement known as the "WOW" release. First of the two key elements of WOW is the ability to allow an AMI powered jukebox to run as a High Speed full featured downloading jukebox and as a dial-up digital jukebox. This gives operators a choice for how to download music on every jukebox. The second major part of the release is the Kwik Pick feature - a giant leap past the "Top 10" or "Popular" buttons of the past. Kwik Pick allows a patron to use all credits with one touch.

WOW's dial-up solution and Kwik Pick, both patent pending, are the latest examples of Rowe's innovative approaches to digital jukeboxes that give more value to operators and the locations they serve. These software updates will continue the frequent and ongoing process of AMI system improvements, downloaded automatically to AMI subscribers. The previous update to Rowe Internet jukeboxes added MasterCard and Visa cashless payment capability and expanded flexibility in managing music using programmable lockouts and schedules.

Details on the "Jump into 2006" promotion and the WOW software upgrade are available by contacting your local, authorized Rowe distributor.


Rowe International announced today that David Logan has been appointed as President of Rowe AMI, the leading Music Networking and Jukebox Company. Mr. Logan will also retain his responsibilities as President of Merit Entertainment, the industryĀfs leading Touchscreen Entertainment Company. Both companies are majority owned by Harbour Group, a St. Louis based private investment company.

"I am very pleased to accept this new assignment", said Logan. "With Merit and Rowe working together on product development, and sharing our capabilities, we can develop better products and solutions for our operators, and implement them more quickly and cost effectively".

"The two companies will continue to be separate entities, which have distinct distribution policies, although we will begin to coordinate some of our efforts in the marketplace", continued Logan.

Jeff Martin, who continues as Chairman of both companies, commented, "We are delighted to have Dave Logan, who has demonstrated excellent leadership skills at Merit, now overseeing both companies. This step will allow us to leverage the strengths of both companies in a way that will bring benefit more rapidly to our customers". The two companies have already announced several joint product development initiatives.

For further information, contact David Logan at 215-639-4700.

Merit Entertainment
For more than 27 years, Merit Entertainment has afforded long-term return on investment for operators by providing continually high-earning equipment along with updates and upgrades for its products. With an installed base of over 250,000 touch-screen games garnering nearly 4.6 billion plays per year, Merit Entertainment is the worldwide leader in touch-screen entertainment devices. Merit EntertainmentĀfs products appear globally in a wide array of venues and appeal to an almost limitless demographic. Merit continues to expand its position in the industry with ever-increasing entertainment, content, and new games. The company maintains a Web site with all the latest information at www.meritind.com.


Versatile 'Bill Breaker' series is offered in single and double denomination payouts, and front- and rear-load configurations.

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (September 20, 2005) óRowe International Corp. is pleased to announce the availability of a line of bill changers that can dispense one or two bill denominations in change, in addition to coins. Called "Bill Breaker," the line includes both front and rear load versions. All versions are equipped with MEI "2611-U5E" bill validators and Fujitsu banknote dispensers. They accept $5, $10 and $20 bills.

There are 12 "500" series models. The "500-1" is a front-loading changer that pays back notes of one denomination; the "500C-1" adds single-denomination coin payback capability, and the "500C2-1" can dispense two coin denominations. The "500RL-1," "500RL-2" and "500RLC2-1" are rear-loading versions with the same features.

The "500-2" is a front-loading changer able to dispense two banknote denominations. The "500C-2" adds the ability to pay back one coin denomination, and the "500C2-2" can pay back two coin denominations. Their rear-loading counterparts are designated "500RL-2," "500RLC-2" and "500RLC2-2," respectively.

All 12 offer four-way banknote acceptance and one 500-bill stacker, and are "Fast Feed Shut-down" capable. The standard Fujitsu bill dispenser has a cassette capacity of 500 new or 300 used banknotes, and a reject-tray capacity of 20 notes. All Rowe "Bill Breakers" offer alphanumeric displays for customer and help information. Cabinets feature dual high-security locks, and are finished in black using durable powder coating. Rear-loading models are supplied with 1/8-in. stainless steel faceplates. They're covered by a one-year warranty.

Options for the Rowe "Bill Breaker" changers include a mounting base for the front-load models, remote data access and an audit-trail printer. Also available optionally is an MEI bill validator for $50 and $100 note acceptance.

"'Bill Breaker' is perfect for game rooms and site-based entertainment venues where security is important," notes Rowe vice president of major accounts Tom Kozlik. "It is designed for locations that have a need for the handling of large bills, and a desire to keep that currency out of the hands attendants. It is a secure 24/7 attendant that reduces labor costs and increases control of revenue."

The "Bill Breaker" line is making its debut during the 2005 fall show and open house season. Further information is available by contacting the manufacturer at 1500 Union Ave., Grand Rapids, MI 49507, tel. (800) 393-0201, www.roweinternational.com.


GRAND RAPIDS, MI (August 9, 2005) — Rowe International Corp. has begun downloading a new version of the software that controls its popular digital Internet-access jukeboxes and their interaction with the AMI Entertainment Network. The enhanced software, which is supported by several "behind the scenes" changes to the AMI, is being downloaded to AMI subscribers today.

"New improvements to the system software include the ability to accommodate cashless payments, and enhancements to category management that give operators greater flexibility in tailoring programs to specific customer needs," explained Rowe International vice president of sales and marketing John Margold.

The cashless payment capability enables operators to install an optional terminal kit permitting payment with MasterCard and Visa credit cards. The kit is easily retrofitted to Rowe StarBrite™, NiteStar™ and Solara™ jukeboxes connected to the AMI Entertainment Network; it interfaces to the core computer by means of a USB connector. In use, the new software detects when a card is swiped through the terminal, performs local security checks, then offers the patron the choice of purchasing $5, $10 or $20 of credit.

The other principal advance incorporated into the new software version is expanded flexibility in managing music categories. The Rowe downloading jukebox system has permitted operators to block individual selections, or entire categories of music, to conform to location desires and sensibilities. Until now, such blocking was "all or nothing" — a category or a selection was available in a location, or it was blocked there.

The new software release introduces "schedules" to allow programmed blocking. Similarly, individual songs — for example, those with explicit lyrics — can be blocked or permitted according to a schedule. Also new is a provision for the operator subscriber to choose to apply "music lockouts" only to "Music on Demand" download selections — those that the customer orders directly from AMI's remote music library, bypassing the jukebox's onboard hard drive — while permitting access to all the "local" songs.

Related new features are custom play lists, a new selection screen and several new Timer functions. Music Popularity Reports also have been given additional detail in the latest software release.


GRAND RAPIDS, MI (August 11, 2005) — As Rowe International's Digital Music business, AMI Entertainment continues to grow, the company continues to increase its sales and support staff. The latest move is the appointment of Steve Littell to a newly created Inside Sales Representative position. "More and more operators are joining the AMI family, and we want to provide prompt answers to any questions they may have," stated Sr. VP of Sales & Marketing John Margold. He added, "Steve Littell has a unique background that makes him well qualified to provide a high level of operator support. Often the Rowe "road warriors" (Regional Sales Managers) are on airplanes or at shows and are hard to reach. Steve will be readily available to operators when they wish to speak to a Rowe sales representative."

Steve is no stranger to Rowe or the jukebox business. His career in coin-op began at Rowe 20 years ago, and he has grown within the company. After acquiring an electronics degree, Steve hired in as an Electronic Technician and filled various positions over the next few years within the service, repair and equipment testing departments. He moved into a Technical Phone Support position for Rowe for a couple of years and then it was on to a Midwest Sales Manager position in the music line. Steve also held the title of Western Regional Sales Representative serving the car-wash and laundry changer market. Recently he has helped create and expand the AMI Music Technical Service Hotline. Steve is back in the sales department to enhance the service and communication between AMI Music and operators.

Steve can be reached on his direct line 616.248.9418 or via email at slittell@roweinternational.com