Hundreds of manufacturers will be demonstrating state-of-the-art audio products at HI-FI '98---some of which have never before been seen by the public. We are running several announcements each week leading up to the Show to give you a taste of what to expect. Here's the third assortment:
Returned products are problematic for consumers, retailers, and manufacturers. Returns have always eaten into profits in the audio and video business. Everybody knows that. What isn't widely known is that the Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association sponsors an annual conference to help deal with the problem.
On May 18, 1998, James D. Dunning, Jr., Chairman and CEO of the Petersen Companies, Inc., announced an agreement to acquire Stereophile Magazine and Stereophile Guide to Home Theater---two of this country's leading high-end audio and home-theater publications---as well as HI-FI '98, The Home Theater & Specialty Audio Show.
Media conglomerate Viacom, parent company of Blockbuster Music, has reportedly put the ailing chain on the auction block. Most likely buyer is Torrance, California-based music retailer Wherehouse Entertainment, Inc., which has 220 stores of its own, primarily on the West Coast. On Wednesday, May 13, Reuters news service reported that Wherehouse had tendered an offer of $200 million for Blockbuster. Wherehouse has been in intermittent discussions for several months with Viacom.
Author and television producer Howard J. Blumenthal has completed his Jazz and World Music CD Listener's Guides, the first two volumes in a four-volume series. The publications include brief biographies of the top artists in each genre, arranged alphabetically, and hundreds of short reviews of the discs the author considers essential.
The worldÆs first DVD-Audio single will soon be out from the rock group Full on the Mouth. "People Mover" is a track from the groupÆs forthcoming album, Collide. "We felt a 5.1 surround-sound mix would be a great medium to showcase the capabilities and technology of DVD and the electronic elements of Full on the Mouth,'' said Charlie Lico, chief executive officer of the bandÆs label, Pioneer Music Group, which is a subsidiary of Pioneer Electronic Corporation.
On Tuesday, May 5, beleaguered Carver announced that it had received a financial transfusion of almost $400,000 and that it would make a move into direct marketing in an attempt to bolster flagging sales. The Woodinville, Washingon-based company announced in a press release that it "had closed a sale of 3,000,000 shares of restricted Common Stock of the Company to one of its preferred shareholders, Renwick Special Situations Fund, L.P., for $375,000, or $0.125 per share."
The numbers are up for CDnow. The world's largest online music retailer reported April 30 that its first-quarter sales increased 288% over the same period in 1997. The company took in $10 million in revenue through the period ending March 31, an increase of 26.4% over the previous quarter, in which revenue totaled $7.9 million.
On May 1, Niles Audio Corporation, Inc., manufacturer of audio/video custom installation components, announced that it had "successfully defended its indoor/outdoor speaker line against would-be imitators."