On June 7, CDnow, the world's top online music retailer, announced that it had acquired superSonicBOOM, an Internet custom-compilation disc business. The acquisition gives CDnow the ability to offer its customers custom discs as well as catalog product, said Jason Olim, CDnow President and CEO.
Engineering facilities and a finished-goods warehouse at Altec Lansing Technologies' Milford, Pennsylvania, headquarters were damaged by fire late Sunday, May 31. The blaze was said to have been exacerbated by severe weather. No injuries were reported.
Software giant Microsoft Corporation has entered the audio market with a satellite-and-subwoofer speaker system for use with personal computers. The Digital Sound System 80 made its debut at this year's Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3), held May 28-30 in Atlanta's World Congress Center. The system was designed in conjunction with Philips Electronics NV of the Netherlands, one of the world's largest electronics companies.
The practice of "Transshipping"---selling a product outside one's designated territory---is widespread in the audio industry. It's commonplace for dealers to sell not only to walk-in customers, but also over the telephone or Internet to customers in other dealers' territories, usually at discounted prices. While not problematic on a small scale, the practice favors large-volume dealers over smaller ones, and is almost always a violation of a dealer's agreement with a manufacturer.
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.
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 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 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.