Friday, March 31, 2006

Trans World Entertainment (owner of fye) acquires majority stake in Mix & Burn

Isn't that interesting. As picked up by Kiosk Marketplace,
Trans World Entertainment Corp., an entertainment specialty retailer and parent of f.y.e. ("for your entertainment"), announced that it has acquired a controlling interest in Mix & Burn LLC, a provider of digital content services to retailers nationwide. Using Mix & Burn's technology, consumers mix and burn music CDs and download digital songs on demand, allowing the creation of customized playlists from an extensive catalog of new and old content. According to a news release, Mix & Burn will soon expand its offerings to include downloads onto a music player, cell phone and portable video player.
While I don't know a lot about Mix & Burn's business (CD burning kiosks are a tough niche to play in, seeing as you have big complex hardware requirements, lots of data to transfer, and massive issues with DRM and studio compliance), I wonder if the conversation was anything like this:

FYE: We want to install another 1,000 kiosks and upgrade the software with some new features.
M&B: Ok, that will be $15M please.
FYE: I have a better idea. How's about I give you $5M and buy your company

Granted there would be some negotiations, but if fye saw a real value in offering media-on-demand, this would make sense for them.

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