Thursday, April 19, 2007

Making the case for music download burning kiosks

The Kiosks and Self-Service Blog caught this blog article/rant on the music downloading kiosk industry, or rather, the lack of such an industry right now. Despite projects of varying success levels by Starbucks, Wal-Mart and TWE (via their holding in Mix-and-Burn), music kiosks still seem to be a hard sell. Maybe it's because anybody with an Internet connection can download music -- legally or illegally -- with ease directly to a CD-R or MP3 player. Maybe it's because the world's most popular MP3 player, the iPod, uses a proprietary DRM system. Or maybe it's just because people aren't primed to buy music when they happen to encounter these kiosks out in the real world. Enter Mediaport Entertainment, a Salt Lake City-based kiosk provider whose machines can be used to transfer audiobooks, music, games, ringtones, etc. to compatible devices. The company has just entered an agreement with Power Music (they supply of workout soundtracks and compilations), to help push the Mediaport kiosks into gyms and fitness centers.

While I know that I arrive at the gym with an iPod pre-loaded with tunes that I hope are going to give me some help during the next hour of aerobic hell, I love the idea of using the kiosk to push a value-added content product instead of individual tracks that could be downloaded anywhere, and I'd be much more likely to try out somebody's "ultimate 30 minute weightlifting mix" or "60 minute power walking tracks" compilation than use a kiosk to buy a random assortment of tunes that I could just have easily taken off of the net or downloaded from iTunes.

Whether this business model will work remains to be seen. But at least MediaPort has recognized the struggles of much larger competitors, and is working to address those challenges in a unique way.

Tags: MediaPort, interactive kiosks, music download

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