N2K's Music Boulevard Signs Exclusive Partnership with Fresh Picks for Supermarket Sales of Music (PR Newswire; 02/04/98)
NEW YORK, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire/ Leveraging the shifting buying habits of American music purchasers, N2K Inc. (Nasdaq: NTKI) today entered into an exclusive five-year relationship with Fresh Picks, Inc., a premier distributor of music through the supermarket channel, to bring the Music Boulevard online shopping experience to interactive touch-screen kiosks being installed in supermarkets nationwide.
Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, Fresh Picks builds and maintains free- standing music departments in supermarkets, offering up to 800 music titles at each location for immediate purchase. To complement and expand the catalog offered in these stores, N2K will develop a customized version of its 200,000- title music store, Music Boulevard ( http://www.musicblvd.com ), to be integrated into interactive touch screen music kiosks found at these locations. The kiosks will allow shoppers to browse through a comprehensive catalog of music titles and related merchandise and purchase products in a secure environment through the kiosk.
"We see a tremendous potential in bringing the music buying experience into high-traffic traditional retail environments such as supermarkets," said Jim Coane, President and Chief Operating Officer, N2K Inc. "Through this partnership with Fresh Picks, we can offer shoppers the convenience of browsing the entire Music Boulevard catalog quickly and easily, enhancing the shopping experience for a wider audience of music consumers, some of whom may not yet be connected to the Internet."
Research shows that consumers over 25, the largest record-buying demographic, visit traditional record stores less frequently but continue to visit supermarkets regularly. In addition, data shows that this age group is the fastest growing segment and accounts for 60 percent of all music purchases. Coupled with this is research that shows supermarket customers visit the store an average of 2.2 times each week. These trends indicate the benefit of offering consumers the opportunity to purchase music in a convenient and comfortable environment.
"N2K's Music Boulevard is a perfect addition to our turn-key operation which enables a supermarket chain to become a leading player in the music business," said Michael Rigby, President and Chief Operating Officer, Fresh Picks. "This partnership enables Fresh Picks to offer the best music retailing experience, marrying on-site availability of top selling albums with the most comprehensive virtual inventory in an easy to use kiosk. Both Fresh Picks and N2K are winners in this relationship."
The Music Boulevard/Fresh Picks music kiosks also include a video screen that will play relevant advertising for special Music Boulevard promotions during times in which the kiosk is not being used by a customer for a purchase. Music Boulevard is currently in discussions with record labels to utilize this unique interactive display area to feature current and special catalogues and titles.
N2K Inc. is a leading online music entertainment company among whose premier music partners include America Online, Netscape, Excite, MTV/VH-1, WebTV, Home, AT&T WorldNet and PointCast. By combining an effective online music transaction system with a comprehensive network of online music channels, N2K has created the Internet's most complete music entertainment solution. N2K offers a choice of more than 200,000 music titles on its Music Boulevard online superstore and creates original music programming and content available through its award-winning music channels, which include Rocktropolis.com, JazzCentralStation.com, ClassicalInsites.com, DavidBowie.com, StonesWorld.com, LeonardBernstein.com and allstarmag.com. The company pioneered e_mod, the first secure and commercially viable digital online music delivery system. N2K also maintains an independent record company, N2K Encoded Music. Traded on Nasdaq under the symbol "NTKI", N2K Inc. is based in New York at 55 Broad Street, New York, NY 10004, Internet address: http://www.n2k.com. Telephone: 212-378-5555.
This release may contain forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to the impact from competition for Internet content and merchandise and recorded music; dependence on strategic alliance partners, suppliers and distributors; market acceptance of the Internet for commerce and as a medium for advertising; technological changes and difficulties; and other risks detailed in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.