April 2010 –  “Try before you buy” is a philosophy followed by many consumers, no matter what they happen to be purchasing. With this in mind, the Alliance of Independent Media Stores (AIMS) recently decided it needed a solution that would allow its independent record store members to preview a music CD making a decision to purchase. AIMS also wanted to better handle common marketing campaigns executed at member stores throughout the U.S., while retaining individual stores’ ability to engage in marketing initiatives geared toward their audience.

AIMS engaged Broadtime, a Richmond, Virginia-based provider of technology applications for the music industry, to deliver a solution that enables independent music stores to better market and sell music CD’s. To meet this need, they delivered the Broadtime Preview Platform which integrates their Tune Portals software with a Pioneer POS 17” StealthTouch-M7 all-in-one touchcomputer and an integrated barcode scanner. The Pioneer POS all-in-one touchcomputers feature powerful Intel processing capabilities and can effortlessly run both Broadtime’s operating system and the application for on-screen presentation driven by its content management system.

A total of 30 listening stations were installed in 29 stores. Solution and deployment took four to six weeks from planning and execution to delivery. Each store was provided with a detailed worksheet containing all the information they required to get the system up and running in a day or two. Total investment in the system was about $75,000, exclusive of Broadtime’s monthly licensing fees. Jon Berger, President and CEO of Broadtime, commented, “Broadtime is really excited to provide these independent retailers with the ability to execute such a modern innovative solution to help grow their businesses.”

The solution features an intuitive, easy-to-use interface. To sample the content of a CD, shoppers simply swipe the product’s bar code across the bar code scanner on the music listening station or search by artist or song title via the touchscreen interface. A “search-and-browse” feature of the content management system component enables individuals who are not certain which CDs they would like to sample to easily locate various options. The flexibility of the configuration also permits central control of advertising and promotional information and video music previews appearing on the touch screens, as well as facilitates customization of screen content by individual stores.

AIMS stores have seen increases in CD sales and happier, repeat customers, since the solution was implemented; sampling music truly bolsters’ consumer satisfaction and the desire to complete a purchase, its retailers have discovered. Using the technology to display co-op advertising drives additional dollars that could not be tapped before the solution was deployed. Executing primary, common marketing campaigns is easy for AIMS because changes in display content can be made remotely for each store and advertisers are satisfied that compliance with advertising display directions is achieved through such control.

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