Ready to Play is Ready to Rip
Complementing the rise in digital media servers and hard drive portable players is a potential consumer headache: time spent ripping a massive music collection.
That's the opinion of Jeff Tedesco, CEO and founder of Ready To Play, a Palo Alto, Calif., company that is working with retailers and integrators to offer its service of encoding music files for consumers.
"For the retailer, it doubles the price of the ticket," says Tedesco.
Ready To Play has been offering its services to consumers via its web site, but now it is extending its reach as a service sold in the retail channel. Tedesco sees a larger potential for growth of his business at retail and has been working to sign up partners. The first to sign on was Cambridge SoundWorks, which offers the service at its retail locations in New England and the San Francisco bay area, and nationally via its web site.
The idea is to offer the service as an add-on to sales of digital media servers or portable players. The dealer gets a cut of the sale for the service, which is approximately $1.10 MSRP per CD; per-CD prices drop as the number of discs in the CD collection increases.
Retailers can sell the service through either of two models: direct or referral. Under the direct method—the more lucrative of the two—dealers selling the service handle the shipping and logistics of sending the customer's CD collection to Ready To Play, which does the actual encoding. The referral method involves a placing a sticker on the boxes of digital media server products and including an order form that consumers can fill out and use to send collections to Ready To Play on their own. A code on the form indicates the dealer of origination, who is then compensated for the referral.