Sony deploys hi-res audio kiosks in Magnolia Design Centers
Sony Electronics, continuing its pro-active strategy in promoting Hi-Res Audio, has partnered with Best Buy in the launch of a Hi-Res listening station in each of the 79 Magnolia Design Centers throughout the country. The stations are supported by Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group.
“We’re working with every key [Hi-Res] stakeholder and delivering a wide variety of devices for every lifestyle,” said Mike Fasulo, Sony Electronics president and COO at a launch event held in the Magnolia Design Center section of the Best Buy nearest New York City’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. He pointed out that augmenting hardware and content availability with making demonstrations of Hi-Res’s quality available to consumers was crucial in promoting Hi-Res Audio to consumers – and that that was the impetus for this marketing move.
“High-resolution music belongs at Magnolia,” added Michael Crane, Best Buy’s director of merchandising, in remarks explaining his company’s decision to allocate retail real estate to the kiosks.
Each listening station is outfitted with two systems: the $300 Sony NWZ-A17 Hi-Res Walkman paired with the $300 MDR-1A headphones, and the $1,200 NW-ZX2 Hi-Res Walkman, which is tethered to the $300 PHA-1A headphone amplifier and the $700 MDR-Z7 headphones.
The kiosks are preprogrammed with 40 miscellaneous Hi-Res music clips from all major labels and genres, and the playlist will be updated on a quarterly basis, said Marc Finer, senior director of the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG), who emceed the launch event.
The program also encompasses consumer incentive offers. Sony Electronics, in cooperation with Sony Music Entertainment, will provide a free Hi-Res Audio download of Storyteller, Carrie Underwood’s latest album, to buyers of an NWZ-A17 or NW-ZX2 Hi-Res Walkman player between Dec. 1 and Jan. 16. The program is being facilitated through HDTracks, which offers downloadable Hi-Res music.