In Search of the Best 10×10

10x10-1I know how hard it is to exhibit at tradeshows, and I especially feel for the rugged small business exhibitors who brave the formidable expense intense labor that comes with doing most of your own setup. Sometimes I feel these booths don’t get all the attention they could and you end up finding some particularly innovative companies, products and business models nestled among the Samsung and Crestrons of the AV tradeshow world.

Today I’m going to give a shout-out to StreamIt – a mass remote retail music management box company. Retailers like WholeFoods and smaller cool boutiques are using these boxes to play, remotely control, manage and keep ASCAP metadata for music in all of their stores from one place. Before, most stores all individually would run their own PC setups connected to the commercial audio systems – but that method can lead to playlist inconsistencies, outages, wasted time and money. Streamit will hand-configure each box for each physical location and static IP.

Where this gets interesting is the strange, profitable business model that has sprung out of what amounts to a closed circuit private radio station over IP. Several enterprising DJ in the music industry have sold contracts to large business chains for a private mix of music piped directly into stores that rely on a marketing image of being on the bleeding edge of trendiness. Unlike other business oriented music providers, they have a personality controlling the mix rather than services like algorithm based services like Pandora Business. ASCAP is still being paid, so it is in effect still a radio station. These DJs are setting up substantial contracts to provide these boxes as a direct pipe to their hip reputation.

If you’re integrating retail, you should definitely stop by C10249 and talk to William Schmidt!