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JL Audio is known for its high-quality audio products manufactured entirely in the United States. At the huge Miramar, Fla. facility, the company utilizes state of the art tools and technology—including an on-site machine shop—to make everything in-house.

Words by Joey Knapp

 

Back in September I was in South Florida, and reached out to Stephen Turrisi (Director of Training and Technical Services for JL Audio) to see if I could go on a tour of their facility. Regular readers of Tech Today may remember that I had a chance to tour the Focal factory a few years ago, so I was eager to see what was happening at JL Audio.

I have known Steve for many years and it seems fitting for a man so obsessed with magnets to be working at one of the top audio manufacturers. I was thankful that he was... Read the rest of the story HERE.

 

Now Shipping, the Affordable and Element Ready PMX-BTUR Remote Control Allows

Users to Adjust Volume, Track, Play, and Pause on Android® or Apple® Mobile Devices

TEMPE, Ariz. – December 17, 2018 – Enthusiasts who use a mobile device as their source are going to love this remote’s compatibility due to its Element Ready design, which makes it perfect for any weather or riding condition.

Rockford Fosgate (www.rockfordfosgate.com), the industry leader in high-performance audio systems, is proud to announce the launch of the PMX-BTUR universal Bluetooth® remote control. It’s designed for use on automotive, marine, and SXS steering wheels, or motorcycle handlebars like the Road King® that utilize a mobile device as the source for the audio system. With an MSRP of only $99.99, the PMX-BTUR is now shipping.

“The PMX-BTUR allows the user to adjust Volume, Track, Play, and Pause on Android® or Apple® mobile devices,” explained Jake Braaten, Rockford Vice President of New Product Development and Engineering. “The Bluetooth® 4.0 Smart Ready receiver quickly and easily pairs with your mobile device using an easy one-button pairing control. Two options are included with the remote…a bezel for hand-held control, and a bezel for mounting with a Velcro strap that easily secures the remote to the steering wheel. IP67 Water Intrusion, Salt Spray, and UV Compliant, it’s the ideal remote for marine or SXS enthusiast.”

Additional features and specifications for the PMX-BTUR include:

  • Easy One Button Pairing
  • 10 Meter Bluetooth® Range
  • Compatible with Android 5.0 and Above, iOS 8.0 and Above
  • Up to Two Years of Standby Time
  • Hand-Held and Steering Wheel Options Included
  • LED Pairing Indicator (Green)
  • LED Low Battery Indicator (Red)
  • FCC, IC, RCM, CE Certified
  • 1 Year Warranty

For more information on the PMX-BTUR Bluetooth® universal remote control, please visit rockfordfosgate.com.

 

About Rockford Corporation

Setting the standard for excellence in the audio industry, the Rockford Corporation markets and distributes high-performance audio systems for the mobile, motorsport, and marine audio aftermarket and OEM market.  Headquartered in Tempe, Ariz., Rockford Corporation is a publicly traded company and manufactures or distributes its products under multiple brands: Rockford Fosgate(R), CrimeStopper, and Renegade. For more information, please visit: www.rockfordfosgate.com, www.crimestopper.com, and www.renegadecaraudio.com.

 

17 Dec

December Issue Feature: Waylens Vision Quest

Monday, 17 December 2018

The Support Team: Vision Quest

Establishing a name for itself with cameras for enthusiasts and security purposes, Waylens has its eye on enhancing drivers’ experiences while backing its growing dealer network.

Words by Jamie Sorcher

Born out of the highly respected MIT Media Lab and just a few years fresh from its Kickstarter campaign, Boston-based Waylens is well on its way to becoming a household name in the 12-volt world. Right now, the company has two automotive cameras in the market—Horizon and Secure360.

The company’s mission is to transform the way people enjoy their time behind the wheel. The first product, the Waylens Horizon, is perfect for the enthusiast. It lets drivers capture, edit and share interesting moments and automotive performance data from the road.

The Waylens Secure360 gives owners peace of mind. Lots of folks have basic remote start or security for their cars, but this takes things a step further, according to product manager Aaron Thomas.

“It’s like a mobile-drone option so you can remote start your car when you’re flying back from SEMA and can get it going at the airport before you even get there,” he said. “The big difference is that with existing products, you can’t actually see your car. You can control it, you can start it, but you can’t actually see it. You wouldn’t be able to get the evidence you might need for an insurance claim if something happened. That’s where our camera, the Secure360, steps in and that’s where the 4G connection gives you visual confirmation of... Read the rest of the story HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s Happening December 2018

With an increased media presence, a bigger exhibit hall and education sessions added in Spanish or with translators, the second year of KnowledgeFest Long Beach is projected to be even more successful—with the goal of making it an international event.

Words by Rosa Sophia

 

The first KnowledgeFest Long Beach took place in 2018, attracting over 1,100 attendees, and the second is scheduled for February 23 to 25, 2019. It is anticipated to have roughly the same amount of manufacturer trainings—60 hours—along with 30 to 40 hours of educational sessions.

Chris Cook, president of the Mobile Electronics Association, stated that he anticipates a significant growth in retailer attendance along with more interaction in education sessions. “Our first year was great, and our second year should be even better,” he said. Because more exhibitors are expected, the conference will be taking place in a much larger hall.

“We sold out the space last year,” Cook said, adding that it made sense to choose a larger hall in the Long Beach Convention Center for the 2019 event. “The hall we’re moving into is about 65 percent larger than the hall we used last year,” he noted.

With the completion of the first event came lessons learned, which will be applied to the second Long Beach conference. Also expected is an increased... Read the rest of the story HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Retaining Identity Within the Brand

The team at Al & Ed’s Autosound in Ontario, Calif. sets themselves apart by connecting in unique ways with clients. The shop has increased their focus on driver safety and powersports, while owner Dallas Setyadi envisions a future in which marine audio plays a larger part in his business.

Words by Rosa Sophia

In the mid-nineties, Dallas Setyadi came to the United States from Indonesia and discovered his love for car audio in California. After attending Riverside Community College and earning a degree in business, Setyadi entered the mobile electronics industry.

“I was totally new to car audio and I taught myself how to do installations,” he said, adding that car audio magazines inspired him to take things to the next level. “I would go to competitions, look at their work, buy magazines, and I would learn from all the pictures. That’s when I started teaching myself, and I began doing installs in my garage.” After working independently for two years, he set his sights on Al & Ed’s Autosound.

He worked at five other locations, then arrived at the Ontario, Calif. location, which he eventually bought in 2016 and currently owns.

Setyadi’s shop does a lot of custom fabrication, as well as lights, bumpers, lift kits and vehicle security. As an Al & Ed’s franchise location, name recognition and brand, products and advertising are all part of what the store receives as a member of the franchise.

Switching From Commission to Hourly Improves Staff Morale

The staff consists of Darren Sprayberry, who is the service manager and has been voted both in the Top 12 and the Top 100 Installers in the past; Adrian Preston, technician; Ludwing Monterroso, product specialist; and Franklin Pineda, product specialist. Setyadi himself is both a salesman and an installer.

Recently, the staff went from being commission-based to hourly pay. “Employees wanted it that way,” Setyadi said. “Some of them have been with us a long time and they are getting a little older, so they may not be as fast. Commission is great because you get more money, but it’s high paced, rapid and tough. With hourly, they can take more time with working on the... Read the rest of the story HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

How can you get the most out of your TSS or point-of-sale program? Consider the many features you may not be utilizing and learn to apply them to maximize both efficiency and profits.

Words by Richard Basler

When I was asked if I would be willing to write an article about the top 10 things you may not know about TSS, I said yes to the opportunity pretty quickly. I was excited about the chance to write an article for Mobile Electronics magazine, but nervous as well, since I had never written an article before. After a couple of days I began to think about what readers might have to say about a TSS article, such as, “Oh, great, another story about TSS.” But when I gave it some further thought, I realized I could write the article about TSS—and incorporate my thoughts and opinions based on 22 years of retail experience, which included using TSS at a 12-volt retail store, and other point-of-sale programs I worked with during that time.

It still surprises me when I speak with retailers and hear how little they are actually using of their TSS or point-of-sale program. These programs are designed to help us, but they are often underutilized. In this article, my goal is to provide TSS users with new information, so they can take full advantage of the program’s capabilities. I also want to provide some general information to encourage retailers to use TSS, or any other point-of-sale programs, in order to better manage and track their businesses.

Google Calendar Sync with TSS Scheduler

In TSS you can link each bay on the schedule screen to a Google Calendar you create within an existing Google Account. When you create a Google Account, a calendar is one of the features of that account. You have the ability to create additional calendars and name them whatever you choose. Each calendar you create is provided its own unique calendar ID.

To create the link between a bay on the schedule screen in TSS with a Google Calendar, begin by highlighting and copying the calendar ID of the first calendar and then close all browsers on the computer. Now go into the employee record for bay 1 of TSS, click the edit tab, then click the link tab, paste the ID into the calendar ID field of the window that opens and click the OK tab. Make sure there are... [Click Here] to read the rest of the feature.

 

Loud and Proud

With a strong SPL heritage, brick-and-mortar business model, unwavering respect for its dealers and solid Midwest values, DD Audio delivers not just the goods, but its good nature to all.

Words by Jamie Sorcher

Deep in the heart of America, based in Oklahoma City—a place nicknamed the Big Friendly—is where DD Audio has made its home. The company’s products, including marine, mobile, home, professional and industrial markets, as well as OEM, are American-designed and manufactured.

“We are very well known for our big subwoofers,” said sales and service manager Kevin Doyle, who has been with the company for nine years and is one of its 35 employees. “Our heritage is competition.”

Always Available to Assist Dealers, Above and Beyond today, DD Audio not only continues to carry that torch, but also maintains the incredibly strong rapport it has built with its dealer base. Part of that foundation comes from DD Audio’s sales team that is... Read the rest of the story HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

Community Focused

While Car-Tunes Inc. continues an ongoing remodel and prepares for a January anniversary marking 35 years in business, owner Kimberly Trainer makes innovation and strategy a part of her daily routine with the goal of giving clients exactly what they are looking for.

Words by Rosa Sophia

Car-Tunes Inc. in Greenville, Miss. endeavors to give the people what they want. When a nearby music store closed down several years ago, locals came into Car-Tunes and asked if they sold guitar strings, said owner Kimberly Trainer. “It just fits in so well with what we do.” She added that the business now sells musical instruments and related equipment to churches, schools, hobbyists and more.

Space for these items was factored into the recent remodel, which is still ongoing. “Eighteen years ago, we were a car stereo shop,” Trainer said, “but now we also have equal amounts of marine equipment, motorcycle equipment and safety items. We also sell guitars, keyboards and drums. Everything we do has to do with music.” Even Trainer’s youngest daughter is a musician and first learned to play the piano using a keyboard in the store.

Thanks to the remodel, everything is very interactive, she added. Customers can plug their phones into the units on the soundboard and listen to their own music to experience available products. Relatively new to home theater, the shop also offers an area for sampling theater-grade surround sound, Trainer said, along with popcorn for the ultimate experience.

Car-Tunes has been open since 1984, and Trainer has owned the business since 2001. In January of 2019, the shop will have been open for 35 years. According to Trainer, it began as an investment and became a passion.

From Banking and Finance to Business Ownership

Eighteen years ago, Trainer was looking for an investment. She went into Car-Tunes one day and asked the owner whether he’d be interested in selling. “He said no. He had started the business,” Trainer said. “But he thought about it, and a few weeks later he called me back and... Read the rest of the story HERE.

 

 

 

 

Las Vegas, Nev. – (October 29, 2018) SCOSCHE® – (pronounced skōsh/skohsh) Industries, innovators of award-winning consumer technology, powersports, car audio products and accessories will be introducing new products across the board at the upcoming SEMA and AAPEX Shows in Las Vegas, Nev. Visit us at SEMA in Booth #11717, North Hall of the Convention Center, and at AAPEX in Booth# 5542, Level 2 at the Sands Expo Center, for a demonstration of these and other innovative Scosche products.

The MagicMount™ Charge Direct Fit Qi-Wireless Charging Solutions join the Scosche range of MagicMount Pro Charge Wireless Charging window, dash and vent-mounted options. We’re adding to the growing line of Direct Fit vehicle make- and model-specific options, which now includes Toyota Tacoma and Tesla 3, as well as a universal version. The Universal version was selected by TWICE for a 2018 Very Important Product (VIP) Award.

The MagicMount Charge Direct Fit combines the latest (and safest) Qi Wireless Charging technology with the #1 U.S. mount brand. It provides up to 10W of charging power, supports Apple and Samsung Fast Charge, and holds your device securely with powerful, 100% device-safe Neodymium magnets. Qi-Certified for compatibility with current and future Qi-enabled devices, the Direct Fit includes advanced safety features such as foreign object detection.

Building on the success of the BaseClamp and TerraClamp lines of powersports mounts, Scosche will be debuting their latest addition, Terra2Clamps . Built from heavy duty resin and rust-free stainless steel hardware, Terra2Clamps, come in two sizes, which can be adjusted to accommodate a range of diameters from 1 to 3.5 inches. Designed to securely mount everything from a phone to a fire extinguisher to ATVs, UTVs, PWCs, boats, bikes and motorcycles, Terra2Clamps are adaptable, adjustable and affordable.

As the innovator of in-dash vehicle integration products, Scosche introduced the first generation of Integrated TouchScreen Control (ITC) installation kits in 2012. T his year we are excited to introduce the first kits to include a dual, full-color touchscreen system to control the vehicle’s HVAC, as well as other vehicle technology systems and convenience features. The kit requires no complex programming or cutting of any of the OEM wiring in the vehicle during installation.

The latest Scosche ITC line is comprised of: The Integrated Car series kits contain touch panel control or Digital Display Retention Interfaces. The Link Series Interfaces offer all information necessary to keep the vehicle fully operable when the radio is upgraded to an aftermarket model, including steering wheel controls retention. The Link+ Series adds features like amplifier retention, reverse camera retention, and/or USB retention. Amplifier add-ons for select European vehicles allow you to keep your SKU mix in check, so you stock the right balance of interfaces and amplifier upgrades. Follow us on: Instagram (@scoscheinc) and @scosche on Twitter, Facebook, GOOGLE+, Pinterest and LinkedIn for the latest news on all of the company’s award-winning consumer tech and car audio products and accessories.

Las Vegas, Nev. – (October 29, 2018) SCOSCHE® – (pronounced skōsh/skohsh) Industries, a leading innovator of car audio, powersports, and consumer technology products will showcase their products in no less than 24 show vehicles at this year’s SEMA Show. SEMA attendees are invited to visit Scosche in the Las Vegas Convention Center, North Hall at Booth #11717 to see our latest car audio installation solutions, newest powersports mounts line, Direct Fit Qi-wireless charging solutions, and mobile accessories for most domestic and imported vehicles.

Scosche’s headline vehicle this year is a unique 2018 Jeep JL Rubicon , built by the pros at Rockstar Garage of Southern California . It is supported by a host of top automotive aftermarket companies including:
Performance enhancements : Battery by Odyssey; Intake by K&N; Tuner by SuperChips; and Exhaust by MagnaFlow
Protection : Front and rear high-clearance bumpers by Gen-Right Offroad; and Sliders by Rockslide Engineering.Suspension: Shocks by Fox: 3.0; and 2.5” Lift by Rock Krawler. Lights : Pods and Rock Lights by GG Lighting. Wheels and Tires: Addict 2: Wheels by KMC; and 37” Extreme Country Tires by Dick Cepek. Recovery: Zeon S-12 Winch by Warn; and Fair Lead by Factor 55. Miscellaneous: Bantam 8 Switch Control System by sPOD; CO2 Air System by PowerTank.; Electric Cooler by Dometic; and Rooftop Tent by CVT. The Jeep wouldn’t be complete without road-tested Scosche products, including: MagicMount™ Pro Window/Dash Device Mounts, the Revolt Dual Charger, and EFX Installation Wiring. "The Scosche Family is excited to present this year's product line-up at SEMA!

We have over 200 new products represented in vehicles throughout the show in our Brand Ambassadors’ and Industry Partners’ booths. Visit us at the Scosche booth #11717, and check out one (or more) of the two dozen, fully modified show vehicles loaded with Scosche gear."
– Kas Alves, Executive Vice President, Scosche Industries

 

Visit Booth, #90060 In South Hall Upper level, to see the RSG build of Scosche’s 2018 CanAm X3 rs Turbo R, with a custom UTV Wolfpack roll cage, lighting by GG Lighting, KMC Machete wheels, Micky Thompson Baja Claws tires and more. This is also a great opportunity to see
Scosche PowerSports mounts in use on the vehicle. Scosche’s two headline vehicles from the 2017 SEMA Show, supported by top automotive aftermarket companies, will be back for 2018! The updated 2017 Camburg Racing built Scosche Toyota Tacoma TRD will be on display
at the DECKED exhibit, in the Silver Lot #61022 . Scosche’s 2015 GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali, which has been rebuilt into a massive
Overland vehicle, will be on display in the Titan Fuel Tanks exhibit in the Silver Lot #62002. In addition to our four show vehicles, look for Scosche products that feature in the project vehicle builds of 20 of our automotive industry partners throughout SEMA. There’s something
for everyone and every interest, from a rugged, hard-working, yet still great-looking, array of trucks, to some seriously well-equipped (and seriously fun) UTV and ATV vehicles. Scosche products look good in every vehicle, as you will see – from the best of American muscle – the new Dodge Demon, to the refined European power of Porsche and BMW.

 

Visit Scosche at the AAPEX Show – Booth# 5542, Level 2, Sands Expo Center, Oct. 30 – Nov. 2. Follow us on: Instagram (@scoscheinc) and @scosche on Twitter, Facebook, GOOGLE+, Pinterest and LinkedIn for the latest news on all of the company’s award-winning consumer tech and car audio products and accessories. And also visit our company Press Room on Scosche.com.

 

24 Oct

October Issue Feature: Winter is Coming

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Retailers have remote start season and the holidays in common, but each business has its own unique way of tackling year-end opportunities.

Words by Rosa Sophia

Retailers everywhere are gearing up for remote start season and beginning to prepare for the holidays. In Vernon, Conn., ACT Audio and Mill St. Auto presented the Cruise’n on 83 event on the twenty-third of September. The sound-off drew a big crowd, trophies were awarded and ACT Audio raffled off items—including a Viper remote start.

This was the shop’s first time hosting such an event. “One of the reasons we do remote starters in raffles and giveaways is because, in the customers’ eyes, they hold so much value,” said James P. Smith, who manages ACT Audio with business partner Adam Thomas. Smith remarked that while a $200 gift card could be offered instead, the customer tends to feel the remote starter is worth more to them. Customers then pay for the work involved and any add-ons. The shop has no trouble selling remote starters. According to Smith, they sell between 700 and 800 per year, and they don’t need to advertise very much at all.

“We’re a very busy remote starter store,” Smith said, adding that the shop gets backed up with work very easily. “The year before last, we were six weeks backed up.” If the shop advertised remote starters, they’d have to start rejecting clients, Smith added.

ACT Audio attributes much of its recent success and improvements to KnowledgeFest. Two years ago, Smith attended for the first time. “I didn’t realize what was out there,” he said. “KnowledgeFest reignited my fire, so I went back and worked really hard to implement what I always wanted and make a grade-A store. We did the expansion and changed the... Read the rest of the story HERE.

 
 
 

 

Enduring Through the Years
Cerwin-Vega Mobile has gone through many changes since the brand was first founded in 1954. With a small team dedicated to helping dealers and installers, the tech support and product development departments of Cerwin-Vega continue to persevere.
Words by Jamie Sorcher
 
When you’ve been in car audio since 1972, and worked for—and started—some of the most iconic brands in the business, it’s second nature to run a tech support team of one. Just ask Larry Frederick, who heads up new product development and tech support for Diamond Audio/Cerwin-Vega Mobile.
Founded back in 1954 by Gene Czerwinski, an aerospace engineer and a devoted music fan, the Cerwin-Vega brand has a unique heritage (honored with an Academy Award for special technical achievement in film for Sensurround, not to mention relationships with bands like The Rolling Stones and The Boom Town Rats). It remains a cornerstone in the home and pro audio universe, and gives Cerwin-Vega Mobile its solid reputation in the market today—even as 12-volt continues to drastically evolve.
The Simple Approach to Tech Support
Today, Cerwin-Vega Mobile has maintained a loyal following even as its ownership has changed over the years. When Cerwin-Vega was... Read the rest of the story HERE.
 
 
 

Home Grown

JC Audio operates from the very same building in which owner Jeff Cantrell first got started in the industry. Today, JC Audio is a robust business that is also giving back by hosting training sessions at its location.

Words by Rosa Sophia

 

Opening in November of 2001, it seemed that JC Audio was meant to be. Owner Jeff Cantrell knew almost from beginning what he wanted, though prior to his involvement in the industry, he had a few other short-lived jobs.

As a kid, Cantrell worked for his uncles’ asphalt business, laying asphalt and sealing parking lots. During the summers, he worked at a hardware store. “It was from my uncles that I learned the importance of having a skill, and that I’d always be able to support myself if that was the case,” he said.

For several months, he even learned and taught line dancing and built sets at a dance studio. At 16, he got into 12-volt and never looked back.

“I grew up in a family of entrepreneurial parents, brothers and uncles who taught me the value of hard work,” Cantrell said. “Mobile electronics is simply the vehicle to which I’ve applied these principles, in order to build a career.”

In high school, Cantrell studied electrical theory. He recalled his high school electronics teacher, Mr. Johnston, “who never settled for anything less than a perfect job.” Cantrell went on to receive an Associate’s Degree in Business Management in 1999. Now, Cantrell is an MECP Master Technician and stated that he even had the opportunity to contribute to part of the latest MECP Mobile Product Specialist study guide. With a focus on learning and sharing knowledge, Cantrell continues... Read the rest of the story HERE.

 

Introspection Leads the Way

Those who took home awards agreed that giving back to the community, offering encouragement to others and learning to be self-aware are essential aspects to fostering growth in the industry.

Words by Rosa Sophia

As everyone gathered in the banquet hall for the industry awards announcements, many attendees who were up for awards shared in both excitement and nervousness. A number of the winners who were called up on stage later said they felt as if they’d fumbled—such was the feeling of overwhelm. Ethan Blau of Sound Wave Customs in Virginia Beach, Va. expressed a similar sentiment.

Later, after the awards had been given out and this year’s winners had time to absorb the reality of it, Blau commented on his hopes for the future. “We try to help and give back,” he said of him and his team. “I want to keep going that route and hopefully inspire others. Maybe push people past their limits and help them beyond their fears.”

This year, Sound Wave Customs was awarded Retailer of the Year for a single store. It hasn’t completely sunk in for Blau—not yet. “It’s still so new,” he added.

Making Connections at KnowledgeFest

At one of the most successful KnowledgeFest events to date, attendees shared how much they’d learned from workshops, manufacturer trainings and by talking to reps and networking on the show floor. By the time the awards event came around on Sunday evening, a lot of new connections had already been made.

Solomon Daniels, editor-in-chief of Mobile Electronics magazine, went up on stage and reminded everyone in attendance, “You have homework. That’s the attitude you have to take away from KnowledgeFest.”

After gathering a plethora of information at the show, Daniels stated... Read the rest of the story HERE.

SiriusXM to Acquire Pandora in All-Stock Transaction Valuing Pandora at $3.5 Billion

Both SiriusXM and Pandora Brands, Products, and Services to Continue
Complementary Transaction Adds Largest U.S. Audio Streaming Platform to SiriusXM's Strong in-Car Presence
Pandora to Benefit from SiriusXM's Scale, Industry Expertise, and Financial Resources
SiriusXM to Benefit from Pandora's Mobile Strength, Digital Presence, and Ad Capabilities
Investor and Analyst Call Scheduled for This Morning at 8:30 AM ET

NEW YORK and OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 24, 2018  /PRNewswire/ -- Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) and Pandora Media, Inc. (NYSE: P) today announced a definitive agreement under which SiriusXM will acquire Pandora in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $3.5 billion. The combination creates the world's largest audio entertainment company, with more than $7 billion in expected pro-forma revenue in 2018 and strong, long-term growth opportunities.

This strategic transaction builds on SiriusXM's position as the leader in subscription radio and a critically-acclaimed curator of exclusive audio programming with the addition of the largest U.S. audio streaming platform. Pandora's powerful music platform will enable SiriusXM to significantly expand its presence beyond vehicles into the home and other mobile areas. Following the completion of the transaction, there will be no immediate change in listener offerings.

The combined company will drive long-term growth by:

  • Capitalizing on cross-promotion opportunities between SiriusXM's base of more than 36 million subscribers across North America and 23 million-plus annual trial listeners and Pandora's more than 70 million monthly active users, which represents the largest digital audio audience in the U.S.
  • Leveraging SiriusXM's exclusive content and programming with Pandora's ad-supported and subscription tiers to create unique audio packages, while also utilizing SiriusXM's extensive automotive relationships to drive Pandora's in-car distribution.
  • Continuing investments in content, technology, innovation, and expanded monetization opportunities through both ad-supported and subscription services in and out of the vehicle.
  • Supporting and strengthening Pandora's highly relevant brand.
  • Creating a promotional platform for emerging and established artists, curated and personalized in ways to deliver the most compelling audio experience that connects artists to their fan bases, as well as new listeners.

Jim Meyer, Chief Executive Officer of SiriusXM, said, "We have long respected Pandora and their team for their popular consumer offering that has attracted a massive audience, and have been impressed by Pandora's strategic progress and stronger execution. We believe there are significant opportunities to create value for both companies' stockholders by combining our complementary businesses. The addition of Pandora diversifies SiriusXM's revenue streams with the U.S.'s largest ad-supported audio offering, broadens our technical capabilities, and represents an exciting next step in our efforts to expand our reach out of the car even further. Through targeted investments, we see significant opportunities to drive innovation that will accelerate growth beyond what would be available to the separate companies, and does so in a way that also benefits consumers, artists, and the broader content communities. Together, we will deliver even more of the best content on radio to our passionate and loyal listeners, and attract new listeners, across our two platforms."

Roger Lynch, Chief Executive Officer of Pandora, said, "We've made tremendous progress in our efforts to lead in digital audio. Together with SiriusXM, we're even better positioned to take advantage of the huge opportunities we see in audio entertainment, including growing our advertising business and expanding our subscription offerings. The powerful combination of SiriusXM's content, position in the car, and premium subscription products, along with the biggest audio streaming service in the U.S., will create the world's largest audio entertainment company. This transaction will deliver significant value to our stockholders and will allow them to participate in upside, given SiriusXM's strong brand, financial resources and track record delivering results."

Transaction Details

Pursuant to the agreement, the owners of the outstanding shares in Pandora that SiriusXM does not currently own will receive a fixed exchange ratio of 1.44 newly issued SiriusXM shares for each share of Pandora they hold. Based on the 30-day volume-weighted average price of $7.04 per share of SiriusXM common stock, the implied price of Pandora common stock is $10.14 per share, representing a premium of 13.8% over a 30-day volume-weighted average price. The transaction is expected to be tax-free to Pandora stockholders. SiriusXM currently owns convertible preferred stock in Pandora that represents a stake of approximately 15% on an as-converted basis.

The merger agreement provides for a "go-shop" provision under which Pandora and its Board of Directors may actively solicit, receive, evaluate and potentially enter negotiations with parties that offer alternative proposals following the execution date of the definitive agreement. There can be no assurance this process will result in a superior proposal. Pandora does not intend to disclose developments about this process unless and until its Board of Directors has made a decision with respect to any potential superior proposal.

Approvals

The transaction has been unanimously approved by both the independent directors of Pandora and by the board of directors of SiriusXM.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019. It is subject to approval by Pandora stockholders, expiration or termination of any applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and certain competition laws of foreign jurisdictions and other customary closing conditions.

SiriusXM Reiterates Full Year 2018 Outlook

SiriusXM reiterated its full-year 2018 guidance provided on July 25, 2018, with self-pay net subscriber additions of approximately 1.15 million; revenue over $5.7 billion; adjusted EBITDA of approximately $2.175 billion, and free cash flow of approximately $1.5 billion.

Pandora Reiterates Q3 2018 Guidance

Pandora reiterated its third quarter 2018 guidance provided on July 31, 2018, with revenue of $390 million to $405 million and Adjusted EBITDA of ($25) million to ($10) million.

Conference Call Information

SiriusXM will hold a conference call to discuss this transaction today, September 24, 2018 at 8:30 AM ET. The dial-in information for participants is (866) 610-1072 (Domestic) and +1 (973) 935-2840 (International). The passcode for both numbers is 7138655. Investors will have the opportunity to listen to the conference call live and access the accompanying presentation slides on each company's investor relations tabs on each company's website, http://investor.siriusxm.com or http://investor.pandora.com.

Participants are encouraged to register at least 15 minutes early to download and install any necessary software. For those who cannot listen to the live broadcast, a telephonic replay will be available through October 8, 2018 by dialing (800) 585-8367 (Domestic) and +1 (404) 537-3406 (International), passcode 7138655. An archived version of the replay will also be available at http://investor.siriusxm.com or http://investor.pandora.com.

Advisors

Allen & Company LLC and BofA Merrill Lynch are serving as financial advisors to SiriusXM and Baker Botts LLP and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP are serving as its legal counsel. Centerview Partners LLC, LionTree Advisors LLC and Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC are serving as financial advisors to Pandora and Sidley Austin LLP is acting as legal counsel.

About SiriusXM

Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) is the world's largest radio company measured by revenue and has approximately 33.5 million subscribers. SiriusXM creates and offers commercial-free music; premier sports talk and live events; comedy; news; exclusive talk and entertainment, and a wide-range of Latin music, sports and talk programming. SiriusXM is available in vehicles from every major car company and on smartphones and other connected devices as well as online at siriusxm.com. SiriusXM radios and accessories are available from retailers nationwide and online at SiriusXM. SiriusXM also provides premium traffic, weather, data and information services for subscribers through SiriusXM Traffic™, SiriusXM Travel Link, NavTraffic®, NavWeather™. SiriusXM delivers weather, data and information services to aircraft and boats through SiriusXM Aviation™ and SiriusXM Marine™. In addition, SiriusXM Music for Business provides commercial-free music to a variety of businesses. SiriusXM holds a minority interest in SiriusXM Canada which has approximately 2.6 million subscribers. SiriusXM is also a leading provider of connected vehicles services, giving customers access to a suite of safety, security, and convenience services including automatic crash notification, stolen vehicle recovery assistance, enhanced roadside assistance and turn-by-turn navigation.

About Pandora

Pandora is the world's most powerful music discovery platform—a place where artists find their fans and listeners find music they love. We are driven by a single purpose: unleashing the infinite power of music by connecting artists and fans, whether through earbuds, car speakers, or anywhere fans want to experience it. Pandora's team of highly trained musicologists analyze hundreds of attributes for each recording which powers our proprietary Music Genome Project®, delivering billions of hours of personalized music tailored to the tastes of each music listener, full of discovery, making artist/fan connections at unprecedented scale. Founded by musicians, Pandora empowers artists with valuable data and tools to help grow their careers and connect with their fans.

www.pandora.com | @pandoramusic | www.pandoraforbrands.com | @PandoraBrands | amp.pandora.com

 

19 Sep

September Issue Feature: Support Team - SounDigital

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Coming to America

Based in Brazil, SounDigital is establishing its footprint in the U.S. with a crackerjack engineering team, self-manufactured product, and plans to double its dealers within a year.

Words by Jamie Sorcher

It takes only a few moments on the phone to determine Diogo Ianaconi is a mobile guy—not just because of his role as the CEO of SounDigital USA (the company makes competition-grade amps for cars, boats and bikes), but more so because he is actually on the go so much of the time.

“We opened up for business in Miami back in 2016 with a warehouse that handles distribution to the U.S. as well as the Caribbean and Mexico,” Ianaconi said. “I’m definitely traveling a lot right now, but the idea is for me to move to the U.S., hopefully by the end of the year.” For now, he spends time in both the States and Brazil. In between are side trips to Russia and other far-flung locations to see distributors.

SounDigital, in existence for 12 years and based in Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost state in Brazil, employs over 200 people. The company’s products can be purchased in over 45 countries, but it is the U.S. market where SounDigital is focusing its efforts now.

“We had a presence in the U.S. years ago, but it was only in... Read the rest of the story HERE.

A Grassroots Goliath

Tucked inside its massive parent company, Sony Car Audio covers the country with trainings, support, sales and more to keep its dealer base satisfied and strong.

Words by Jamie Sorcher

The name speaks volumes. The Sony brand in the consumer electronics industry, and around the world, has always carried weight—and still does today. The Japanese company was founded in 1946 with only 20 employees and launched iconic products like the Walkman in 1979 and the world’s first compact CD player in 1982. While currently best known for its PlayStation and digital cameras, the mammoth company is regarded as a design trendsetter and desirable brand whether for TVs, computers or car stereos.

Nestled within this large conglomerate, which has its U.S. headquarters in San Diego, Calif., is a gem of grassroots operation. Sony Car Audio operates its tight-knit support team under the guidance of Distribution Sales Manager Anthony Tozzi who works remotely from New Jersey.

“We are a really unconventional business,” he said. “While Sony is this large company, car audio is just a small part of their business. One of the things we constantly say is ... Read the rest of the story HERE.

 

30 May

May Issue Blog: A Life of Learning

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

There are many ways to learn new strategies and absorb knowledge during lectures and trainings. Continually putting these tactics into practice as you study new processes is essential for personal and professional growth.

Not knowing how to do something can leave you feeling less than adequate. That feeling is compounded when it’s your job to know it. Knowledge truly is the power behind your success, and there are many ways to learn. If you are like most of us, learning is a result of just figuring it out on your own and using every available resource to find a solution to your problem. Taking the solitary approach can be satisfying, but you may have to endure several mistakes before you find what works best. This takes time and money and depending on your situation, may cause others to doubt your ability. And, you won’t get the benefit of learning from the mistakes of others. Regardless, if you’re attempting to learn something new at a lecture, class, or training, or trying to find a better way with your current process, knowing how best to absorb knowledge will help you reach your goals.

 

Listening

Learning by hearing allows you to pick up the experience of others and put into practice what you have heard, or to learn from their past mistakes. Hearing someone tell their story helps you relate personally, although just hearing it may not be enough. If the presenter is less than descriptive, you may be left to your own interpretation of what you have heard when implementing this newfound knowledge. This can lead to mistakes that leave you less that satisfied.

 

Seeing is Believing

Seeing how it’s done is the next step after listening to an explanation. A visual representation can make all the difference. While hearing may leave you wondering, when you see it done step-by-step, you have a better chance of figuring it out for yourself. Watching video representations of a process will get your further down the road of understanding. But seeing may not leave you fully believing. There is still room for some interpretation.

 

Modeling Others

In my opinion, there’s nothing better than a live demonstration, and modeling what you have seen and heard with the instructor. This allows real-time questions and answers to cement your understanding. Think about the last time you participated in a learning process that was hands-on. You heard the instructor and saw their presentation. Both were most likely helpful and provided a great foundation to let you model the process with the instructor and others who may have provided input. When you left this environment, you were ready to put your newfound knowledge into practice.

 

Practice Until You’re Proficient

This new knowledge requires practice. Take the time to repeat the process until you feel you have become proficient. Once you have mastered the strategy you’ve learned, you can take some creative license to make it your own. Be cautious in your quest to make it yours. Making it your own should never include shortcuts that diminish the quality. Ensure your modification to what you’ve learned does not sacrifice quality. Your reputation is not something you want to have to rebuild. Remember, your work not only represents your business, it represents our industry.

 

Passing On What You’ve Learned

Learning from your peers is only the beginning. Now that you have learned from others and added your own ideas, consider passing your knowledge on to others. Passing on what you have learned will help others embrace the perfection you have mastered. When you take time to teach, you will find another level of learning. Teaching is a rewarding endeavor. The peer to peer learning process is the foundation of KnowledgeFest and why so many come to learn and leave the event energized and ready to conquer challenges in their own businesses.

Make every effort to learn something new every day, week and month. Never let your quest for learning be put on the shelf. And make every effort to be part of any learning experience offered. If you have not attended a local dealer or distributor training, or made plans to attend KnowledgeFest, now is the time. Go with a mission and goal to learn what you lack, share the knowledge and become the professional you were born to be.

 

VISTA, Calif. (February 16, 2018) Directed, a leader in the automotive aftermarket and connected car space, announced today that technology veteran Robert Lacroix has joined the company as Vice President of Engineering. Lacroix will lead Directed’s global engineering team from its Lachine (Montreal), Quebec office. He will help drive Directed’s aggressive growth plans in connected car products and services.

“Rob brings over two decades of innovation and engineering accomplishments to Directed,” said Bob Struble, Directed CEO. “His successful track record of building and managing large technical teams through complex new product launches will ensure that Directed maintains its preeminent market position. I’m thrilled to add Rob to our executive team, and welcome his leadership and vision.”

Prior to joining Directed, Mr. Lacroix led Engineering and R&D activities at Immersion Corporation. He has broad experience in software and hardware systems and new product development as well as specific expertise in wireless and Bluetooth. Mr. Lacroix has over 50 patents granted or pending. He earned his Bachelors degree in Engineering from McGill University.

"I am looking forward to working with the talented engineering team in Lachine to further Directed’s leadership in aftermarket automotive and connected car," added Mr. Lacroix. "The automotive sector is in the midst of great transformation, creating opportunity for innovators.  It’s an exciting time at Directed, and I’m thrilled to join the team and help drive our growth strategy."

Don’t Miss Out

KnowledgeFest is Your Place to Learn and Connect with the Mobile Electronics Community

"These education events are designed provide you with the latest information to help you advance the professionalism and profitability of your business."

If you missed attending CES 2018 then take heart in knowing that you have another chance to discover your favorite brands at KnowledgeFest West in Long Beach, California, KnowledgeFest East in Indianapolis, Indiana and KnowledgeFest Dallas in Dallas, Texas. KnowledgeFest is the only industry event dedicated to the mobile electronics specialist, the installing dealer. These events combine a trade show floor with educational workshops and manufacturer trainings for added value to you, the attendee.

The next event is just around the corner in Long Beach California, February 23-25, 2018. This city is a great destination for West Coast dealers, especially those in the Southern California market. The Long Beach Convention Center is a downtown venue with lots of nearby hotels and restaurants. And February is a great time for manufacturers to showcase their new products and provide the best information and education to sell and install them.

The KnowledgeFest experience is designed to provide you with the information you need to provide that experience. Here's how:

Education

Learning from the best in our industry provides an unequalled educational experience that now occurs three times a year. Make plans to experience the next event in your area. These events combine educational workshops and manufacturer trainings with a trade show floor. No other event provides the quality and hours of training targeted to mobile specialists. These education events are designed provide you with the latest information to help you advance the professionalism and profitability of your business. Employees of MEA member companies attend all KnowledgeFest events free of charge.

The three-day event is packed with more than 40 hours of top-notch educational workshops, great networking opportunities, over 50 hours of manufacturer training sessions, and an exhibit floor on which new products and categories are available to discover. Educational workshops and manufacturer trainings will empower you to deliver exceptional customer experiences and grow your business.

Information

Mobile Electronics Association publishes Mobile Electronics® magazine, the best read for business, sales and installation. Mobile Electronics magazine, our Hotwire e-newsletter and various websites keep you in the know and ready for action. MEA member companies and their employees receive free magazines, e-newsletter subscriptions and access to MEA digital media. Social media sites like the Mobile Electronics Facebook page also offer ways to connect with the industry.

Empowerment

Mobile Electronics Association is the only industry group dedicated to the 12-volt specialist. Our primary focus is help you build your business. The MEA community is comprised of retailers, manufacturers, sales reps, distributors and service providers. The Mobile Electronics Association is committed to growing the mobile electronics industry and ensuring a future for mobile specialists. You can support that through your membership. Become a part of our community. Be empowered. Let your voice be heard and ensure your interests are represented.

Learn by Profession

The education at KnowledgeFest is comprised of three tracks that focus on each area of expertise. For the installer, there is the Technician and Fabricator track. This track provides a balance of the top techniques for making physical modifications to the vehicle as well technical expertise for key topics like remote start and audio upgrades. The Sales and Marketing track will appeal to owners, managers, sales professionals and those responsible for marketing. You will learn tried-and-true processes taught by retailers who use these techniques effectively in their own businesses.

Also, for the entrepreneur there is the Owner and Manager track. This year the focus will be on essential practices that every CEO should live by. Topics will include: a day in the life of a CEO and learning the best way to calculate your true hourly rate. In addition to these business building topics, a special keynote address will help you define what success in your business and life should look like.

Peer Advice, Meet the Makers

KnowledgeFest provides the best networking opportunity in our industry! Talk one-on-one with people with whom you do business (or should be). Participate in your choice of 50-plus product training sessions to get real insight on product characteristics and selling strategies to make you the expert in your market.

Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a relative newcomer to mobile electronics, KnowledgeFest has something for you. Learn from the experiences of others in our industry who have dealt with both failure and success. Many social activities after hours add fun to the mix.

I challenge you to join us this February in Long Beach for our first KnowledgeFest on the West Coast.

On behalf of myself, and of the entire Mobile Electronics Association team, we thank you for being part of the only industry event dedicated to the Mobile Electronics Specialist, the installing dealer!

Read the story in Mobile Electronics magazine HERE.

Copyright - Mobile Electronics Association 2020

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