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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:37 pm 
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I don't get involved in threads much, especially since I quit hosting a couple years ago but read daily. If I was still running shows, I'd be pretty ticked off. It seems to me to be the DEFINITION of unfair competition to charge some people to run a show...either per disc, or thousands of dollars to lease a GEM series, and then turn around and start a company that directly competes with those shows and gives away the music for "free".

If a host utilizes the SCE program, are they still at risk of being sued by the music producers for media shifting? I mean PEP can give permission to display the SC trademark, and issue a "covemant not to sue" for the media shifted tracks, but this doesn't cover the music publishers being able to sue them still correct? Or have the publishers agreed to look the other way on this for SCE certified hosts and not for others? (Another conflict/unfair advantage, if so.)

Also, I agree with earthling. This new service is to establish a basis for service mark lawsuits (or strengthen that case).

Finally, how does the income generated by this program even begin to cover the extra cost of the additional licensing needed to distribute all this "free" music?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:19 pm 
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c. staley wrote:
I'm already being paid a premium and I don't use the brand... I don't have to pay them a dime, I don't have to do "write ups" and "take pictures" of every show, fill out forms or mail them checks and I sure and hell don't "work for them directly."

So, what's my incentive again?


Same here on all counts, but then again, I don't think we full time KJs are the primary targets of the program(s). However, if someone for some crazy reason wants to be a KJ and doesn't have the cash for their start up, it might be an option for them.

Quote:
Why would anyone (who is worth anything) bother with this? It's simply ANOTHER CONTRACT and a promise of more work for less money.... in exchange for a batch of oldies they can no longer even lease.


Definitely not you, probably not me or many other people here, but if they come through with what their plans are, it could be something that makes people money, and yes that would totally include PEP/SCE. How much they make seems to be dependent on how much work SCE/PEP does to get the gig in question. If all I really have to do is show up and play, I don't mind being contracted that way. If they went for payment on a gig I already had for years, with music I already own etc. I'd laugh.

Quote:
Besides, Harrington hasn't even bothered to define what "premium" pay would be... but stated $12-$25 per show goes away...

Only a newbie or an idiot would sign up for something like this.


The numbers aren't in, so I can't judge what their idea of fair payment is for their services yet. This contract/service may or may not have much value to me depending on how it's broken down. Those parties who wish to pursue this venture should by all means read and understand the contract and all it's fees, demands etc. Contracts are not bad things: people sign contracts all the time... you couldn't buy a car or house or use your smart phone without one. And yes, as I know and understand PEP's past history, if I were interested, I would have my lawyer review it so that I knew what I was getting into.

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And this is classic because Earthling hit the nail on the head:
JimHarrington wrote:
We will be using the legal process to get hosts and venues to comply with our policies...
Of course, because you can't possibly compete in this business with talent alone, you need contracts and the threat of lawsuits just to survive.

This will be the latest "PEP Lead Balloon" in terms of participation.


If PEP thought they could do what Earthling posted, my feeling is it would have been worked into the lawsuits long ago. But he is right in one respect... for now the concept is just a web page.

I seriously doubt that PEP has the time or resources to find a location/booking, clear out the pirates or other venues in the surrounding area with lawsuits, and establish it's gig as the primary location for karaoke in the area. It's just too much to deal with for one or two gigs, never mind doing it in several states at once. They will probably just keep doing exactly what they are doing now.

As for it being a lead balloon... I need to see what they are selling before I can say it is or isn't worth my time. I don't need to partner up with them, but if the deal on the table is worth the headaches and slicing up the revenue, then I've been there, done that before with other entertainment companies. From 10% finders fees, to straight up 50/50.

In all honesty I'm not for or against PEP: I'm indifferent. There are some things I wish they did like make new karaoke tracks, some things that are fine by me like taking down actual pirates, and some things that I'm not happy with like the whole Chartbuster business. I will use them for whatever I need so long as it's beneficial to my business. If it's not, there are plenty of other options available to me. While I find extremely limited value in leasing a GEM series, I'm not above getting access to more gigs that I can make money on, specially if they fit the holes in my schedule, or if they are just dropped on my doorstep.

It really all depends on PEP and SCE.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:59 pm 
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JimHarrington wrote:
cueball wrote:
Can you give us an example of how much a KJ might expect to pay for this? How about we use this?
A KJ is operating a single rig. He is just starting out and doesn't have a library built up yet, so he needs a full core library. He wants to use your GEM series (all 6000 tracks). He has his own system/equipment put together. The KJ booked the gig on his own. It is a 4 hour show, once a week, and he has negotiated a payment of $150 for the show. What would the KJ be expected to pay for the use of the GEM series based on that?


If he's just using this program to get the music, again depending on the market, he could expect to pay between $12 and $25 per show for that music. This is, of course, subject to negotiation and additional facts not given above.

I will say that our vision for this program is not necessarily to have KJs use it to get $150/night gigs. I mean, we won't turn somebody down on that basis alone, but I don't think we're doing anyone a service by supplying low-paying gigs. Our goal is to get prices up by delivering more value than most independent KJs can deliver.


JimHarrington wrote:
As we have examined the karaoke industry over the last 18 months or so, it has become clear that the main non-piracy problem that afflicts the industry is fragmentation. There are tens of thousands of individual operators, most of whom work at the margins for low pay. There are advantages to being an independent operator, to be sure, but there are a lot of disadvantages as well--low pay, lack of access to resources when things go wrong, lack of economies of scale, low barriers to entry into the industry, and so forth. What we are trying to do is to build a business case for venues and operators to do things differently. Venues--who are the primary beneficiary of the independent operator's disadvantages--will only get on board and pay more for a greater perceived value. We believe we've found a way to deliver that value. Rather than competing against independent operators for scraps--which benefits no one--our goal is to bring independent operators along with us into the new paradigm, thereby raising compensation for those operators who work with us. We recognize that effective pub entertainment requires a personal touch, so this isn't a top-down reorganization of the industry. We are simply looking to collect as many talented people as we can into our operation and to share the benefits that being bigger can bring.

I would find SCE's expectations very unrealistic, to come in out of nowhere, with no track record of hosting Karaoke, and convince all these venues that they can do better if they offer up (let’s say) $100 more per show. That’s easier said than done. In an area like NYC, where there is a large saturation of Karaoke, most establishments are not willing to pay more than $150-$200 (and even $150 is becoming a stretch sometimes) for a 3-4 hour show.


JimHarrington wrote:
I'll tell you exactly the kinds of hosts who won't support us:

(1) Pirates
(2) Hosts who are afraid of changes in the industry
(3) Hosts who would rather starve alone than prosper as part of a group, and who resent having to live in a world where others prosper as part of a group

Or
4. Hosts who would be getting paid a higher rate (as promised by SCE), but who would end up netting less than what they were originally getting paid (as a result of paying SCE their percentage/fee out of the rate).


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:38 pm 
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Maybe Sound Choice Entertainment is interested in folks like me. I only have one karaoke show and in the winter it is hit and miss and sometimes I don't get to charge full rate and have even had to cancel a couple of shows. What I do have though, is 9 djs (and 9 equipment rigs, with 3 more rigs in my garage) who work for me doing trivia and other game shows 6 nights a week. Let's say I did want to expand more into karaoke. The option they are offering would allow me to get into the business right away, using their music and marketing help and fairly quickly add 5-6 karaoke shows per week to my income flow. Makes perfect sense to pay them a relatively small fee for use of the music without obligating myself to a huge payment.

So many karaoke hosts are one-man (or woman) shows and therefore are limited physically to just what they can do. This type of thinking outside the box gives them the opportunity to create a business instead of a job. I also know at least 10 entertainment companies who pretty much do weddings only and have a double-digit number of djs that are sitting idle the other 5-6 nights a week. If you're a solo operator with a couple of gigs, this most likely is not for you, but if you own an entertainment company or would like to, this could be an excellent way to launch or enhance your business. I'll wait and see what comes of it instead of being negative and saying it won't or can't work.

At the end of the day for me, it's all about making money and supporting my family and anybody with a possible plan to help me do that deserves a chance to be considered.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:02 pm 
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WHAT ! Couldn't edit

_________________
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I have great faith in fools; My friends call it self-confidence ---- E.A. Poe
I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity ----E.A. Poe
I don't know, I don't care, and it doesn't make any difference! ----A. Einstein
Double bubble, toil and trouble ----W. Shakespeare & Walt Disney

I'm just sayin'.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:11 am 
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cueball wrote:
I would find SCE's expectations very unrealistic, to come in out of nowhere, with no track record of hosting Karaoke, and convince all these venues that they can do better if they offer up (let’s say) $100 more per show. That’s easier said than done. In an area like NYC, where there is a large saturation of Karaoke, most establishments are not willing to pay more than $150-$200 (and even $150 is becoming a stretch sometimes) for a 3-4 hour show.

but there are only 3 "legal" hosts in New York city. every other venue is ripe for the suing. now if they sue and offer to drop it if they hire SCE...

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:43 am 
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Paradigm Karaoke wrote:
cueball wrote:
I would find SCE's expectations very unrealistic, to come in out of nowhere, with no track record of hosting Karaoke, and convince all these venues that they can do better if they offer up (let’s say) $100 more per show. That’s easier said than done. In an area like NYC, where there is a large saturation of Karaoke, most establishments are not willing to pay more than $150-$200 (and even $150 is becoming a stretch sometimes) for a 3-4 hour show.

but there are only 3 "legal" hosts in New York city. every other venue is ripe for the suing. now if they sue and offer to drop it if they hire SCE...

They may just find that venues will drop karaoke altogether rather than being extorted into playing their game.

I believe Earthling was right.
It's just a method to keep suing. Harrington acts like he has some "great, secret plan" that will suddenly increase your income simply by signing on the dotted line and write nightly reports and submit nightly pictures... How many KJ's -- even the successful ones -- do that now? Every KJ that is not working on a Tuesday can today -- with no outside help --- start up trivia nights since they already have all the equipment they need. Software for scoring is cheap and questions/categories can be downloaded practically free.

I still don't see the incentive to share your income through a contractual arrangement with a company that has repeatedly.... and for a long time... consistently failed to live up to their own promises and deadlines. "Advance" has gone nowhere, "Prime" is pretty dead and now they are offering music for free?

Looks to me like they are thrashing about with "new, better ideas" as another last ditch effort to stay in business.... It's worse than Chartbuster's last days when they were running their "going out of business fire sale." They've lost their credibility pure and simple.

Perhaps like the "advance program" this is nothing more than a "market test" to see if there is enough interest.

I have noticed that "Chris the yeti killer" has yet to chime in a single peep on whether or not this program would be something he'd sign up for.... even though he doesn't need the music.

Remember that Harrington said that venues will pay more for a "higher perceived value" not necessarily real value added.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:51 am 
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cueball wrote:
4. Hosts who would be getting paid a higher rate (as promised by SCE), but who would end up netting less than what they were originally getting paid (as a result of paying SCE their percentage/fee out of the rate).


True, it does depend what the fees are plus your operating cost. I don't want to work for $10/hr, I can do that anywhere.

Using $150/4 hours. On a Friday or Saturday, I would definitely lose money. On a weekday, rather then let my rig be idle, it might make my business some money its otherwise not earning.

Add in an employee, and it totally might not be worth it regardless of the day.

But if I can just add a warm body to their equipment and direct traffic, even making $25/gig for basically setting up the connection is worth it If I could do that several times a week.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:29 am 
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8) My sympathies are always going to be with the lone single owner operator, since that is what I was my entire professional hosting career. I never quite my day job and when I retired from that my other job became my business. For a long time I worked 6 days a week 10 months a year and with my pension and investments earned a six figure income. The only partner I ever had was a friend who just wanted to work 2 months out of the year, so I could take a break. On occasion I still do a gig to help a friend or raise money for a worthy cause.

I managed to do all of this, and compete against pirates, and not have to take on a company as a partner. So yes a person can be independent do no harm and not be part of some big entity. Some people don't like the fragmentation of the karaoke service landscape, they want organization on a massive scale. If they get it something will be gained, but then again something will be lost. Much like in the Old West where you had the lone cowboy rancher who was replaced by huge factory ranches, run by large Eastern corporations, this can be a sad thing to some.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:30 am 
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earthling12357 wrote:
The measure of success of this plan, as with every plan put forth by PEP, is not in the revenue it will or will not generate as a program of its own, but is in its usefulness toward propping up the lawsuit engine that drives all of their revenue.


We have no need to run our own operations to "prop up the lawsuit engine," as you put it. Our licensees' services activities are ample support for our trademark rights in the karaoke services space.

We are running our own operations primarily as a mechanism for defragmenting the industry. The "business school" term for what we're doing is "vertical integration." We're doing the same thing, on a much smaller scale, that Amazon does when it starts its own logistics & shipping company or sells computing services, or that Google does when it makes browsers and smartphone operating systems and smartphones and a dozen other things.

For years, it was suggested that poor management, rather than piracy, was what harmed Slep-Tone. Well, this is what good management looks like. And if you don't like it--good. Every industry disruptor who ever existed had its haters.

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Since there has been some confusion:
1. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer. Statements I make here about legal issues are for informational purposes only.
2. I am an officer of Phoenix Entertainment Partners, but my opinions on matters not involving Phoenix's business are my own and may not reflect the opinions of the company.
3. If you have questions you'd like answered officially, you are welcome to email me at jim@phxep.com or send me a private message here.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:48 am 
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The Lone Ranger wrote:
8) My sympathies are always going to be with the lone single owner operator, since that is what I was my entire professional hosting career. I never quite my day job and when I retired from that my other job became my business. For a long time I worked 6 days a week 10 months a year and with my pension and investments earned a six figure income.


Lone Ranger, if you had a regular day job, you didn't have a professional hosting career. "Professional" means that is your profession, the way you earn a living. You had a full-time hobby that made you money.
It is almost impossible for a sole operator to earn a six-figure income (as you noted, you also had a pension and investments to supplement your karaoke income). I guess it would be possible to totally support yourself with multiple weekly karaoke gigs but I know I couldn't, the amount of money I could earn just wouldn't even pay my bills. much less have any left over.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:12 am 
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cueball wrote:
I would find SCE's expectations very unrealistic, to come in out of nowhere, with no track record of hosting Karaoke, and convince all these venues that they can do better if they offer up (let’s say) $100 more per show. That’s easier said than done.


Our operations manager has run the largest mobile entertainment company in a very large city (> 1.4 million population) for many years. His company is karaoke-focused, although they also run other kinds of entertainment. I think that qualifies as a "track record of hosting karaoke."

cueball wrote:
In an area like NYC, where there is a large saturation of Karaoke, most establishments are not willing to pay more than $150-$200 (and even $150 is becoming a stretch sometimes) for a 3-4 hour show.


"There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?" - Robert F. Kennedy

We are challenging the basic assumption that venues won't pay more. We believe they WILL pay more if they GET more--and the "more" is what we are offering them.

cueball wrote:
4. Hosts who would be getting paid a higher rate (as promised by SCE), but who would end up netting less than what they were originally getting paid (as a result of paying SCE their percentage/fee out of the rate).


We aren't promising any rates at all. But we also aren't charging anything unless the operator makes money with our music. If you don't think that this service is a value-add for you, then there really isn't any reason for you to join it--and that's completely fine with us.

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Since there has been some confusion:
1. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer. Statements I make here about legal issues are for informational purposes only.
2. I am an officer of Phoenix Entertainment Partners, but my opinions on matters not involving Phoenix's business are my own and may not reflect the opinions of the company.
3. If you have questions you'd like answered officially, you are welcome to email me at jim@phxep.com or send me a private message here.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:15 am 
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JimHarrington wrote:

We have no need to run our own operations to "prop up the lawsuit engine," as you put it. Our licensees' services activities are ample support for our trademark rights in the karaoke services space.

We are running our own operations primarily as a mechanism for defragmenting the industry. The "business school" term for what we're doing is "vertical integration." We're doing the same thing, on a much smaller scale, that Amazon does when it starts its own logistics & shipping company or sells computing services, or that Google does when it makes browsers and smartphone operating systems and smartphones and a dozen other things.

For years, it was suggested that poor management, rather than piracy, was what harmed Slep-Tone. Well, this is what good management looks like. And if you don't like it--good. Every industry disruptor who ever existed had its haters.


8) Hate is a strong word Jim, dislike, disagree, or oppose would be more accurate words. Just how many of the hosts are licensed by you Jim, you never give a figure, or how many GEM are leased, you still have some in stock? I guess enough to support your suits since you don't seem to be doing much these days at least here in California. Actually the business school term for what you are doing is diversification, you are adding another company, expanding your line of goods and services. The question is why are you doing this?

It's simple your core business is not generating enough revenue to support your business operations, and you are in charge of planning and operations as General Manager of the company, correct? Your whole business structure is like a now three legged stool. Production of hard product which your company has not been engaged in for some time and no income is really coming from that source. The legal part of the business represented by PEP and Kurt, that doesn't seem to be doing much of anything. Now you have this third leg SCE that you are touting. Hoping that you can revive your fortunes by somehow getting enough venues to buy what you are selling and dragging hosts after them. This is all desperation on your part if this trial lead balloon doesn't fly then you are going to have to come up with something else won't you?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:23 am 
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rickgood wrote:

Lone Ranger, if you had a regular day job, you didn't have a professional hosting career. "Professional" means that is your profession, the way you earn a living. You had a full-time hobby that made you money.
It is almost impossible for a sole operator to earn a six-figure income (as you noted, you also had a pension and investments to supplement your karaoke income). I guess it would be possible to totally support yourself with multiple weekly karaoke gigs but I know I couldn't, the amount of money I could earn just wouldn't even pay my bills. much less have any left over.



8) Well rick all I know is that I earned enough money that I had to pay taxes on my earnings. That the Federal Government had me put money into SS and Medicare. That my hobby at least in their eyes was a legit business. I had to come up with a company name and of course I could deduct my expenses as costs of running my business. Oh and by the way since I was married and my wife had money that didn't hurt either. Don't be so defensive I have nothing against you or Chris or other small multi riggers. It is when you have a possible giant national service corporation that might even compete against everyone, that I think you should even pause and wonder how that might effect you, down the road? After all your current means of support is at stake, I'm retired and if I never do another gig it won't make any difference to me.

P.S. Does that mean you don't consider Chris a professional since he has another job and has turned over the day to day operation of his karaoke business to his wife?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:56 am 
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JimHarrington wrote:

"There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?" - Robert F. Kennedy

We are challenging the basic assumption that venues won't pay more. We believe they WILL pay more if they GET more--and the "more" is what we are offering them.

JimHarrington wrote:
4. Hosts who would be getting paid a higher rate (as promised by SCE), but who would end up netting less than what they were originally getting paid (as a result of paying SCE their percentage/fee out of the rate).


We aren't promising any rates at all. But we also aren't charging anything unless the operator makes money with our music. If you don't think that this service is a value-add for you, then there really isn't any reason for you to join it--and that's completely fine with us.


8) Isn't this dream of yours more like Alice Cooper's "Welcome To My Nightmare"? Personally I don't see how you are going to get venues to pay more for a pig in a poke? Isn't that the problem you had with advance sales of your new product, there was no way to see what the product was or try it out? If you give free demonstrations and are not charging operators anything unless they make money isn't that giving your product away? I thought all the problems started when service providers lowered prices and pirates got their music for free, how is this going to help the current situation for the average host? Oh it's not that's right you always come first, anything for a buck.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:28 pm 
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JimHarrington wrote:
Our operations manager has run the largest mobile entertainment company in a very large city (> 1.4 million population) for many years. His company is karaoke-focused, although they also run other kinds of entertainment. I think that qualifies as a "track record of hosting karaoke."

Timo Hernandez in San Antonio?

It doesn't matter who the "operations manager" is because you don't currently have ANY "operations" at all and it doesn't give YOU a "track record of hosting karaoke" or anything else. Just like acquiring a trademark doesn't give YOU the "track record of manufacturing" because you just don't have the history and PEP has never recorded anything... ever.

And the markets are different. Chris Avis's marketing style won't work here.... although it seems to work in the Seattle area.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:53 pm 
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JimHarrington wrote:
cueball wrote:
I would find SCE's expectations very unrealistic, to come in out of nowhere, with no track record of hosting Karaoke, and convince all these venues that they can do better if they offer up (let’s say) $100 more per show. That’s easier said than done.


Our operations manager has run the largest mobile entertainment company in a very large city (> 1.4 million population) for many years. His company is karaoke-focused, although they also run other kinds of entertainment. I think that qualifies as a "track record of hosting karaoke."


As far as your Operation's Manager running karaoke for many years, I agree with you that it counts as a track record.... FOR HIM, NOT for SCE.

What does the rest of this mean? SCE didn't exist until just now. Who has ever heard of SCE (aside from the dozen or so members in this Forum)? Your Operation's Manager (whoever he is) has "the largest mobile entertainment company" where??? In what City??? What kind of weight does his name hold??? Is he renowned across the whole Country??? If you mention the name Gloria Vanderbilt, most people will know she was a fashion designer. If you mention Celine Dion, most will know she is a singer. If you mention Maxwell House, most would know you're talking about coffee. If you mention this Operation's Manager of yours by his name (or business name), will anyone outside of this one city recognize him for karaoke???

Also, as Chip pointed out, what works in one city, doesn't necessarily work in another city.


Last edited by cueball on Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:41 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:33 pm 
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8) The Devil is in the details. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:03 pm 
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In a nutshell what they will do is hop on the back of gullible Hosts (KJs, DJs, Trivia, etc.) utilizing any and all skills of that host, all the while in a contractual setting of THEIR device. That is how they will enter into all markets. They will be notified by their contractual hosts that such and such bar has dropped a particular host and SCE will jump on it. That is just one manner in how they expect to grow that business. Force through suits is another. Oh Yeah, they want to enter into that as competitors to everyone on this site. I look at it like anyone aligning themselves with them are signing a Hari Kari suicide notice. Anyone going along with that knowing these guys' business track record should be committed and given electric shock therapy and maybe prescribed some lithium. Regardless, that host will come to regret it. Agreed?

Bars are not going to pay more for something that they are already getting. Bar owners and managers are rarely connoisseurs of fine entertainment for others. I see piss poor karaoke hosting and hear pitiful sound all the time, yet the bar continues to retain them and their crap sound.

From what I have observed about PEP is that they are good at making promises they do not keep. They have lost me as a supporter. How about some music?

_________________
You can never argue with a crazy mi-mi-mi-mi-mi-mind ----B. Joel
I have great faith in fools; My friends call it self-confidence ---- E.A. Poe
I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity ----E.A. Poe
I don't know, I don't care, and it doesn't make any difference! ----A. Einstein
Double bubble, toil and trouble ----W. Shakespeare & Walt Disney

I'm just sayin'.


Last edited by dvdgdry on Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:48 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:16 am 
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8) After seeing most of the responses to this new SCE idea I come to the conclusion that it is D.O.A. at least for most established hosts, that are already doing well, and don't need a partner to share their profits with. Only marginal hosts that don't have a place to play, or music content would be interested in entering into a contract with SCE. Even small multi riggers would have to be careful that they are not swallowed up their new partner. One thing is for sure when you dance with the Devil he calls the tune.


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