AMI BUYS NSM
Most Prominent European Jukebox Maker Is Now Part of the AMI Entertainment Network
In a surprise Feb. 9, 20017 announcement, AMI’s CEO/President Mike Maas revealed that his company has purchased the assets of the NSM Music Group Ltd. and will continue their European manufacturing and marketing activities in an uninterrupted fashion. Clearly, however, design synergy between the two jukebox producers will happen downstream, as might certain changes in personnel and distribution.
At present, Maas intends to keep everything in place in the European market, as well as in the U.S. where Tony Lantz and his staff have been selling and servicing a modest number of NSM machines from their offices in Elmhurst, Ill. NSM’s European headquarters are in Leeds, England, while the machines are produced in Leicester. Martin Agabeg remains General Manager of NSM, reporting directly to Maas.
“NSM in Europe has pioneered the evolution and distribution of jukeboxes across that continent since 1951,” Maas declared. “This is an extremely popular brand in Europe and enjoys a top-notch fan following among operators there,” he added. The acquisition complements AMI’s own sales activities in that market: “It’s a great fit any way you look at it,” he stated, “and will pave the way for many exciting new products for European customers.”
“AMI plans to continue with NSM’s successful business approach in the U.K., with increased investment in providing operators with better products and services,” declared Agabeg. NSM’s principle owner Dr. Gurbakhash Sanghara has now become a “transitory consultant.”
The company is presently producing four wall-mount digital models: The Icon2, Icon Lite, Fusion and The Storm.
Regarding digital music titles, Maas said there is no way to transition songs between Europe and America, and further, that different songs and tastes exist making that largely a moot point. “Europe and the U.S. have completely different licensing processes,” Maas advised. “Licenses are not transferable.”
The AMI chief said he’s well aware that the NSM office in Chicago has sold a “small” number of jukeboxes directly to locations, apart from marketing to operators in the traditional way. “As you know, AMI sells to operators via distribution, period. That’s what we do and how we do it,” stated Maas. “NSM’s Elmhurst office does have service contracts with some locations which we intend to honor because all that came with the acquisition. That should be clear to anyone.”
NSM as a jukebox manufacturer sprouted in the Rhineland of Germany where in the ’50s, three tradesters named Nach, Schulze and Menke (NSM) began producing coin-operated phonographs. The organization also produced a line of wall-mount gaming machines called Rotomint. They eventually opened up a warehouse and service presence on the East Coast of the U.S. to serve a distribution network they established here. But when digital music came along, their ability to compete against such as TouchTunes and Rowe (which became AMI) was stunted, though they have maintained a modest business at Elmhurst.