I was chained to a booth two years ago at DSE, when three guys wandered up and told me they were from Muzak and looking to expand their operations into video. Music they really knew, video … not so much.
It was Jon Luther and a couple of consultants.
A year ago they had a small booth towards the back of DSE, and had just officially announced they were in the game with a Visual Solutions wing, albeit at just about the same moment as they were heading into Chapter 11. I had a retail network client last summer sniffing around about a music and video solution, and spoke with Muzak. They were still, at that point, getting organized, with about 10 people in an office up around Charlotte, NC and plans to be something of an integrator.
I mention all this for a couple of reasons. It is a great snapshot of the real-world sales cycle in this space. Most deals take for-e-ver to come fully together. I no longer sell stuff, other than my services, but am aware of more than a few software deals that are well into year two now. My last brush with working for someone else involved a couple of guys who concluded, unilaterally, that closing deals in this space was a one-or-two meeting, done in days kinda thing. Nope.
It happens once in a while, but nope. So if you are new to this sector and expecting things to happen quickly, good luck to you!
I mention this, as well, because this is a good deal for all concerned. YCD has a direct background in marketing a full licensed music and video solution, so their platform was likely ready to go out of the box, with limited monkey work to get it all going. And Muzak is now out of Chapter 11 and pretty active. What they have, which should raise eyebrows, is a huge client base and a very solid brand.
Congratulations to Josh and Noam at YCD and Joe Hall down at Muzak. Looks like a smart partnership and a well suited pairing.
Side note: YCD does a really nice e-mail newsletter, which is how I learned of this deal. I know EnQii does one, as well, but very few companies in the sector do a client and industry-focused email newsletter. That’s a missed opportunity, I think, to let people know what you are up to without it being a merciless sales piece. My guess is a lot of companies would like to but don’t have the time or skills. A little shamelessly, I’ll just mention I know someone who could do that stuff in his sleep.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than 13 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia.