Sony Electronics, in conjunction with Best Buy, announced yesterday the launch of new Hi-Res Listening Stations, now available in nearly 80 Best Buy Magnolia Design Center stores nationwide. The Hi-Res Listening Stations are supported by the major music companies Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group, and feature music clips from 40 classic catalog and new album titles–and will be updated with new music on a quarterly basis.
Additionally, the listening station kiosks enable consumers to choose from a wide variety of high-resolution music recordings spanning all genres via Sony audio products including Walkman portable players, headphone amplifiers and music servers.
The kiosks also feature an integrated tablet that contains information about Hi-Res Audio in general, along with music discographies and video testimonials. The program further includes promotional incentives from Magnolia at Best Buy and hi-res music download supplier HDtracks.
At the Hi-Res Listening Station launch event at Best Buy’s Magnolia Design Center flagship store on New York City’s Columbus Circle, Sony announced that it will provide a free Hi-Res Audio download of Carrie Underwood’s new album Storyteller to buyers of a Sony NWZ-A17 or NW-ZX2 Hi-Res Walkman player between Dec. 1 and Jan. 16, 2016–in cooperation with Sony Music Entertainment and facilitated through HDtracks. To promote this offer, a clip from Underwood’s new single will be featured in the Hi-Res Listening Station during the months of December and January.
“Hi-Res Audio has received an overwhelmingly positive response from audiophiles everywhere and our partnership with Magnolia at Best Buy will enable the industry to deliver the hi-res message to a much broader audience,” said Mike Fasulo, president and COO of Sony Electronics. “Sony is always striving to provide consumers with entertainment devices that meet virtually every lifestyle need and our unique collaboration with Magnolia at Best Buy is no exception.”
Noted Michael Crane, merchant director at Magnolia at Best Buy: “For nearly 50 years, Best Buy has been the destination for electronics and entertainment, and as the nation’s largest AV specialty retailer, our Magnolia Design Center stores deliver the ultimate experiences. We’re pleased to join with Sony and the major music companies in bringing this experience to all of our locations nationwide. Simply stated, MDC is proud to serve as the destination for Hi-Res Audio.”
Noting HDtracks’s free sampler album of high-resolution tracks, the company’s president and co-founder Norman Chesky said, “HDtracks, the leading source for true high-res music downloads in the U.S., is thrilled to be working with Magnolia Design Centers and Sony to bring the high-res listening experience to Magnolia’s discerning customers. This great-sounding free sampler album and discount incentive offers bring additional value to every purchase and are a great way to showcase any hi-res audio device.”
Producer David Foster, who heads Verve Music Group, sent a video message. The high-resolution audio format, he said, offers “the opportunity for everyone to hear music exactly the way we made it and intended it to sound and with all the care we put into it.”
Also present at the launch was Nashville-based artist Anderson East, whose major label debut album Delilah was released this year on Elektra’s Low Country Sound imprint. East’s music was featured on the listening stations, and he clearly enjoyed hanging out in the store’s high-end sound and home theater rooms following the brief presentation.
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