Purchasing specific hardware as part of delivering a service reduces your choices as things change in the future
Hardware vendors who package in music services that only work with their proprietary hardware know the cost of switching services is a big barrier to you. Not only have you sunk capital into their proprietary hardware that is the only way you get access to their music service but they also think the cost of replacing their hardware is hard to justify. So they offer the music service with no minimum term because they know the hardware dies enough to lock you in.
Likewise satellite service providers are keen for you to invest hundreds of dollars in hardware as part of connecting to their services.
It’s pretty frustrating for any businesses to be held back from making better choices about services as new and better options become available such as Melody Pods. In other industries the cost of switching services is controlled by regulation to ensure customers have a choice and aren’t restricted to make positive changes.
So what can you do to avoid this as you look for replacing older equipment or are building out new business locations?
When you look at the hardware check if key components are bundled together to lock you in further.
For example, does the hardware combine both the music receiving system, the player and the amplifyer?
Does the hardware insist on a proprietary connection to speakers locking you in further?
A solution that you would say yes to all the above is likely to be compelling when you looked at the original figures, that’s the time when the hardware vendor wants to make their solution very attractive. Once they have you they can increase the service price for example and see a minimum resistance because you are then locked in.
Vendors such as Nel-Tech Labs’ ilink system for example breaks down the hardware into components so you can choose the right amplifyer from your own choice of vendors whilst still using I-link flash drives to download music to play locally.
Melody Pods goes one step further and opens up a multitude of hardware vendors for consideration depending on your exact needs. Indeed with Android as a base OS for our device downloader and music player you can, given enough locations and zones to populate, contract a supplier to produce a tablet for your specific needs, setting up a hardware spec along with a specification of what software is included on the internal drive to optimise the device even further.
Using Ethernet, Bluetooth, and open standards for wifi you have a range of options that not only avoids any lock in from hardware vendors but it enables you or your franchise partners to use technology of their own preference or even what they have already invested in, ensuring the cost of background music is reduced further.
With low cost tablets you have opportunities to use smaller ‘phablet’ sized screens to reduce the capital investment in addition to reducing the energy costs of running a player for long opening ours.
Lastly, with Melodypods you can try out our service by just connecting via an android smartphone if you have one to make a trial of our service at zero cost, even before getting a tablet to try the full features of multi zone and multi client playlists on real customers.