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|Tuesday, June 23, 2009|
If you think digital downloads have killed the audio CD, you haven’t talked to Rico Micallef, president and chief operating officer of Allegro Music Group.
“The music industry is actually doing very well,” he says. “The traditional products being sold in traditional ways may be having a tough time, but the alternative markets are doing just fine.”
Micallef is talking about the markets that the Portland distributor of music CDs, DVDs and audio books is after: independent bookstores, toy shops and, with its recent acquisition of Music Design, New Age stores.
“These are the places that you don’t normally go to buy your music, where it’s more of an impulse buy,” says Micallef, who bought Allegro with his two brothers back in the late 1980s.
The acquisition of Music Design, a Milwaukee, Wisc.-based distributor of relaxation music and self-help CDs, will give Allegro a lock on the genre, Micallef says. The company employed a similar strategy to sew up the children’s music market when one of its subsidiaries acquired the distribution assets of Rounder Kids in 2007.
Some of Music Design’s backroom operations will be consolidated at Allegro’s Portland headquarters, though sales and other functions will stay in Wisconsin.
Although most of its business involves CDs and DVDs, Allegro does have a solid digital presence as well; customers include iTunes, Rhapsody and eMusic. But while Allegro is likely to continue adding to its digital offerings, Micallef says the company’s focus will remain on its core offerings — CDs, DVDs and audio books — in the genres it knows best, like classical, jazz, blues and world music.
“We’re always looking for content and opportunities that we can take advantage of in the genres we’re in,” he says.
Barring a major acquisition, that means no hip hop from Allegro anytime soon.
List researched by Jon Bell
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