On November 11, 2015, Phoenix Entertainment Partners, LLC purchased the CHARTBUSTER KARAOKE® trademarks and service marks from Piracy Recovery, LLC, the company that owned, licensed, and enforced the trademarks following the dissolution of Tennessee Production Center, Inc.
The CHARTBUSTER KARAOKE brand is the No. 2 "legacy" American karaoke brand in terms of frequency of play. Because of the brand's historical focus on country music, Chartbuster has a strong presence in many markets, especially those where country music is most popular. The brand has been out of new production since 2012, but it continues to receive heavy play in karaoke shows around the country, second only to SOUND CHOICE® in popularity in most markets.
Perhaps most importantly, our acquisition of the Chartbuster brand saves that brand from falling into the "freeware" status that many American brands have reached. While "freeware" status sounds like a good deal for karaoke operators and patrons, it's actually not, because it robs karaoke producers of sales and songwriters and music publishers of the royalties that support new music. In fact, the "freeware" status of other brands has had an adverse effect on all karaoke producers, who find it increasingly difficult to compete against the "free music" mentality. Freeware status for Chartbuster would have been devastating to the karaoke industry as a whole because of the high quality of the recordings.
On a more positive note, our acquisition of the Chartbuster brand means that Chartbuster music--all fully legal--will continue to be released in the United States. Although these releases will be limited in nature, they will mean the continued vitality of the brand going forward. That's good for the many Chartbuster fans out there.
We know that many of you hold original Chartbuster Karaoke® discs, hard drives, and other media. Ever since we announced our plans in October, we've gotten lots of questions from all of you about how we'll deal with certifications, audits, and media-shifting.
Our media-shifting policy for Chartbuster is somewhat different from the policy we apply to Sound Choice® karaoke tracks, because of differences in the original media, the amount of information we have about existing customers and certifications, and other considerations. You can find our more about our media-shifting policy for Chartbuster Karaoke® tracks, our new media registration program, and our plans for a new Chartbuster Certified℠ program at the link below.