Guitammer's Journey from Musicians to Broadcast
Musicians performing at live venues often have problems hearing the low frequency end of music without turning the stage monitors up very loud. Of course, turning up the stage monitors interferes with the playing ability of the rest of the musicians. In the early 1990s, The Guitammer Company
(OTCBB: GTMM) was founded to enable musicians to feel low frequency sounds in a realistic way without creating any actual sounds.
The product, sold under the brand name ButtKicker(R), has become extremely popular among musicians ever since, with many famous users around the world:
"I love my ButtKickers. I cannot imagine any bass player not realizing how much they help keep things tight. I have known many drummers that swear by them and even recently met a keyboard guy that had them under his seat and said he would never part with 'em. I have found them to be a valuable tool for all music types and intensities I have played throughout my career with James Ingram, Lynyrd Skynyrd and now Sheryl Crowe. The difference is amazing, it’s like the difference in watching a movie on a cheap tv vs. seeing it in a theater. I tell everyone, do yourself a favor... get a ButtKicker."- Robert Kearns, Bass Player for Sheryl Crow
"I have been using ButtKicker since I joined Megadeth in 2004 and it is an integral part of my live rig. Often drummers sacrifice "feeling" that live experience during a live performance, but with the ButtKicker this will no longer ever be an issue. It will literally knock you off your drum throne if you crank it up enough-I have mine set to where it almost does and I love it!!!!!! I simply will not play live without my ButtKicker-end of story."
- Shawn Drover, Drummer for Megadeth
"Thanks to my ButtKickers, I can actually FEEL the low end on stage which my in ear monitors just can’t re-create. I haven't played a show in two years without 'em and there’s no going back!"- Mickey Hart, The Mickey Hart Band
"I hate using ear monitors as a bassist because I can't feel the dynamics of the music. The ButtKicker system returns the earth shaking feeling of standing in front of my speakers in spades… without all the volume. And I love that."- Dave Schools, Bass Player for The Mickey Hart Band
After experiencing this initial success among musicians, Guitammer pivoted to bring the technology into theaters. By late-2011, the company's technology could be found in more than 80 installations across 13 countries. The U.S.'s AMC Networks Inc
. (NASDAQ: AMCX) has over 500 installations, China's Lumiere Pavilions has been regularly adding more seats over time, and an IMAX Corporation
(NYSE: IMAX) theater in Russia had over 500 installed seats.
According to Lumiere Pavilions' Founder and CEO Jimmy Wu:
"Following a careful evaluation of many products that purport to deliver a '4D' entertainment experience it was evident that the ButtKicker solution offered far and away the most comprehensive and fully immersive experience for our guests. The success of our first installation of ButtKicker products at our theater in Nanjing confirms that audiences are thrilled with this new, engaging entertainment experience. We're pleased to be adding ButtKicker in our Beijing theater as well as the near-term rollout of the product at our Sheyang theater as we're confident that guest experiences at these facilities will match the tremendous response we have received from current installations.
"The accurate and realistic ButtKicker '4D' effect is an excellent complement to the quality theater offerings we provide our guests and we believe there is a near-term opportunity to expand the number of our seats that feature this experience. We are also evaluating other areas of our theaters that can be enhanced with the ButtKicker sensory effect and are beginning to explore opportunities to work with Guitammer to bring the ButtKicker experience into our theater guests' homes with the wireless ButtKicker Kit consumer product."
These theater sales helped raise awareness among consumers, who have begun adopting the technology for their home entertainment systems and gaming systems. On Amazon.com, many of the ButtKicker(R) line of home products have achieved significant sales judging by the number of ratings, as well as consistently favorable user reviews. In fact, almost all of its products have achieved four- or five-star ratings on Amazon.com Inc
. (NASDAQ: AMZN).
Here is one example of such a review recently posted on Amazon's website:
"The Buttkicker is a 'tactile transducer', meaning it turns sound into shaking. It's just one of four players in that niche; the others are Clark Synthesis, Aura Bass Shaker and Crowson. But the Buttkicker is the best; the Clarks are less intense and less concentrated in the low frequencies, the Auras are $20 units with all that entails (such as lack of shake and lack of finesse) and the Crowsons are purely under-couch devices."
"The Buttkicker adds a bit of shake to your home theatre. It doesn't replace the subwoofer, but sort-of turns the floor into a lower subwoofer. And I love it. But there are some things you should know."
"It needs a LOT of power, so this LFE Kit (with Amp) is probably the best choice to start with because you can't drive it from your receiver."
"Second, one LFE Kit will do a sofa nicely, but if you, like me, mount it under your floor, you're gonna need two. Possibly more, but probably two. Because that's a LOT more mass to shake, and otherwise they'll be maxxing out and making a loud knocking noise." (You can drive up to four Buttkickers with a single Buttkicker Amp.)
"Third, it's not like riding a rollercoaster. You'll feel the floor shake from loud sound effects, bombs, etc., but don't expect magic. It makes the movie more real, but it doesn't toss you around."
"All that said, it's a great addition. If you can afford the cost-of-entry, you'll be amazed how shallow the system feels with it off."
In November of 2011, Guitammer received a new patent on the "capture and remote reproduction of haptic events in synchronous association with the video and audio capture and reproduction of those events." The resulting ButtKicker LIVE!(R) could have a significant impact on the broadcast industry, including companies like DIRECTV Inc
. (NASDAQ: DTV) and DISH Network Corp
(NASDAQ: DISH), who may be interested in differentiating technologies.
According to John Ertmann, a consultant to Guitammer and a long time sports industry executive with stints at the NY Yankees, NBC Sports and Major League Soccer:
"ButtKicker Live! is a tremendous breakthrough in the evolution of broadcast sports, and sports viewership overall. It will greatly enhance the viewer's experience by putting him or her in the middle of the action, and faithfully replicating what the athletes themselves are feeling. Television sports fans are no longer satisfied with simply being passive observers. They want to participate in the event itself, and Buttkicker Live! enables that immersive experience by providing the tactile element that has been missing."
In the end, investors may want to take a closer look at Guitammer as it moves along this path of value creation - from core musician audience to theater seats to consumer homes to broadcast television. The latest stage of this transition could result in significant value creation, given the high margin potential for ongoing licensing revenues and a transition away from hardware sales.
To see a corporate video telling Guitammer’s story, click here - http://guitammer.com/corporate_presentation.html
To sign up for free email updates on GTMM click here: http://www.tdmfinancial.com/emailassets/gtmm/gtmm_landing.php
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