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Pure Expands Wireless-Audio Selection, Distribution

8/25/2013 08:00:00 PM Eastern

NEW YORK — Pure Audio, the Internet-radio and docking-speaker company, is expanding its fledgling selection of Jongo wireless multi-room-audio speakers, expanding Jongo distribution to include Walmart and Best Buy brick-and-mortar stores, and readying its first major consumer ad campaign, U.S. sales director Noam Meppen said.

The Jongo series of products, some of which were unveiled at International CES, consists of tabletop Bluetooth/Wi-Fi speakers, a Bluetooth/Wi-Fi adapter that connects to existing stereo systems, and a Pure Connect iOS and Android app. The app turns a smartphone or tablet into a Jongo-system controller and streams songs stored on a mobile device to multiple Jongo speakers at a time via Wi-Fi.

The apps also act as a controller to direct PC-stored songs to multiple speakers at a time, and the apps access Pure’s Internet music service, which can also be streamed from a mobile device to multiple speakers at a time.

The Jongo lineup currently consists of a $199-everyday S3 portable AC/DC Bluetooth/Wi-Fi speaker and the $129 A2, a Bluetooth/Wi-Fi adapter that can be connected to any existing home stereo system. Both shipped in May.

In September, the company plans shipments of its AC-only T6 tabletop speaker at an everyday $349. Also in September, the company will ship a fourth product, the AC-only $149 T2 speaker. Another Jongo speaker will be launched at January’s CES.

All Jongo speakers are single-chassis stereo models, but with an over-the-air firmware upgrade available since last week, each speaker can be used as a left or right speaker in a stereo pair.

September will also see the launch of premium versions of the company’s Pure Connect music streaming service, which is available through the company’s Pure Connect iOS and Android apps. The currently available free version, dubbed Pure Connect Green, accesses 20,000 Internet radio stations throughout the world plus 200,000 free on-demand programs and podcasts. The $4.99/month Blue version adds on-demand access to 15 million cloud-based songs and lets users create playlists from the cloud-based music library. The $9.99 Violet version adds the ability to store streamed songs and playlists in memory for off-line playback.

Besides building up Jongo’s selection of SKUs, Pure is expanding Jongo’s distribution to brick-and-mortar retailers for the first time, with all four SKUs appearing in more than 300 Best Buy stores in October and the AC-only T2, portable S3, and A2 adapter appearing in more than 2,800 Walmart stores that month.

The Jongo products will be Pure’s first products available through brick-and-mortar retailers in awhile.

Pure also plans to expand distribution to other brick-and-mortar national and regional retailers in the fall and next year, but it hasn’t been determined whether those retailers will offer Jongo products or other Pure products, Meppen said. Pure’s online distribution will also expand, he said.

To support Jongo retailers, Pure plans an advertising campaign that will primarily be online. The company will also promote Jongo through social media.