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Up the Rio: D&M Closes Its Music Player Biz

Japanese electronics maker D&M Holdings Inc., which also owns the Denon, McIntosh, Marantz, and ReplayTV brands, has said it will cease production and marketing of its Rio portable digital music player by September 30 due to poor sales. The company said in a statement that “the decision to exit the Rio business followed a determination that the mass-market portable digital audio player market was not a strong enough strategic fit with the company’s core and profitable premium consumer electronics brands.”

In other words, lackluster sales under the Rio brand weren’t justifying D&M’s continued investment in the business, especially give the market dominance of Apple’s iPod portable music players.

D&M plans to focus on its core businesses of high-end audio and video gear and advanced content server products. According to Vic Pacor, D&M president, the company feels its “competitive advantage will be to focus on creating premium home network products that are designed for compatibility with a variety of client devices and services.”

D&M will retain the Rio brand and trademark, and retains access to MP3 player technology through license with SigmaTel, Inc., to whom it sold key Rio intellectual property and technology components in July, including the bulk of the technical personnel responsible for developing Rio products. SigmaTel makes integrated circuits used in the portable digital music player market.

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