Sony Music set to offer new blockchain-powered solutions
It may seem as though the music industry is usually late in arriving to the latest technological advances and features, but that has not been the case throughout various times in history. The development of some of the most commonly used audio technology today, for example, has been pioneered by the music industry, while even the rise of streaming services such as Spotify was borne out of a need to reach audiences directly and harness the power of the internet, nascent as it was at the stage when the first streaming services, most notably Napster, first came into existence.
In that vein, it should not be a surprise that some music companies and record labels are looking at the latest in technology to improve the industry as well. Sony, which is of course one of the biggest conglomerates in the world, being closely tied to developments in technology, has been taking the lead on this, through its music division, Sony Music. The record label and music distribution arm of Sony has been working on a partnership with Gaudiy, which is a Japanese blockchain firm, with a view to introduce tokens into the music industry.
Those with an interest in finance and technology will be familiar with blockchain, which is being touted as the new innovation which can change the way we work. Blockchain is most notably being used to underpin cryptocurrency transactions, which are on the rise as well due to a huge interest in the space over the last few years. The most important use or benefit of blockchain is the decentralization it offers, with data being encrypted and stored across multiple computers and networks rather than in one single data hub. This has huge implications from a privacy and effectiveness standpoint, and it has already helped make cryptocurrency transactions extremely secure and almost impossible to hack. This is one of the reasons why cryptocurrencies are largely being adopted by online stores and merchants, since online transactions are the most vulnerable to fraud. As an example, potential users of online casino websites have always had to be cautious around depositing and withdrawing funds online, both because of the chance of fraud, as well as the relative unfamiliarity with online casino brands as well as online transactions. However, fans of online slots for real money may not be afraid of losing their winnings anymore, if they are able to use cryptocurrencies to make their withdrawals. Their data is extremely safe, and there is very little chance of it being stolen by scammers.
Thus, it is this technology that Sony Music is aiming to bring to consumers and music fans all over the world. At the moment, Sony Music and Gaudiy are running pilot projects to create blockchain-powered platforms targeting fans of the biggest Japanese pop (J-pop) acts on the Sony Music label. Korean pop (K-pop) could be the next option, since Sony Music also distributes music for various famous K-pop artists and groups as well. At the same time, Sony Music Entertainment, which is the entertainment arm of the business, has a huge number of IP rights for video games, anime, manga and so on, which means that the company already has a sizable captive audience to test these platforms on.
This is not the first time that Sony has ventured into blockchain – earlier this year, it announced that it was developing a common database which uses blockchain, as part of its Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) program, while it is also working on a blockchain-powered rights management platform to improve digital rights management for artists. All of these ventures are an example of how blockchain can have a huge impact on the music and entertainment industry in the near future.