On 16 November 2020, Gaudiy, a Japanese blockchain entertainment firm announced its partnership with Sony Music Entertainment. Gaudiy’s mission statement is to promote digital transformation in the entertainment industry, particularly with fans and it seeks to do the same in its partnership with Sony.
In this collaboration, Sony Music Group’s intellectual property assets and Gaudiy’s blockchain technology will be used to promote digital transformation in areas that have not been as exposed to digitization before. In particular, the companies will focus on user experience and new business models. They’ve already begun proof-of-concept experiments with fans of a pop star signed with Sony Music Grup.
Sony Music Group has set its sights on creating new entertainment areas in live entertainment, music streaming, sports entertainment, and together with Gaudiy, digital content.
Gaudiy focuses on promoting digitization with app development for major entertainment content companies, whose assets include manga, games, and popstars. Gaudiy helps intellectual property (IP) owners to have direct customer engagement, and together with distributed ID technology (DID), it plans to create an “IP content-centric” customer experience. In this, Gaudiy hopes to create a type of fan economy.
On the same day as the Sony announcement, Gaudiy raised ¥300 million ($2.8 million) in its Series A financing round. The underwriter was the Japanese venture capital firm STRIVE. Gaudiy aims to use the funds to promote partnerships with major firms and strengthening recruitment. The startup has multiple partnerships with major Japanese entertainment firms include Aniplex, an anime and music production company owned by Sony Music, Weekly Shonen Jump, a weekly manga anthology, and now, with Sony Music Group. It also says it works with sports teams.
Gaudiy isn’t the only firm targeting the sector. There is the Japan Contents Blockchain Initiative (JCBI) which boasts several major rightsholders as well as global marketing agency Dentsu. It too hopes to leverage content to create new business models. Dentsu joined the group recently after its own blockchain experiments with manga collectibles and fan content creation.