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IQ News: Sony Music Thinking Ahead

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As advertisers eschew jingles in favor of licensing new and vintage recordings, New York-based Sony Music Entertainment is looking to take its share of this burgeoning market. As such, the company this week is launching Sony Music Licensing, a password-protected extranet division of its corporate site.
"Our idea was to create a private, confidential tool where prospective clients can search for music by artist, type of music or what have you," explained J. David Waldman, Sony vice president of new technology and business development. Based on ThinkMap, a proprietary software tool developed by New York-based Plumb Design, the site provides a relational database which allows a more intuitive approach to music selection than was previously possible.
"When someone's trying to find a piece of music it's a creative process; they have to be able to slip into an intuitive frame of mind where they don't have to think too much about what they're doing," Waldman explains. "ThinkMap allows them to more or less slip into an unconscious state of free association."
The tool--based on theoretical principles of gravitation and magnetism--features a kinetic display that enables information on songs and artists to be pushed and pulled around at the user's whim. Clients will also be able to interact online in real time with Sony Music representatives, and sample recordings, which can be streamed over the Web.--Ken Coupland