BUSINESS

SKT readying new music service with K-pop heavyweights

By Won Ho-jung
  • Published : Jan 31, 2018 - 16:10
  • Updated : Jan 31, 2018 - 16:10
SK Telecom said Wednesday that it is preparing to launch a new music platform service within the year in collaboration with major K-pop labels.

Together with K-pop agencies S.M. Entertainment, JYP Entertainment and Big Hit Entertainment, SKT will be creating a music platform utilizing its strengths in artificial intelligence, 5G networking and blockchain technology, the company said.

(From left) Jung Wook, CEO of JYP Entertainment, Bang Si-hyuk, CEO of Big Hit Entertainment, Noh Jong-won, head of SK Telecom‘s Unicorn Labs and Kim Young-min, CEO of S.M. Entertainment, attend an event announcing their joint music service project at SK Telecom’s headquarters in Seoul on Wednesday. (SK Telecom)

SK Telecom’s affiliate company iRiver will be responsible for handling the business-to-business distribution of the three companies’ music. 

The announcement comes five years after SK Telecom sold the streaming service Melon to Kakao in 2013 to adhere to fair trade regulations.

SKT said that the new platform will use artificial intelligence to recommend music for users, work to produce in-vehicle entertainment solutions, and create visual music content utilizing augmented and virtual reality technology.

In addition, the company is planning to use blockchain technology to help track music transactions and prevent copyright infringements.

Starting with SM, JYP and Big Hit, SKT plans to expand its partnership with additional record labels.

The three initial K-pop agencies take up about 15 percent of the entire Korean digital music market, and more than half of the CD market.

Through direct partnership with music labels, SK Telecom will be able to pursue the direct creation of content with artists based on data about the preferences of users. The company said that it will use data analysis to identify concerts or merchandise that shows high potential demand. 

By Won Ho-jung (hjwon@heraldcorp.com)


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