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Case Studies / Sony Music

Sony Music Licensing

With the largest, oldest, and most diverse catalog of musical recordings in the world, Sony Music Entertainment licenses music to the advertising, television, and movie industries. Professionals in these fields recognize that the right music can immensely enhance their products’ appeal, and Sony Music's library contains over 200,000 songs to choose from.

Sony Music Licensing wanted to create a system to actively encourage Sony customers to explore the Sony catalog of songs for potential licensing. An essential aspect of the system would be the ability to search and browse for songs based on a wide variety of often-intangible concepts. Finally, complex search results would need to be presented simply in a visually intuitive user interface.

In collaboration with Sony, our professional services team developed a search engine powered by Thinkmap that allows users to search for songs by artist name, song title, date published, and subject matter. Using Jeff Green’s Green Book of Songs by Subject to associate each song in the Sony Music catalog with a subject, we generated a taxonomy of related subjects and sub-subjects, in order to yield rich related results. By displaying search results using the Thinkmap bubble display, the interface organizes large numbers of search results into a more intuitive, contextual arrangement. Songs are grouped by subjects and their sub-subjects (e.g., Love, and Love and Divorce), allowing users to quickly find songs with the right spin on themes as broad as Love.

The application streamlines the intimidating process of selecting songs from such a huge database. Customers can listen to selected songs at will, and, if interested, they can place these songs on a “short list” and share that information with their Sony Music representative. Thus they can initiate the licensing process immediately. The Thinkmap solution takes advantage of a combination of robust database integration on the back end with a user-friendly graphical user interface that encourages exploration and makes it easy to assemble the perfect soundtrack.

Thinkmap. Visualize Complex Information.