I'm a Music Industry Business and Technology Strategist


My approach to building
the tech brands of tomorrow.

I provide business and technology consulting services in areas ranging from metadata, new formats, technical standards, music copyright, and royalty collection to applications of artificial intelligence in the music and entertainment space.

Leveraging my 25 years of institutional knowledge and business experience in the music technology space, I ensure my clients avoid common pitfalls (and wasted resources) while ensuring they are maximizing their technical and financial resources.

I also provide ‘General Contracting’ services to technology companies and social media platforms integrating music onto their platforms.


Strategic Business and Technology Advisory Services for music integration onto new and existing technology platforms

  • Advise on business, technology, and copyright issues
  • Oversee the development and implementation of an overall integration plan including:
    • Acquisition of necessary copyright clearances
    • Ingestion of metadata and sound recording files
    • Implementation of industry data standards
    • Accurate monitoring of music usage
    • Calculation and accurate payment of royalties
  • Make full use of available technologies and existing standards
    • Avoid wasting resources by “re-inventing the wheel”
  1. What I do:
    • Advise on the coordination of a project
    • Advise on the general building design and help define what needs to be done – and in what order
      • Assess the project based on available documentation
    • In the case of music integration on an existing platform, an in depth “site visit” of the existing platform is required to get a detailed understanding of the platform and project requirements
    • Help identify and outline scope of work for specialized advisors and contractors to perform all or portions of the work.
  1. What I do not do:
    • I do not do the technical integration
      • i.e., I act as a General Contractor – not the electrician or plumber
      • However, I will help identify the most appropriate vendors and scope out the work to be done,
    • I do not act as “construction manager,” “foreman” or “crew chief,” but rather work closely with those who do


Three decades of experience in digital business strategy

David has nearly thirty years of experience in digital business strategy, focusing for over 25 years on online music distribution. He began his career at Sony Corporation in Tokyo in 1993 and first became involved in the digital distribution of music in 1996. In 1998 he moved to Sony Music in New York where, as Vice President of Technology Strategies and Digital Policy, he created and ran the industry’s first online distribution department. David’s responsibilities included the creation of all aspects of the technical and business infrastructures required to enable mass online distribution.

In 2006, David joined the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in Washington, DC where for almost 15 years he represented the major recording companies’ technology interests as Chief Technology Officer. His responsibilities included coordinating the development and promotion of numerical identifiers, technical standards, emerging technologies, and new formats, as well as outreach to the broader technology community.

Since April 2021 David has been an independent strategic consultant advising clients on business and technology issues ranging from identifiers and metadata to applications of emerging technologies including content recognition and artificial intelligence. Current and past music industry clients include the RIAA, SoundExchange, Jaxsta, Veva Sound, and Song Sleuth, as well as companies working on new technologies, products, and services both inside and outside the entertainment industry.


David has contributed to the development of a number of formats and standards including MPEG, DVD-Audio, SACD, Blu-ray, Ultraviolet, the International Standard Recording Code (ISRC), the International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) and the music industry’s suite of Digital Data Exchange standards (DDEX). He has also been very active in the promotion of Hi-Resolution and Immersive music formats.

David has a B.A. Honours in East Asian Studies from the University of Alberta in Canada and holds a Master of Management Science degree from the University of Tsukuba in Japan. He is a member of the Audio Engineering Society and the Recording Academy, sits on the Library of Congress’ National Recording Preservation Board, and is inventor of over a dozen U.S. and international patents.


My approach to building
the tech brands of tomorrow.

My clients include artificial intelligence and the machine learning companies, both inside and outside of the music industry” and delete the part in parenthesis that says “”Song Sleuth and soon for NSF technologies.


• The U.S. Copyright Office and the World Intellectual Property Organization present “Copyright in the Age of Artificial Intelligence” Wednesday, February 5, 2020


Let's get in touch.

Send me an email: david@davidhughes.ca

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