My approach to building
the tech brands of tomorrow.

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 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.

In addition to high level strategic business  and technology consulting, I can 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”
  • Help identify and outline scope of work for specialized advisors and contractors to perform all or portions of the work.


Three decades of experience in digital business strategy

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

In 2006, I joined the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in Washington, DC where for almost 15 years I represented the major recording companies’ technology interests as Chief Technology Officer. My 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 and internet community.

Since April 2021 I have  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, Song Chord, and Song Sleuth, as well as companies working on new technologies, products, and services both inside and outside the entertainment industry.



I have 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). I have also been very active in the promotion of Hi-Resolution and Immersive music formats.


I earned a B.A. Honours in East Asian Studies at the University of Alberta in Canada and Keio University in Tokyo. I earned a Master of Management Science degree from the University of Tsukuba in Japan, researching, writing and defending my thesis in Japanese.


I am a member of the Audio Engineering Society and the Recording Academy, sit on the Library of Congress’ National Recording Preservation Board, and am inventor of over a dozen U.S. and international patents.


For more details please see me on LinkedIn



 My clients include a number of companies applying artificial intelligence and machine learning  to problems both inside and outside of the music industry and the application of Artificial Intelligence in the Music Industry, as well as the impact of AI and machine learning on almost every spect of the industry,. is of particular interest to me.


I’ve spoken and presented on the impact of AI on the music industry, including at the  “Copyright in the Age of Artificial Intelligence” conference sponsored by the U.S. Copyright Office and WIPO. 


I’ve been interviewed about AI and music for both academic and commercial publications including Martin Clancy’s forthcoming book  Artificial Intelligence and Music Ecosystem (Focal Press/Routledge).


 My clients include a number of companies applying artificial intelligence and machine learning  to problems both inside and outside of the music industry.



Notable quote:

“Country music is perhaps the biggest paradox for AI because the underlying melodies are very formulaic, but the lyrics are based on human experience. I’d be very interested to see how long it takes an AI to come up with [the Bobby Braddock composed] Tammy Wynette song, “D-I-V-O-R-C-E.” Unless that AI spent time in a kitchen fighting with its AI spouse in front of their 4-year-old AI child, it probably wouldn’t happen [at least not for some time.]

Areas of Expertise Include

  • Digital Media Distribution Technology
  • Digital Business Strategy
  • Corporate Technology Policy
  • Monitoring and Collection of Music Royalties
  • Emerging Digital Technology
  • Intersection of Technology and Copyright
  • Digital Asset Management
  • Metadata
  • Locations of AI and ML in the Music Industry
  • New Media Formats
  • Technical Standards


  •  High Resolution Audio
  • Immersive  Audio and Surround  Sound
  • Metadata
  • Virtual Reality 
  • Augmented Reality
  • New Media Formats
  • Vinyl Production
  • Audio Preservation and Archiving 

Areas of Expertise IncludePROFESSIONAL  and Media



Areas of Expertise IncludePROFESSIONAL  and Media




Let's get in touch.

Send me an email: consulting@davidhughes.ca


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