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Avex to launch smartphone payment app

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Avex to launch smartphone payment app

MAJOR music company Avex Inc plans to launch a smartphone-based payment app as early as this summer, giving users points they can exchange for exclusive goods or concert tickets.

The new service is aimed at fostering closer ties with music fans, and Avex will call on other music firms to join in.

Avex’s app is called “entame [entertainment] wallet”. The company will award points based on how much digital cash, called “entame coin”, that users spend at shops or online.

Exclusive products

It will also reward people who view footage of their favourite artists or share articles on social networking services. The company plans to allow users to exchange their points for exclusive products or to obtain tickets to music concerts and special events.

Avex is aiming to see payments totalling about 450 billion yen ($4 billion) in 2022.

By giving points, Avex seeks to analyse what fans do and what they’re interested in, so as to expand their business outside selling music. According to sources, Avex will invite other parties, such as music companies and entertainment agencies, to participate in the project. The sources said Avex will not use the customer data exclusively, but provide it to each participant.

The project is partly spurred by the sense of crisis in the music industry over the rise of music streaming services. IT giants such as Apple, Amazon and Google offer monthly music subscription services, which have become so popular that domestic sales of music CDs are on a downward trend.

In general, when users listen to music or watch video with a music streaming service, a fee is paid to a music company. The customer data it can obtain, however, is limited to age and gender, which prevents the company from enhancing its marketing based on customer preferences.

“Record companies need to transform their business from selling songs and CDs to offering comprehensive services including managing live performances, selling goods and coordinating events,” a music industry expert at Okasan Securities said. THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN (JAPAN)/ANN

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