A Grammy Award winning music producer and the former CEO behind the Guitar Hero and Grand Theft Auto video games franchises today confirmed the delivery of the world’s first 100 percent accurate, completely inaudible music identification technology.  SonicKey has completed a year of testing and is now starting commercial trialing in North America and Europe.

The SonicKey enables all music to be uniquely identifiable, referenceable and trackable with 100 percent accuracy to any version, stream, edit, cut, language, performance or distributed copy across broadcast, social media, video sharing and in-venue use.

SonicData platform operates at a fraction of the cost of existing technologies, integrates with SVOT MetaData.

SonicKey will be free to encode for all rights holders and artists. It operates at a fraction of the cost of existing technologies. It can be encoded at any point in the music’s journey, including in realtime at the point of delivery as SonicKey was designed to work with streaming platforms. Each SonicKey is unique.

“SonicKey changes the royalty and reporting landscape for every artist and rights holder as  current technology is not fit for purpose,” said Kelly Sumner, Chairman of SonicData. Sumner enjoyed significant global success in music and video gaming bringing the Guitar Hero and Grand Theft Auto franchises to market.

“SonicKey can enable an end to unpaid royalties, late payments, no payments, poor reporting, the use of incorrect metadata and a reliance on platform owners’ limited reporting. By  understanding the information, you can begin to create a better relationship with the platform, the consumer and the value chain, much like the video games industry is able to do.”

He added: “Technology has changed the way music is accessed used and shared. It has changed music’s availability on so many platforms.  But with this has come a myriad of problems. SonicKey makes music identifiable, referenceable and trackable. Globally, 24 hours a day, delivering realtime live data to a collection agency – and the rights holder – which is 100 percent accurate. This delivers the speed and efficiencies that the music industry demands.”

The platform enables every piece of music to be uniquely tracked, reported and monetised on any platform against a single version of the truth (SVOT) metadata record controlled by the host collection agency. SonicKey delivers a rich set of user data and analytics for royal reporting and commercial strategy and planning. All SonicKey tracking is managed by the Sonic StreamReader. A StreamReader can only detect specific SonicKeys to which rights are owned. A rights holder or artist can enable as many or as few StreamReader licences as is required, enabling full transparency .

Simon Gogerly, who won a Grammy for his work with U2, invented the core audio technology behind the algorithms. “This is about payment for every play,” said Gogerly.  “I created the SonicKey in a professional studio environment in order that we created a solution for the music industry by the music industry; the most important thing is the music.”

Simon Gogerly, SonicData co-founder and SonicKey inventor

“My motivation was creating full transparency and empowering the rights holder following a long history of not being paid myself and seeing too many artists, producers and other creators being paid incorrectly or not at all as well as incredibly slowly. There were no efficiencies and little desire for anything to change.”

Gogerly added: “This situation has only been exacerbated by the emergence and power of social media and video sharing platforms.”

At the same time SonicData also announced SonicVenue, an in-venue device able to detect SonicKeys.  The SonicVenue device fits into any plug socket and detects music played in any venue (bars, clubs, gyms, restaurants, retail etc.). It sends SonicKeys and fingerprint enabled data directly to country collection agencies and rights holders via SonicData’s global StreamReader monitoring platform.  SonicVenue does not record any sound in venues so has no privacy issues, it is inexpensive to deploy and operate. It is hoped that SonicVenue will enable venues to pay the music they use, making payment for music a Utility service.

For collection agencies and the reporting channel, a digital system based on tracking a SonicKey directly through the Sonic StreamReader changes the model for PROs and CMOs, enabling efficiencies and a transition to an automated collection model.

SonicData also confirmed it can facilitate friction-free integration of its platform into accounting and royalty systems delivering significant efficiency and more value and money to members and rights holders.

SonicData’s patented technology is an algorithm that adapts to any sound, identifying and understanding its frequency and harmony. This means that the SonicKey becomes part of the underlying sound of any music or content in which it is encoded.  SonicKey is inaudible watermarking. Because it was designed to work with streaming platforms, It is fast and performant and through SonicData’s cloud based solutions can encode millions of songs in just a few hours. 

It works with any and all sound and is 100 percent accurate with mixed audio and voice over. It can be integrated easily alongside existing technologies currently in use. It is Identifiable within  seconds and is compatible with over 80 industry audio and video file formats. It is extensively tested DA/AD conversion, file format conversion and post production. SonicKey can operate in both hardware and software.

SonicData is also delivering variable SonicKey lengths. The 11-digit free to encode SonicKey will be supported by variable Key lengths for vertical markets, promotions, sales and other initiatives across a catalogue’s use.

SonicData’s mission is to enable, understand and track all the world’s music and audio content from creation to consumption.


Simon Harvey
+44 7860 401882

Kelly Sumner
+44 7962 676934