Crypton Future Media is a startup that does sound and music related software including sound synthesizers and music library manipulation. The company licences its software to large and small companies across a number of industries including everyone from small music stores to Nintendo, Apple, government organizations, traditional media companies, etc. In addition the company has an eCommerce business for mobile devices including ringtones.
Most noteworthy of their products is Hatsune Miku a software singing voice synthesizer that has morphed into a community constructed digital persona and cyber celebrity throwing sold out live concerts everywhere from Los Angeles to Tokyo. To really grasp the concept see this amazing video of a packed concert as a piece of voice software attracts cheering legions of fans. Hatsune Miku has over 100,000 unique songs, millions of social media fans, and hundreds of thousands of music videos all created by a global creative fanbase. With the smashing success of turning a piece of software into a celebrity persona, Crypton has created more cyber celebrities around their other voicebank products and software with similar results and fanbases being created. Amazingly this allows Crypton to monetize not just by selling their software, but also through concert ticket sales and character licensing of their products.
The team is based in Sapporo, Japan.
Why I like Them
I like Crypton because they have a fascinating, almost science fiction like business by giving charaterization to software that has inadvertently become the first ever cyber celebrity. The company has even gone as far as assigning a gender (female), an age (a perpetual 16), height, weight and blood type to make "her" more relatable to fans. The idea of making a software product into a humanoid figure (a celebrity no less) with human traits boggles my mind every time I think about it. The fact that it worked beyond their wildest expectations further blows my mind. This humanization of a product (an intangible product like software no less) is brilliant and could very well be the next generation of marketing. You aren't buying a product, you are buying a piece of and interaction with a celebrity.
The iPhone is the most successful consumer product in history and even it is not given a persona or celebrityhood status by its fans. Crypton has broken innovative new ground on what could very much be a new type of product and marketing strategy - digital celebrities wholly owned by corporations but with their content created by a global fan community. I can't wait to see what happens when this concept meets more traditional AI technologies!
Disclosure: All information is from publicly available sources, I have not had any contact with a member of the company or its investors.