Leading Japanese music rights admin & distribution company NexTone launches independent, artist-focused division “ArtLed”

Chosen by rights holders, trusted by users

Tokyo, 16th June 2021 NexTone Inc. (7094:Tokyo), a leading Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers listed Japanese music rights administration and distribution company, today announce the launch of ‘ArtLed’, a new digital-first, global-facing Japanese music division targeted at the new generation of artists and independent rights owners.

Headed up by Takahiko Kakiuchi, General Manager of Digital Marketing Division, ArtLed is driven by the principles of transparency and fairness. Focused on respecting artists’ opinions and working collaboratively with them to realize their creative endeavors, ArtLed has its sights set on the global digital market.

ArtLed’s founding commitments to its clients are:

  1.   We will not make contracts that restrict activities of artists.
  2.   All rights will remain with the artists.
  3. We will disclose all conditions and pursue transparency.

Powered by the existing framework of NexTone Inc., one of the top distributors in Japan representing over 800 corporations, ArtLed will offer a full suite of services tailored to the needs of individual artists and new-generation rights holders. These will include:

  1. Distribution Services: Not only to the global and Japanese DSPs but also to domestic music services in significant markets including major Asian markets such as China and South Korea.

  2. Marketing Services: Using NexTone’s substantial experience in the digital market, ArtLed is further developing its in-house sales and marketing expertise to offer full-service, digital-first strategic support to help them maximize the effectiveness and success of their projects.

  3. Promotion Services: To help their artists broaden their reach and maximize audiences, ArtLed offers state-of-the-art artist promotion services, leveraging web outlets such as media, SNS, YouTube etc. as well as providing effective pitching, promotion and release initiatives to each DSP and off-line promotional activities such as radio, press and events.

  4. Copyright Management: In addition to distribution services, NexTone’s long-standing rights-management business facilitates the collection of royalties for digital rights directly from DSPs, helping to maximize profits for artists.

  5. Funding: ArtLed is a well-funded organization, able to provide artists with the financial support necessary to empower them to realize their ideas and ambitions. This could include the creation of music videos and/or pursuing creative collaboration.

Standing behind the division’s ethos of “Not the Biggest, But the Most Trusted”, Takahiko Kakiuchi, General Manager of Digital Marketing Division explains: “The growth of the digital market has opened up enormous opportunities for artists to reach their fans in new ways, yet Japan has lagged behind in seizing those opportunities. We believe it is time for a new force to emerge in the Japanese music industry; a local, independent, digital-first, future-focused, artist-friendly company that can build deep partnerships with our clients and lead the way into what is an exciting future for our industry”.

Artists represented at launch include groundbreaking rapper and hip-hop artist AKKOGORILLA, fast-rising J-Pop singer Watashi Kobayashi, synth-pop singer-songwriter Unknöwn Kun and improvising rock quartet Toketadenkyu. ArtLed will also be representing R&B duo lo-key design, whose debut EP topped Japan’s iTunes R&B/Soul chart in 2019.

NexTone History & Mission

NexTone was established in 2000 upon the enforcement of the Japanese copyright management law and re-established in 2016 as a joint venture between e-License Inc. and Japan Rights Clearance Inc. As of March 2020, we are a publicly listed company on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Mothers market.

Our mission is to provide alternative solutions for rights holders by way of flexible copyright management and licensing, transparent operations and processing, and equitable royalty collection and distribution. We believe strongly that data-driven technology is vital for the construction of an equitable and fair remuneration model which recognizes and values the work of creators in the digital environment.

At NexTone, we go beyond the boundaries of traditional copyright management by offering a wide array of services and tools for both rights holders and end users, a key attribute that embodies NexTone’s overarching philosophy:

“Chosen by rights holders, trusted by users.”


NexTone continues to strive towards providing solutions for rights holders through the offering of flexible copyright management and licensing, transparent operations and processing, and equitable royalty distribution.