How PPL has improved music data
As a collective management organisation (CMO), we are committed to improving the access to and quality of sound recording metadata used across the industry and around the world.
We often lead or support projects with this aim, because accurate data is key to our core purpose of getting music people paid. When we are provided with complete and correct data – by our members, by licensees, as well as other CMOs and partners – we are able to allocate the money we have collected faster and more efficiently.
This year we were chosen to build and operate RDx – the Repertoire Data Exchange. This is an initiative from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN) which will provide a centralised sound recording data exchange and bring about a standardised mode and format for the sharing of music metadata.
Record companies have historically needed to use a variety of data delivery formats and processes to supply content to individual CMOs around the world, presenting challenges in the supply of sound recording data. It is intended that RDx will offer recording rightsholders of all sizes, from all countries, a single registration point to supply their repertoire data in a standardised format (DDEX MLC) that can be quickly and easily accessed by CMOs around the world, leading to improvements in data accessibility and quality. These improvements will help support the timeliness, accuracy and efficiency of CMOs’ revenue distributions to rightsholders worldwide. The roll-out of RDx will start in 2020, and the development phase has already been receiving technical support from the following record companies and digital aggregators:
- Beggars Group
- Sony Music Entertainment
- The state51 Music Group/CI
- Universal Music Group
- Warner Music Group
Technical support has also been received by the following CMOs:
- Gramex (Finland)
- Re:Sound (Canada)
- SENA (Netherlands)
Sound Credit is a platform consisting of a plug-in and desktop app, that makes it easier for creators to collect, edit and deliver music credits. The platform will now allow a performer’s International Performer Number (IPN) to be added to the recording’s metadata, ensuring more accurate contributor information. This initiative is one of a number of collaborations that PPL is involved in to improve the accuracy of recording metadata and help support music creators. It follows a similar partnership with Session (formerly Auddly) announced in late 2018.
In November, Sound Credit and Session shared a stage with PPL and others at the DDEX Creator Credits Summit in Stockholm. The summit aimed to shine a light on how data standardisation is improving the gathering of metadata, and discuss how best to capture creator credit data at the earliest possible point in the creative process. It began with a keynote from ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus who outlined the importance of proper credits to a successful music career. Then, Session, Sound Credit, and several other companies demonstrated exciting tools that can aid the collection of complete and accurate metadata during the creative process. Later, PPL’s Head of Insight & Innovation, Matt Phipps-Taylor, moderated a panel that discussed how such credits data is used across the music ecosystem and the range of important processes that they underpin: rights management, voice-activated services, archiving and, of course, royalty distributions.
In addition to these recent events, PPL has continued to contribute its experience and technical expertise to other long-running data improvement organisations and initiatives.
On behalf of PPL Matt Phipps-Taylor is a board member of DDEX (Digital Data Exchange), a consortium of organisations working together to develop and maintain standards for the exchange of data about music. As part of our business, we frequently send and receive large volumes of metadata about recordings, rights and performer contributions with various organisations around the world, and the DDEX standards are important for ensuring those exchanges of data are as efficient and accurate as possible. In 2019, DDEX released a number of important updates and improvements to several data standards, and we have worked alongside other DDEX members on further updates that will be published in 2020.
On behalf of PPL, CEO Peter Leathem is a board member of SCAPR, the global body that represents performer CMOs and operates the Virtual Recording Database (VRDB). The aim of the VRDB is to increase the efficiency of exchanging data between CMOs to support international royalty payments. This year PPL performer members have already seen the benefits of the VRDB in certain countries, notably Holland and Spain, and SCAPR and its members, including PPL, are continually working to bring more CMOs onto this platform.
More accurate data enables more accurate royalty payments, and more performers and recording rightsholders being properly remunerated for their creative work. By improving the quality of sound recording metadata – whether through our own initiatives, in strategic projects and partnerships, or in long-term collaboration with the rest of the industry – PPL is helping to get music people paid.