ppl welcomes progress on music streaming metadata

PPL, the UK’s music licensing company for over 140,000 performers and recording rightsholders, has endorsed a new industry agreement aimed at ensuring music creators are paid more.

The United Kingdom Industry Agreement on Music Streaming Metadata details a plan to deliver better quality metadata – the information which describes who contributed to a track’s creation, and how. This includes details like who wrote a song, who performed on a recording, and who owns it.

Metadata is often not as accurate or complete as it should be, leading to significant delays to creators being paid for the use of their works, and in some cases not being paid at all.

Cross-industry working group agreement

The agreement has been signed by the members of a national metadata working group, which was set up by the government to tackle some of the data issues that affect the due crediting and payment of music makers.

The group, which brings together industry bodies, campaigners, representatives from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), and other key stakeholders, was set up in 2021 as part of the parliamentary inquiry into the economics of music streaming.

Whilst the initiative has been driven by the inquiry, the commitments in the agreement will benefit creators more widely, as complete and accurate metadata is the vital foundation for all money flows to creators.

Experts from PPL have made a substantial contribution to the working group and resulting agreement, which marks a major step forward in achieving a fairer deal for performers and recording rightsholders from streaming. PPL will continue to work with its working group colleagues over the next two years to deliver a final plan.

A fairer deal for performers

The agreement sets out a roadmap for how representatives from all parts of the music industry will work together to deliver consistent, high-quality metadata, with the appropriate support from the government. The signatories agree that music metadata should be complete, authoritative, and available to those who need it when they need it, enabling contributors to works and recordings to be credited and paid accurately and promptly.

The agreement includes a specific commitment to continuing to collaborate over the next two years to progressively measure and improve the quality and timeliness of music metadata spanning both musical works and recordings. The ambition is to provide streaming services with complete work songwriter and performer data to ensure that all creators are consistently credited on streaming services and identified in relevant reports to licensors.

“Delighted that progress is being made”

Mark Douglas, PPL’s Chief Information Officer, said: “We’re delighted that progress is being made on this long-running, highly complex issue. The agreement marks another step forward on the journey to ensuring that better data flows through our music ecosystem. We look forward to continuing to work with partners from across the industry to resolve some of the data conundrums which have beset our industry for many years.”