Berlin (Germany), 13th October 2016 - Digital
Data Exchange, LLC (DDEX), celebrated today in Berlin its 10th
anniversary with the launch of its latest standards and a decade of
successful achievements in data exchange standards for the digital music
DDEX is a broad-based not-for-profit organisation made
up of a leading media companies, music licensing organisations and
digital service providers, working together in a unique collaboration,
to create voluntary standards that support efficient digital
distribution of digital content. Founded in 2006, DDEX has successfully
developed a range of international standards for the communication of
metadata along the music supply chain.
Today over 2,500 companies are using DDEX’s standards,
from music right societies, music publishers, record companies, musical
work licensing companies, to technology intermediaries and online music
services. With the launch of its two latest standards – Recording
Information Notification (RIN) and the new Digital Sales Report (DSR)
format – DDEX now covers the entire digital music ecosystem (see graphic), rationalising and automating the exchange of information needed to license, track, and account for music sales and usage.
DDEX standards support the digital music ecosystem
The digital music supply chain relies on
the management of a high-volume of low-value transactions. The sale or
use of a digital music track often requires record companies, retailers,
music rights societies and other intermediaries to interact multiple
times, from ‘announcing’ the track is available to reporting its usage.
With the ever increasing volume and complexity of digital music and
media transactions, the only way for the digital music supply chain to
be efficient and cost effective is to have all parties adopt common
digital standards and identifiers across the ecosystem.
“Widely adopted technical standards are
vital to ensuring rights holders get proper credit for their work and
get properly paid. DDEX already has standards which are used globally
but it has invested in new standards in recent years to keep up with the
shifts in industry business models and promote the widest possible
use”, explained Nick Williamson, Music Publishing Operations at Apple and Chairman of DDEX.
“An automated global transaction
processing infrastructure based on open standards provides operational
savings whilst enabling faster adoption of new and improved digital
music options for consumers which ultimately drives revenue for content
creators”, added Mark Isherwood, member of the DDEX Secretariat.
A 2013 study entitled ‘The Total Economic
Impact of The DDEX Standards’ (conducted by Forrester Consulting on
behalf of Microgen) revealed a 66% reduction in key operations expenses
over 5 years for the various players in the ecosystem that adopt the
DDEX data exchange standards. The new standards introduced today will
continue to increase operational efficiency.
Recording Information Notification (RIN) captures metadata at the point of creation of a musical work / sound recording
DDEX announced the completion of the
Recording Information Notification (RIN), an XML file that standardises
the metadata describing all aspects of a recording project. RIN is
designed for Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) manufacturers to enable
their users to capture and store essential metadata in a standard form
at the point of creation of a musical work and/or sound recording.
DDEX standards and digital music companies
rely on “good” metadata being put into the supply chain. One of the
best sources for good metadata about music is the place where the music
is made: the recording studio. Once studio personnel use the RIN
specifications to capture good metadata, this will enable retailers to
have better metadata about the products they are selling and it will
smooth the process by which all rights holders and other contributors
are properly remunerated. The metadata related to these audio files will
be interoperable with all the other DDEX standards used to communicate
data along the supply chain thus enabling a much more efficient
information flow from the studio into the supply chain.
“RIN will facilitate crediting, ensuring
that performers, producers, recording engineers are properly identified
and paid for their contributions”, stated Maureen Droney,
Managing Director at The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers
Wings and a key member of the RIN Working Group. “Organisations that
collect and distribute performance royalties to creative contributors
often find it difficult to obtain information on their identity. With
this revenue stream growing it is more important than ever to streamline
the process of identifying and paying the appropriate parties”
“RIN will also enrich the consumer
experience providing important technical and creative information on the
sound recording”, added John Sarappo, Director of
Engineering at VeVa Sound and also a key member of the RIN Working
Group. “As an example, notes taken during the recording or mixing
sessions can enhance a fan’s enjoyment of the music”.
Digital music service providers, music publishers and music rights societies agree on a new digital sales reporting (DSR) format
DDEX announced today that is has
established a new sales and usage format designed to accommodate the
complex business models now being used by digital service providers and
to significantly ease the management of the huge volumes and
complexities of data being exchanged.
The Digital Sales Report (DSR) Flat File
Standard enables digital service providers to report sales and usage
information to rights owners. Such reporting is vital in enabling music
publishers and music right societies to make payments to their composers
and songwriters. The flat file format is structured to enable complex
uses of musical works to be reported in a form that allows music
publishers and rights societies to allocate the correct value of royalty
to each sale or use for distribution onto the rightful people and
“DDEX members have been working together
for the past 2 years to ensure this new standard meets the requirements
of everyone in the value chain”, explained Laurent Lemasson of
the Information System Department at SACEM and the Chairman of the DSR
Working Group. “For an author’s rights collective society such as SACEM
the data we receive in relation to sales and usage of our members’
musical works is absolutely critical in enabling us to collect and
distribute royalties efficiently, accurately and fairly”.
“We are extremely pleased at the highly
consensual way DDEX members in different parts of the supply chain have
worked to reach this successful launch”, FX Nuttall,
Product Specialist at YouTube/Google and a key member of the DSR Working
Group. “DSRF is an innovative blend delivering complex data structures
and simple file formats, suitable for large and smaller actors alike, to
deal with the inherent complexities of the music industry”.
Several DDEX member companies have already
or are in the process of implementing DSR with their business partners.
DDEX expects to further develop this standard for reporting sales and
usages to record companies and music licensing companies.
Digital Data Exchange or DDEX (pronounced “dee-dex”), was
formed in May 2006 to explore, develop and maintain a robust framework
of open and voluntary data exchange standards for information relating
to digital media content, with an initial focus on music-related
content. The charter members of the not-for-profit organisation are the
record companies Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and
Warner Music Group; music licensing companies SCPP and SoundExchange;
music rights societies ASCAP, BMI, GEMA, PRS for Music, SACEM and SOCAN;
music publisher Kobalt Music Group; and the digital service providers
Amazon, Apple Inc., Google and Pandora.