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BIZ TO ADDRESS METADATA ISSUES 
5/31/23

Reps from across the U.K. music industry have agreed to improve music streaming metadata, committing to delivering consistent crediting on DSPs over a two-year period.

A written voluntary agreement, put together by the British Government’s Intellectual Property Office with the help of industry experts, has been signed by key trade bodies and organizations including the BPI, AIM, ERA, Hipgnosis Songs Fund and the MMF.

It aims to improve incomplete or inaccurate metadata, which, as the agreement states, can lead to significant delays to creators being paid for the use of their works, and in some cases not being paid at all.

Alongside the two-year period commitment, the signatories have agreed to take steps to ensure a core data set is associated with all new recordings. They’ve also committed to follow and promote good practice in industry, and establish and support expert working groups on education and technical solutions to drive forward further improvements during the two-year period.

The BPI says it expects “immediate improvements in terms of the speed and accuracy of songwriter payments” as a result.

“Along with further updates on transparency to come, this work builds on positive steps taken by the industry itself, including policies to set aside pre-2000 unrecouped advances which means more legacy artists can now receive royalties from streaming,” said BPI CSO and interim CEO Sophie Jones.

The UK Council of Music Makers, which reps fellow signatories the Ivors Academy, the FAC, MMF, MPG and the MU, called the code “a crucial first step to ensure that the entire U.K. music industry comes together to set new standards and processes on how vital song, composition and recording data is collated, ingested and distributed—ensuring that songwriters, composers, artists, musicians and producers are paid with greater accuracy and efficiency.”

The news follows Tuesday’s announcement that the Government is setting up an industry working group to explore fair pay for creators in music streaming. All of this work follows on from the Economics of Streaming Report, which was published in 2021.