The New Music Business, Credits, and the Metadata Revolution

a picture of a hundred dollar bill on a mixing desk

We all know how difficult it is to earn a living from making music. Whether we are composers, artists, session musicians, producers, or sound engineers, it’s a constant struggle for both recognition and financial reward. Music streaming is the new distribution method, and compensation schemes for content creators haven’t fully caught up to this new model yet.

Soundaways RIN-M

Along comes Soundaways: http://soundways.com/rin

Their mission statement is “to revolutionize the supply chain of sound recordings, from the studio to the services and devices used for listening.

One way they are tackling this ambitious goal is by introducing a free plug-in called RIN-M:

a screenshot of the rin-m plugin by Soundaways

RIN-M creates a full set of metadata, in the least possible amount of time. They are calling on every downloader to use their influence to build common use of RIN-M, as a means of tracking production created metadata gathered at the point of creation.

It works right from within your DAW of choice and allows you to enter relevant metadata for your role in the song’s production. They are building partnerships with all the major downloading and streaming services.

RIN-M is basically a check-in system for people and companies, as they create music. The idea is that you enter your participant’s information and then send your RIN files downstream to the next participant in the chain.

Here is why you should care about this type of metadata:

http://www.soundways.com/content/rin-m-why-you-should-care-about-metadata

DDEX

Which brings us to DDEX: http://www.ddex.net/about-ddex

DDEX is a consortium of companies including Apple, Amazon, Pandora, Spotify, and over 30 other leading media companies, music licensing organizations, digital service providers and technical intermediaries, focused on the creation of digital supply chain standards. They met over the course of 10 years to make music metadata standards. For 4 of those years, The Recording Information Notification (RIN) standard was being discussed and prepared.

Here is a list of current members actively participating in this project:

http://www.ddex.net/current-ddex-members

We are in a transition period, where compensation and tracking schemes haven’t caught up yet. But there does seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Jaxsta

Which brings us to Jaxsta: https://www.jaxsta.com

Jaxsta began in 2013 to answer the first-hand need for an official data source that ensures that credit is shared where credit is due. Jaxsta has been collecting data and building a platform set to launch this year.

This is how they see their role:

“With the evolution of digital music we’ve lost the ‘jacket’ that used to come with the album. Our mission is to track down the people behind the music. From radio to roadies, artists to producers, photographers to video directors.

Jaxsta will be the credit roll for our industry.

They’ve already got some impressive data partnerships underway; most notably with the Recording Academy, the organization that produces the annual Grammy Awards. Jaxsta will be a home to official GRAMMY winners and nominations data — listing the full 59-year history of the GRAMMY Awards. On the 60th anniversary of the GRAMMY Awards, Jaxsta will be an official reference source for detailed Recording Academy data of GRAMMY nominated and winning releases.

Conclusion

So, there is hope for us that better days are ahead. I suggest reading up on these organizations and potentially joining them if you are in a position to contribute or benefit.

I look forward to the day when we all have RIN-M sitting proudly in our Logic Pro templates.

Eli Krantzberg
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Eli Krantzberg

Apple Certified Pro Eli Krantzberg is an internationally known author and music software trainer for Groove3. His instructional videos have helped demystify music software such as Logic Pro, Pro Tools, Sonar, BFD, Melodyne, and Kontakt for thousands of users all over the world. Based in Montreal, Canada, Eli is involved in all aspects of audio production. In his studio he works with various artists, as well as on commercial jingles, corporate videos, and original music composition.
Eli Krantzberg
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  • LancesUK

    Great article, Eli. I wasn’t aware of this new plugin. Will definitely look into it. Thanks for sharing this.

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