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Addressing music metadata issues through music matching technology

Due to errors in metadata, artists are losing out on millions of unclaimed royalties. Music matching technology can help music rights organisations address this issue and ensure accuracy.

The digitization of music distribution has created new opportunities for artists to share their music. It is easier than ever to reach the consumer, but this does not mean the hard work of music artists has reduced. Artists still need to get paid and that is where music metadata comes into play. Music metadata is not only used for consumer discoverability and fast categorization of songs but also determines what revenues should be attributed to who and in what percentages. Without accurate processing of music metadata, artists can potentially lose out massively on revenues owed to them.

Music rights organisations and distribution platforms rely on this vital metadata information to ensure the correct attributions are paid. This information is becoming more important as music streaming continues to grow year on year. In their annual report, the IFPI shared that digital music streaming accounted for almost half of all music revenue in 2018. This increase in scale has put a strain on current music processing and tracking systems. With the number of streams rapidly increasing music rights organisations face new challenges and complexities in their duty to ensure members and artists receive their due payments for works. This is further complicated by the fact that there are often problems processing the metadata. As the volume of music data increases, so too does the opportunity for errors.

Music Data

There are various potential causes of errors in music metadata. Human errors can occur when information is embedded into the song files. As music production becomes more collaborative, songs can pass through teams of writers and producers and unfortunately some people may not be credited by accident. The lack of standardization in formats and database fields can further challenge music rights organisations. For example, a music label may use one format for information that is different from that of a streaming service resulting in errors. Something as simple as how someone’s name is formatted could result in technical errors in the system. What is frustrating for artists and music rights organisations is that these mistakes may not be identified for a long time, resulting in huge financial loss.

To ensure the value gap is closed, music rights organisations are rethinking their legacy systems and integrating music matching technology. Spanish Point Technologies’ high performance matching system is a scalable and cost effective way for music rights organisations and collectives to maintain accuracy in their Repertoire. Highly configurable, the system processes data from various sources such as music streaming platforms, social media and music labels. Whether caused by human error, database mismatches or technical issues our customers can instantly identify errors in their data and ensure that artists are paid.