Friday, 20th April, 2018 from 09:00 to 15:00

In the Auditorium Debussy-Ravel at the offices of SACEM, 2 Rue du Général Lanrezac, 92528 Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.

To attend the meeting (which is open to members and non-members alike), please register here.

08:30‑09:00 Registration

Cross industry cooperation

Digital Data Exchange, LLC (DDEX) has been in existence for twelve years. It is the only organisation in the music industry whose member companies represent all business sectors across the music value chain; from music publishers and musical work societies, through record labels and music licensing companies, to distributors, metadata companies and digital music service providers. The standards it has developed over the years are used across the globe for the communication of data for a wide variety of business processes.

The key to its success is its governance. As such it represents a unique level of cooperation right across the music industry value chain, of the type not previously seen in the music industry. During this session, there will be an explanation of DDEX’s formation, governance, membership structure and the history of its technical development work.

Mark Isherwood, DDEX Secretariat


The digital supply chain and capturing core data

DDEX was initially formed to create standards for communicating data up and down the digital supply chain usually between licensors and digital music service providers, but its work has expanded over time to include data exchange between other types of organisations. An explanation of these standards will be given during this session:

  • Electronic Release Notification Message Suite Standard (ERN), which is primarily used for the communication of data from record labels and distributors to digital music service providers (DSPs); 
  • Music Licensing Company Message Suite Standard (MLC), which is primarily used for the exchange of data between music licensing companies such as SCPP or SoundExchange and with their record label members;
  • Musical Work Notification (MWN) and Licensing Standards (MWL), which are primarily used in North America for the communication of data from record labels and DSPs to music publishers and licensing agencies in relation to musical work mechanical licensing; and 
  • Recording Information Notification Standard (RIN), which was designed for use in studios to enable the capture of core data as close to its source as possible.

Niels Rump – DDEX Secretariat

11:00-11:15 Break

Identification of core data entities

In 2016, around 1 trillion audio streams and a further trillion music video streams were consumed worldwide.  

DDEX standards help to exchange the data concerning assets and reporting, and also carry the unique identifiers for the key entities described in the messages, such as works, sound recordings, releases and parties. DDEX therefore works closely with other standards organisations which have responsibility for the governance and management of such unique identifiers. This session will explain the current work being undertaken in the context of the principle relevant identifiers:

  • Principles of identification – Mark Isherwood
  • International Standard Musical Work Code (ISWC) – Sylvain Piat (CISAC)
  • International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) – Richard Gooch (IFPI)
  • Other relevant identifiers – Mark Isherwood
12:45‑13:30 Lunch

Sales/usage reporting and linking to sound recordings

Critical to the process of ensuring rights owners, wherever they sit in the overall value chain, receive appropriate royalties in accordance with their commercial arrangements with licensees, in a timely and accurate manner is sales/usage reporting. DDEX developed the Digital Sales Report Standard to be deployed between licensees and licensors in an effort to support such a process. The standard is extremely widely deployed across Europe, particularly in respect of musical works, but is also extensively deployed in a number of other regions of the world. DDEX has also been looking to adapt the standard for the reporting of sales/usage information about sound recordings.

A number of organisations are looking at how links can be established between musical works and sound recordings which can then be used for a significant range of processes across the music value chain. Once these are available organisations need to exchange the links they have created, partly to determine a common view. To enable this DDEX has created a standard that enables communication of this type of data:

  • Digital Sales Report Message Suite Standard (DSR), which is primarily used for the communication of usage or sales from digital music service providers to their various licensors; and
  • Communicating links between musical works and sound recordings/music videos.

Niels Rump


DDEX’s future plans

Whilst the deployment of DDEX’s standards has been successful, as is well known, there remain a number of challenges across the music value chain with regard to the creation, management and communication of data. These have been greatly highlighted by the immense volumes and complexity of data that exists as a result of the principle business models that arise, particularly for digital exploitation. DDEX’s direction is set by its Board according to the needs of its members. It’s focus for the rest of 2018 and into 2019 will be guided by the needs of members as they address the exchange of data across the music business.

Mark Isherwood


General Q & A

This is a final opportunity to raise any questions delegates may have about any of the standards discussed during the briefing.