Catalogue Transfers

The text of the Catalogue Transfer (CT) standard with detailed explanations and advise about how to go about an implementation is available on the knowledge base.

The CT standard messages communicate metadata that enables the transfer of catalogues of releases or resources, such as sound recordings or music videos by a reassignment of rights controller information. The messages are sent between a record company and a digital music service provider (DSP).

Catalogue transfers of releases or resources regularly lead to them becoming unavailable to consumers on DSPs’ services, even if only for a short period of time. In addition, consumer-generated data such as playlists or comments are often lost alongside long-term usage information. As a consequence, catalogue transfers, today, involve a considerable amount of administration.

The CT standard is limited to one specific type of catalogue transfer that occurs between just three parties. These are, a relinquishing record company, an acquiring record company and a DSP. The process is sometimes known as “lift and shift”. It enables the DSP to enact a catalogue transfer by reassigning the rights controller information relating to the relevant catalogue from the relinquishing record company to the acquiring record company. This avoids the releases or resources becoming unavailable to consumers or the loss of consumer-generated data. Any subsequent changes of metadata that are needed are managed between the acquiring record company and the DSP using the ERN standard.

This standard in its current iteration does not seek to support catalogue transfers that involve distributors.

You do not have to be a member of DDEX to implement the standards. Anyone can implement any of them once they have taken out a DDEX Implementation Licence. Information about the Licence is available here and the application form is available here.

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