Although the term is thrown around often as an issue which needs fixing in the music business, particularly where streaming is concerned, what it is and why it's important for songwriters to manage their own is often unclear. Here we work to explain those details.
This is a guest post by Niclas Molinder, founder of Music Rights Awareness Foundation and Auddly, the song data management hub that enables music creators to manage their rights.
Metadata, especially a lack of it, is a hot topic in the music industry at the moment, but what does this issue really mean for you as a songwriter?
The process of writing songs, releasing songs and doing song-related business has changed rapidly in the digital world. It’s a jungle of possibilities and pitfalls, with both independent and signed songwriters having an incredible amount of options. Regardless of who you are and what choices you make in your career, staying in control of your song data is the key to being in charge of your work, getting what you’re owed and saving yourself a lot of hassle.
Essentially, metadata is all of the data connected to all your songs. On the creative side, it’s your audio files, lyrics, versions etc. On the rights side, it’s the information regarding who you created the song with, the title, the split and the codes that verify it. It’s estimated that approximately 25% of all songwriting revenue is lost because this data is unmatched, incomplete or missing. Even if one person involved in the song gets the data right, someone else may register other incorrect information, meaning no one gets paid because no one knows the correct info. It’s a mess. The great news is that it’s completely preventable.
The word ‘data” may seem boring, but if you snooze on this, you literally lose. Data is fundamentally important. Here are seven reasons why you and your co-writers should manage all of your data in one place.
- You will receive correct payments and credits. If everyone involved in the song is in sync regarding the split and title from the beginning, the chances of everyone getting what they’re owed increase dramatically. Comprehensive data management eradicates the problem of unmatched data.
- You and your co-writers are the source of all data. No one else knows what actually happened in the studio. To make sure the outcome of your work is fair and correct, this information should be delivered by you and your collaborators via a joint hub where any changes are transparent.
- Get one truth, not hundreds. Long email threads, documents and social media chats with info shared between co-writers, producers, publishers and managers equal total chaos, leaving everyone with multiple truths regarding who has the right to what. Manage it all in one place.
- Months and years can fly by. It’s not unusual for a lot of time to pass between creation and release. In the meantime, you might forget who played that guitar or what split you actually agreed on. If you’re in control of your song data from the beginning it will be stored and easily accessible forever.
- Your collaborative process will be improved. Managing major data flow is much simpler with a joint data hub. Staying in control of your song data makes it easier to collaborate with more people, since you always know the latest audio version or split agreement.
- You don’t ever have to chase, or be chased, again. Few things kill your creativity more than emailing back and forth trying to hunt people down for info or having your publisher nagging you for information you don’t have. If you manage your song data together, it’s always available.
- Save time and hassle. Managing your song data in one place, together with everyone involved, saves a lot of headaches and ensures your wallet and credit list are properly filled.
Song data management hub Auddly is part of the non-profit Music Rights Awareness Foundation and is free of charge for all music creators.