Music Has A Metadata Problem And Next Month’s Music Biz Summit Hopes To Solve It

metadataMusic has a metadata problem. If you can’t find it you can’t track it; and if you can’t track it you can’t get paid. That’s the problem and the promise behind Music Biz’s annual Music Metadata Summit.

image from musicbiz.org_______________________________________

The Music Business Association (Music Biz) will bring its Metadata Summit back to Nashville this year on Monday, May 16, during the Music Biz 2016 convention.

The fourth annual Summit will feature a keynote presentation from SOCAN’s Michael McCarty, Chief Membership & Business Development Officer, and Jeff King, Chief Operating Officer, who will discuss global revenue, discovery, and attribution, as well as sessions on international infrastructure, new business models tied to metadata, and global publishing data. Featured will be top executives from 7digital, AFEM, Beggars Group, BMI, Consolidated Independent, County Analytics, Dart Music, DDEX, Digimarc, Loudr, MovieLabs, Music Week, PledgeMusic, PRS for Music, Rough Trade Music Publishing, SOCAN, Syntax Creative, and TGiT.

“Ever since we launched the Metadata Summit four years ago, we have been impressed by the number of people who have come out to learn more about and contribute their expertise,” said Bill Wilson, Vice President of Digital Strategy and Business Development for Music Biz. “Metadata is the bedrock on which the digital music business is built, and many of the issues facing the business around payment, discovery, and attribution all rely on metadata.”

First held at Music Biz 2013 in Los Angeles, the event has drawn record crowds in previous years, leading to the creation of the Music Metadata Style Guide, currently in its third update, which provides a set of common naming conventions and data entry standards for companies to use when listing, ingesting, and managing digital music.

Admission to the Metadata Summit is included with the price of a full Music Biz 2016 registration. Music Biz members may also pay $99 and non-members $129 for access to the Metadata Summit and all other Music Biz 2016 events on May 16 only. These one-day passes can be purchased now via Eventbrite. For updated information on Metadata Summit speakers and sessions, click here.

The full currently confirmed agenda is below.

9 – 9:15 AM

Metadata Summit Introduction

  • Bill Wilson, Music Biz

9:15 – 9:45 AM

Metadata Summit Keynote

All around the world, the current digital music royalty payment system is in chaos. The race is on to bring order to the confusion. Those who made the music must be paid fairly and fast. Music rights owners, administrators, and licensors all want to see royalties get to those who earned them. The heart of the music/tech discussion has suddenly evolved from “How much should the artists be paid?” to “How effective are the pipes through which the money and data flow?” The system, after all, was built for another era. Today, we are witnessing a profound change in the copyright world. Transparency without accountability is meaningless. This keynote will focus on how to fix the system on a global scale, examining royalty flow, the role of metadata, and the need for modernization.

  • Jeff King, SOCAN
  • Michael McCarty, SOCAN

9:50 – 10:40 AM

Acronym Salad: Digital Standards & Identifiers Status Report

DDEX Update

  • Mark Isherwood, DDEX

ISRC Update

  • Paul Jessop, County Analytics

EIDR Update

  • Kip Welch, MovieLabs

10:45 – 11:45 AM

Delivering Globally: International Infrastructure Opportunities & Challenges

With US & European markets maturing, how does one capture the exponential growth coming from the BRICS? Are you globally focused with a supply chain integrated across Asia, Africa, and South America? What are the economic, technological, and cultural challenges to growing your digital business (and properly delivering your assets) to partners with burgeoning digital opportunities? This panel will explore the best path to global market reach and consider the infrastructure and demands that go hand-in-hand with expansion.

  • Moderator: Rob Weitzner, Consolidated Independent
  • Paul Langworthy, 7digital
  • Timothy Trudeau, Syntax Creative
  • Simon Wheeler, Beggars Group

11:45 AM – 12 PM

Metadata Summit Morning Wrap-Up

  • Bill Wilson, Music Biz

1 – 1:45 PM

Back to the Drawing Board: New Business Models in Global Metadata

Data, like water, is going to be the most valued commodity in the 21st Century. But what kind of data are we talking about? And can data ensure that all rights holders will be fairly remunerated? Hear from some of the world’s most forward-thinking data miners about new initiatives and business models shaped around data.

  • Moderator: Emmanuel Legrand, Music Week
  • Jean-Robert Bisaillon, Iconoclaste – TGiT
  • Chris McMurtry, Dart Music
  • Benji Rogers, PledgeMusic

1:50 – 2:50 PM

Composition of a Composition: Data Challenges, Strategies and Best Practices in the Global Publishing Environment

Publishers and digital music companies alike can generally agree on the importance of music metadata, but the transfer, management, and use of that data is often the topic of spirited debate. In the extremely fragmented world of digital music rights, the exchange of information needed to license, track, and account for music usage is critical for music startup operations — and sensitive or highly confidential for rights holders. This panel opens a conversation about issues related to sharing, organizing, and leveraging information about songwriters, song owners, and song ownership shares. In addition, this panel highlights the surprising challenges faced by both music publishers and digital music companies in the metadata-driven business of modern rights management.

  • Moderator: Annie Lin, Loudr
  • John Coletta, BMI
  • Paul Dilorito, PRS for Music
  • Larry Logan, Digimarc
  • Michael McCarty, SOCAN
  • Gandhar Savur, Rough Trade Music Publishing

2:55 – 3 PM


In November of last year, a global partnership was announced between Music Biz and AFEM (Association for Electronic Music). As part of their joint work streams, the groups are planning a launch of the #GetPlayedGetPaid brand at Music Biz 2016 during the Metadata Summit. #GetPlayedGetPaid is set to serve as a promotional vehicle to help educate DJs, producers, artists, songwriters, and more to make sure they are getting paid for their creative works, as well as discuss the transformative challenges necessary to make these processes better on a global scale. Details and next steps for the brand will be discussed during this session.

  • Mark Lawrence, AFEM
  • Robby Towns, Music Biz

Music Biz 2016, which will return to Nashville from May 16-18, is the music industry’s premier event, giving the commerce and content sectors a place to meet with trading partners, network with new companies, and learn about new trends and products impacting the music business. Registration is open now. For more information or to sign up for the conference, visit

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