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Metadata is most seriously affecting the music industry

An unnamed music industry official said that most of the labels "owe" artists quite a lot of royalties that could never be made clear. This does not mean that the debt is only in one or two songs, but sometimes up to almost a hundred, over a period of many years. This problem stems from the so-called metadata, also known as the metadata.

In the music industry, metadata is generally artist copyright information that you often see on streaming services such as Spotify or Apple Music, it will include other detailed information such as song title, songwriter and composer. , manufacturers, publishers, record labels, and more. This information needs and must always be updated in the general data of the music industry so that when a work is played, the relevant people will be paid a profit. However, in most cases this is not the case.

Metadata seems to be very simple, and somewhat boring, but it is extremely important for artists to earn money from their work. Sadly, it is also the most overlooked thing, and every minute that has not been repaired, metadata is losing more money that should have belonged to the artists working with their sweat and effort.

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The first thing to mention is that the metadata is very large and almost covers both large and small information about artists, but there is no exact standard to exploit and apply it. People are simply like "listening to the mouth" and using the information provided without bothering to check its authenticity. The metadata of the works is also not attributed to a common data source for a more accurate comparison but instead is stored in many small and patchwork sources of data, as well as no way to counteract projection and find the most accurate information.

The result of this is when you click on the piece of work information on stream services, the information displayed is often lacking and in many cases it is intentionally done to bypass artists and collect illicit profits. The more the work is heard, the more fans think they are paying for their favorite artist, but it is not so. This is even more serious when the artist does not receive remuneration worthy of the effort they spend, causing them to lose their motivation to work and produce new works superficially, or worse, stop always active (usually with indie artists).

As mentioned above, since there is no exact standard, the metadata information can be added inadequately and "given" without regard to possible consequences. The information recorded by the revenue label is almost always different from the information available on stream services or public information sources (wikipedia pages, for example). Many databases are also very poorly programmed, making it difficult to exploit information. For example, if the information sent is "using Pro Tools software during mixing" but the stored database does not have this declaration, it will not be saved, thus causing a loss of account. charge divided by stakeholders. This is not to mention the database design of each service provided also has its own declarations, making it difficult to declare duplicate data (with the same artist, album, same label .. .) The most obvious is that it is very difficult to find the exact songs by many artists.

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The next problem is that the information provided at the earliest is also the lowest accuracy. The work can be written and produced by dozens of musicians, composers or sound engineers, even now artists are involved in writing music and lyrics, and so the information filled will be vulnerable. confused. The more database information, the easier it will be to fail. Many databases are also programmed to limit the amount of characters per information box, thereby causing more shortcomings. Or sometimes "pooling" two databases together can cause unpredictable errors.

In the case of "hits", the provision, storage and use of database information is more complex and costly because no one wants to lose their share. From 2016 onwards, most of the "hit" songs have the participation of many musicians in the concert stage, then the engineers mixing and mastering, even through many stages of release. different. This means that only a small error in the database is enough to affect the profitability of the parties involved, most of which are always lost or shared among other parties. In this case, if the database is not synchronized, there will be a legal dispute, and no one will get any money into his pocket.

An ideal process is that artists and labels will make music carefully and add full legal information, then release the work. However, in fact, the work will be "pushed" to the market as quickly as possible to make money, and the database information will be added slowly, many cases will be revised when discovered. errors. This is generally nothing wrong, but in the long run it will affect the development of the general music industry. Retrieve the evidence above that the database "will be corrected when errors are found", but what if not detected?

Even in case the database has been corrected correctly, the artists are still not sure if they can receive remuneration commensurate with the effort they spend. For example, due to database reconciliation errors, an artist is not allowed to pay related items in a certain work. By the time this error was discovered, the time had passed so long and no one cared, and the studio did not accept payment. After that, I will "push the whole village". One of the reasons that things have become more and more complicated is because of the strong development of the digital music industry. Accordingly, from only about 100,000 physical albums released each year, there are currently more than 25,000 digital music songs uploaded to streaming services every day, making it difficult to update information due to the amount of data uploaded. too big. The works can also benefit from many different ways, completely different from the music consumption of the past few decades. Each song can be used in a variety of ways (remix, YouTube lyric videos, YouTube fans cover, sing in other languages ​​…) and they all make a profit, and this part of the profit will need to be managed.

In the past, there were a number of units trying to find a way to collect a music database on a common term, but the end result was always a failure. The biggest reasons for mentioning include: the division of factions in the music industry, international copyright difficulties, the parties do not provide adequate information, and difficulties in real fundraising. show. There are also other obstacles such as language barriers, different copyright laws in each country as well as cultural differences.

There are many solutions outlined such as guiding artists to protect themselves, forcing stream services to fully report the work information or corroborate that source of information, thus helping to raise concerns about more copyright issues. Many people wonder why artists or producers do not protect themselves by remembering and storing their copyright in the work, which can be compared when necessary, instead of trust. Absolute thought that sometimes can cause "a home grid"? In fact, quite a lot of artists don't care, don't even know anything about metadata. They hardly know it can affect their interests, as well as where to search and reference or follow up. Take the example of TuneCore, from a music service with no uploads of metadata, which has been upgraded a bit so that users can enter the necessary copyright information. This is generally nothing too terrible, but still a good start.

In general, there is still a long way to go to the destination. Data metadata can be something very miscellaneous and boring, but it will be the most accurate base to help artists get the profit they deserve. This not only brings near benefits to the artists but also helps the music industry develop more in the long run, building a copyright system is less and less "buggy". Maybe this is just a dream, but hopefully it will come true sometime.


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