Fall 2016 #MusicMetadata endeavours – CISAC ISWC Service, DDEX-RIN and a new unique musical work ID all on the horizon?

This coming fall several workgroups will be looking into new best music business practices and possibly create momentum or tension on the long path to music metadata heaven. Current initiatives are all targeted at improving the delay between the creation/recording of a work and the access to unique ID’s describing or being linked to those digital assets. Such concept is actually forming part of a pre-requisite to allow better content discoverability, a question raised by several legislations or cultural industries components and currently researched by the Canadian government (i.e. Canadian content in a digital world – https://www.canada.ca/en/services/culture/consultations.html).


MusicBiz Metadata Workgroup with collaborations from the Association For Electronic Music (@AFEMORG) is looking to establish best practices for assigning identifiers where a DJ is the songwriter, producer & artist. Collaboration/discussion are happening with digital audio software companies for adding fields to interface. A metadata handbook geared towards the electronic music community could be created as well. The specifics of this DJ community is that all rights holders are often only one individual (re. Robby Towns @NestaMusic). Its a great testing ground. Could the attribution of an ISNI with many linked creative roles for DJ’s be one way to make progress into the issue? It is believed that ISNI will shortly be announcing some new hire.

Consultant and member of the MusicBiz Metadata Workgroup Paul Jessop has been introducing the concept of a Provisional Work Identifier (PWI) – Usage of a PWI (within recording metadata) and its (public-private) registry linked to preferred ISWC are being talked about though we have no indication as to whom would take charge of such initiative. Extremely valid questions are pointed out by stakeholders including 7Digital, which wonders if a PWI would be created at the point of bouncing the audio of a session or when saving the session file of a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)?

The DDEX Studio Workgroup has recently produced the Recording Information Notification XSD Schema (RIN). DDEX will hold a work plenary for its members in October in Berlin. The consortium might then adopt this new standard. Unique ID’s like the ISRC, ISWC, ISNI and GRid are all part of the ”minimum” RIN Schema, but any idea about introducing a PWI has not been integrated. Could DDEX 29th plenary be a place to further work out consensus on matters of “content indexing at the source of creation”? Read on.

Surely not the least, the CISAC-FastTrack Cross-Industry Taskforce (http://bit.ly/fasttrackpreparing) has been working hard on new business rules and processes to improve the velocity of attribution and usage of the ISWC-ISO work ID (FastTrack has by the way just released the CIS-Net 5 database and Single Work Dashboard – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdkLfWn6qiw). A new ISWC “Web” Service with pre-registration and pre-reconciliation processes is being looked into. This ISWC Service would be authoritative before undergoing metadata validation and reconciliation performed by national PRO’s. It could possibly be available even when the creators are known but their shares are not or when all creators and publishers are not members of a collective. The creator’s Interested Party Information (IPI) must be known, but an Online IPI Lookup Service is believed to be coming out very soon. This workflow would be rounded out by an IPI for non-society members attribution process. A searchable web service (machine-to-machine) to retrieve existing ISWC could probably be foreseen. The time delay for issuance of a new ISWC would now be driven down to Same Day/Next Day. One would wonder if real time issuance a future realistic objective of the ISWC Service or if a PWI and its downstream connection to the preferred ISWCs be an interesting alternative proposal? Are the new CISAC ISWC Service and the PWI proposal actually the same and how fast these improvements will be worked into DDEX-RIN? How will all these discussion tables connect to each other?

In the meantime, and after acquiring Medianet and Audiam, Canadian society SOCAN has opened its developers portal and Works Declaration API – https://developer.socan.ca/ We believe new services built on this interface will roll out soon. And again we wonder how well and how fast will the above improvements be taken into account by applications and SOCAN’s API. Lets hope for the best.