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New industry exchange for recordings data up and running

By | Published on Thursday 15 October 2020

Rights data

Globally-focused record industry trade groups IFPI and WIN yesterday announced that the new Repertoire Data Exchange system they’ve been collaborating on is now live. The hope is that, via this new system, it will become easier for record labels and music distributors to get data about their new recordings into the record industry’s various databases, ensuring faster and more accurate distribution of any monies collected through the collective licensing system.

The record industry’s collecting societies collect royalties on behalf of both labels and performers when recorded music is broadcast or played in public. In order to distribute those royalties, societies need to know what recordings each label controls and each performer appears on. And to that end, each collecting society has a database of its members’ works.

However, because every country tends to have its own collecting society, each of which tends to have its own database, well, that’s a lot of databases. Which means it’s a lot of work getting recordings logged across the entire system, and there’s a relatively high chance of different databases having different information about the same tracks. The Repertoire Data Exchange project – or RDx – attempts to address these challenges.

Confirming that the new data exchange system is now live, IFPI and WIN explain that “RDx simplifies the data-handling process by offering recording rights holders, of all sizes and from any country, a single registration point to supply their repertoire data in a standardised format that can be quickly and easily accessed by participating [societies]”.

They go on: “This is helping to improve the timeliness, accuracy and efficiency of [societies’] revenue distributions to rights holders worldwide and provides mechanisms for increasing data quality and automatically alerting rights holders when potential rights conflicts are detected”.

UK society PPL has been developing and will operate the technology that underpins RDx. All three majors and indies like Beggars and the state51 Music Group have already joined the scheme and uploaded their respective catalogue data. Participating societies at launch, as well as PPL, including GRAMEX in Finland, Re:Sound in Canada and SENA in The Netherlands. More labels and societies are expected to join up in the months ahead.

Commenting on RDx, IFPI boss Frances Moore says: “Music companies have made it a priority to invest in and develop systems for music data to be accurately managed and reported. Now live and available worldwide, RDx will significantly contribute to this aim. The addition of more and more record companies and [societies] will drive further operational efficiency and cost reduction for music right holders whilst also enabling [societies] to retrieve authoritative repertoire data from a single point – further enhancing the speed of accurate revenue distribution”.

Speaking for the independent label focused WIN, Charlie Phillips adds: “RDx is a tool that can substantially simplify the delivery by independent record companies of their repertoire and rights data to [societies] around the world. WIN has long advocated for the benefits of a ‘global single point of entry’ for performance rights data, available to all right holders and [societies]. The 50:50 joint venture between WIN and IFPI has delivered on this objective, with the initial participants in the project having now set up RDx for all other right holders and [societies] to join from now”.