The Silent Maestros: Supporting the Right Music Credits in the Age of Streaming

Useful information for gaining maximum recognition from your musical works


Chris Liverani on Unsplash

Embarking on a music career is exciting, but one should not forget the importance of metadata and music credits.
Although not on everyone's lips, they are vital to the success of every creative figure in the music industry.
In the digital age, this information is embedded and encoded directly in audio files and used to organize, promote and monetize music.

Let's explore this often overlooked but fundamental topic for those behind sound creation, namely:
● Correct metadata
● Music credits
● Royalties

Importance of Correct Metadata and Music Credits

Understanding Metadata:
● Metadata includes essential information such as the title, artist and release date of a song.● They are essential to receive the correct royalties and to make your music easily identifiable.

Importance of Music Credits:
● Accrediting collaborators correctly promotes positive relationships and protects your intellectual property rights.● It helps build a professional reputation and can lead to new job opportunities.

Sources of Royalties and Revenues:
● Royalties can come from sales, public performances, sync licences and streaming.● Understanding these sources is essential to keep the financial situation of the music industry stable.

As you seek success in your music career, do not neglect metadata and credits. They are the allies that will help you get the royalties you deserve and foster professional relationships in the music industry.

To better understand the concept of metadata in music read this in-depth article on Vampr, a well-known social platform dedicated to improving communication and collaboration between musicians and music professionals.

Unheard Geniuses: the Invisible Maestrosof Music Production


Photo by Derick Daily on Unsplash

Imagine losing yourself in the magic of a song without knowing the geniuses who made it possible.
In this issue we lift the curtain on these unheard masters, exploring their impact on the music you love most and highlighting the importance of giving them the recognition they deserve.

Insight: In the second issue of Music Producer Newsletter I posted a list of books on the world of production as seen through the eyes of producers and sound engineers.
You can find the list here.
In these readings you can discover the fascinating stories of those who shaped the iconic tracks of our favourite songs.
Of all of them, I find the book Recording Unhinged: Creative and Unconventional Music Recording Techniques written by Sylvia Massy very interesting and entertaining.

Producers and sound engineers are the true sound architects, from studio assistants to mixing and mastering masters, every role is crucial in music creation.

But how many of them get proper credit?

Usually those who work behind a song put in hours and sacrifices to bring to life the sound we love most, but insiders (A&R and record labels above all) and (alas) even less informed artists do not care to give proper credit to those who worked on the songs. 

To understand how difficult it is to get the right credits in a music production process, read this interesting article entitled Getting Credit on a Major Label Release, available on Produce Like A Pro (famous site dedicated to music producers).

What Are the Credits That Can Be Included in a Musical Work?

The most common credits of a musical work are:
● Artist● Author● Composer● Producer
Then some distributors (not all) allow the inclusion of other metadata, such as:
● Featured Artist● Actor● Remixer● Mixing Engineer● Mastering Engineer
The list of metadata that can be used is much longer, but still many of them are omitted by artists, labels, A&Rs or badly managed by digital distributors or streaming platforms.

How to Correctly Enter the Metadata of a Musical Work?


Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

Generally, metadata is contained in the audio file that is then distributed to streaming platforms via digital distribution services.
Some of the most popular digital distributors are:
● DistroKid● Tunecore● CD Baby● United Masters● Amuse● Ditto● iMusician
Digital distributors allow metadata to be entered independently through simple wizards.
However, not all of them provide the possibility to enter all important metadata.
An example of an efficient distributor in this respect is DistroKid, where you have the possibility to enter many more types of credits, such as mixing and mastering engineer, as well as composer, author, producer, performer etc.

Take a look at some examples of what credits can be entered and how they can be handled properly via some distribution platforms such as:
DistroKid/CreditsTunecore/How do I credit...?iMusician/How can I credit everyone correctly on my release?

You can learn more about what metadata are and how to include them in your tracks in the article available on Produce Like A Pro: What Is Metadata and Why Does It Matter?

How Do Streaming Platforms Handle Metadata?

Some streaming platforms do not guarantee proper handling of metadata, while others are at the forefront in this respect. 
Let us look at some examples:
Tidal ⬆⬆Its aim has always been to value the contribution of everyone involved, from producers to technicians and even assistants. So an example to follow. The credits are contained in a database, so if you search for an artist or a sound engineer within the platform, all the tracks in which he or she has participated will appear.  
Apple Music It allows you to display credits on the web version of the application. Metadata if entered correctly can provide important information such as credits for sound engineers and producers, as well as popular credits for composers and authors.
Spotify Platform not yet adequate for effective management of metadata and credits. Recently the role of songwriter was added in addition to that of producer and performer already present. But these are only purely textual and not structured in database and hypertext. It means that it is therefore not possible, starting from one song, to see all the others by the same author or producer.
YouTube MusicJust under a year ago, YouTube Music also made credits for songwriters and producers visible. Of course, this is still too little compared to the more serious services already mentioned.

Where is it Possible To Consult Credits Outside the Streaming Platforms?

In addition to streaming platforms, there are actual services that manage and catalogue the credits of artists, producers and engineers by collecting them in large databases.
But even here most of the credits are incomplete. 
Here is a list of the most popular services for managing and cataloguing credits:
● Jaxsta● Discogs● AllMusic● Genius● ASCAP● BMI● SACEM● GEMA
● Muso.Ai
I would like to focus on Muso.Ai, which is a revolution in credit management and deserves a special mention.
Let us see what it is all about.

Muso.Ai: Revolution in the Music Industry

Muso.Ai is a revolutionary force in the battle for credit recognition. 
With the extraordinary efforts this company is making, anyone can get credits that would otherwise be overlooked, leading to higher earnings for artists and improving the entire music industry. 
Let's find out together how this movement is changing the way we experience music.
Initial Mission
Founded in 2017 at NRG Recording Studios in Los Angeles, Muso.AI was born out of the need for a universal database of music credits that could adapt to the digitisation of music. 
The founders, Jay Baumgardner, Kyran de Keijzer and Aaron Kaufman, created a solution to help behind-the-scenes musicians access and make verified updates to their credits.
Building Reliability
In an era where 95 per cent of music contributors are not properly credited on digital platforms, Muso.AI uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to merge and clean music industry metadata, connecting creators with rights holders to validate credits.
Objective of Muso.AI
Solve the persistent problem of 95% of music contributors being incorrectly accredited by eliminating outdated systems and outdated procedures with direct verification of data by the creators themselves (musicians, producers or sound engineers).
Music Industry Partners and Data Validation
Credits validated by Muso.AI are shared with industry partners such as Music Story, Airgigs, Campsite and others, ensuring that corrections made reach the places that matter most to users. 
Data validation is done through verified profiles and artists, who can make changes to the core catalogue, which are then sent to industry partners.

Conclusions: From Readers to Change Pioneers

As a expert or simply music enthusiast, you have the power to go from bystander to pioneer of change.
Despite the increasing digitisation of the music industry, the importance of correct metadata and music credits cannot be underestimated. 
The lack of this information can not only damage the finances of artists and industry players, but also undermine the recognition and respect of their works. 
It is therefore crucial that everyone working in the music industry is committed to entering and maintaining this information accurately and completely.
The future of music is in our hands, and each of us has the power to help make the music industry more fair, transparent and sustainable. 
Let us continue to educate ourselves and others about the importance of metadata and music credits, and adopt practices that promote better information management across the industry. 
Together, we can shape a future where every musical talent receives the recognition and respect it deserves. 

Change is possible, and it depends on all of us.


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