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UK music industry to establish “landmark agreement on streaming metadata”

"Good quality metadata benefits everyone who creates and enjoys music"


The UK music industry is set to establish a “landmark agreement on streaming metadata”.

Created by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and published on 31st May, the voluntary agreement comprises "a roadmap for how industry and Government will work together to deliver consistent high quality metadata, supported by best practice, education and well-functioning systems". 

Digital metadata are the details pertaining to a track's creation, including release date, genre, track title, and producer, and helps artists get compensated for their work via royalties. The plan is due to be rolled out as part of a two-year process.

The UK Industry Agreement on Music Streaming Metadata lays out a "core data set" that should accompany tracks on streaming services and vows to "make significant improvements in provision of this data set over the two-year period". It also details a proposed code of good practice and pledges to establish an education expert group and technical solutions expert group, all during a two-year period.

Signatories include the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) — who represent over 500 labels — the Association of Independent Music (AIM), Musicians' Union (MU), and PRS for Music.

"Good quality metadata benefits everyone who creates and enjoys music. The agreement on metadata is a positive commitment by the music industry to improve the quality of metadata in the UK. I am very pleased to see the wide range of organisations which are signatories to the agreement, and I look forward to seeing the further progress that industry makes on metadata over the next two years," Viscount Camrose, Minister for AI and Intellectual Property, said in a statement.

See the list of signatories and read the full proposal on the UK government site.

A dismal report published last year revealed that music streaming services are likely to be making "significant excess profits that could be shared with creators (artists and songwriters)." The study also showed that an artist could expect to earn around £12,000 from 12 million streams in the UK in 2021, but less than 1% of artists achieve that amount of streams.

Revisit DJ Mag's feature on self-releasing music in 2022.