SoundExchange Royalty Processing Problems Entering ‘Crisis Mode…’

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SoundExchange is now grappling with emergency-level performance problems related to its royalty processing system, according to meeting notes leaked to Digital Music News.

In a November meeting of the SoundExchange Board, an agenda item labeled “SERENA System Performance Issues” detailed a number of urgent performance problems, and pointed to ‘crisis mode’ treatment and emergency-level ‘triage’ on the system.

‘SERENA’ is SoundExchange’s royalty processing and distribution system.  “SERENA performance continues to be a significant problem,” the meeting notes explain.  “We have reached crisis mode where end users experience daily system slow-downs and queued jobs fail to execute. We believe the root of the problems are based on dramatic data growth, increased user load, and a database design that has not been modified or configured to scale.”

The meeting notes were also accidentally published on SoundExchange’s site over the holidays, but quickly removed following the publication of this article.

The notes continue to describe an unstable system, and urgent remedies that appear to include an entire system replacement. “We remain extremely concerned about the operational capacity of SERENA as we place more load upon the system, and we will place high priority in the coming months to triaging this operational problem in order to keep SERENA functional until she is replaced.”

The notes were from November, leaving at least several weeks and the holidays for emergency fixes.  After multiple inquiries, SoundExchange offered this statement to Digital Music News:

“We’ve been fortunate to have seen tremendous success as both the organization and digital music services continue to grow. We have made very clear that this is also one of our greatest challenges, and not uncommon to a lot of growing companies. We strive to improve our methods for distributing payments from over a thousand services to even more artists and labels in a timely manner, which is why we continue to make the updating of our systems a high priority.”