Warner Music Nashville Joins the Party on Standardized, Complete Music Credits

Blake Shelton God's Country Music Credits
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Blake Shelton God's Country Music Credits
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Photo Credit: Instagram

The music industry has undergone a massive transformation over the last decade, with digital downloads and streaming taking over from traditional music sales. This shift has brought about a lot of changes, including changes in the way music credits are handled.

Full credits for songs have fallen by the wayside over the years, with many artists and songwriters receiving little or no recognition for their contributions to a track. This has led to frustration and resentment among those who feel that they have been overlooked or undervalued.

However, things may be about to change. Warner Music has recently announced a major step towards standardized music credits during the production phase. This is part of the Recording Academy’s Behind the Record campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of full music credits for those who contribute to the song creation process.

Warner Music has enlisted the help of music tech startup Sound Credit to help standardize its music credits at the point of creation. Sound Credit, which is based in Memphis, is helping to tie the integrations into better royalty accounting and payouts. The company is also one of the first movers on the initiative, with Blake Shelton’s “God’s Country” release being one of the first tracks to benefit from the new system.

The process works by gathering and entering all information during the recording of the track. Sound Credit then delivers that information to major labels – in this case, Warner Music Nashville – in a digital format called Recording Information Notification (RIN). From there, the RIN information for each track can be delivered to streaming services like Pandora and Spotify.

Pandora was one of the first major streaming services to announce its support for full song credits back in October when the Behind the Record campaign was launched. The company stated that it believes in giving credit where it’s due, and is excited to display full song credits for millions of tracks in its massive music library.

The move towards standardized music credits is a significant milestone on the road forward to keeping everyone involved in the creative process documented — and paid. It’s essentially the start of end-to-end delivery for digital music credits, and it’s a positive step towards ensuring that all contributors to a song are recognized and compensated fairly.

However, there is still more work to be done. Many streaming services have yet to commit to displaying full credits with their tracks, and there is still a lack of comprehensive songwriting and publisher details. This has resulted in near-disastrous payout problems for platforms like Spotify, which has faced criticism for its opaque payment system.

In conclusion, the move towards standardized music credits is a positive step towards ensuring that all contributors to a song are recognized and compensated fairly. It’s a significant milestone on the road forward to keeping everyone involved in the creative process documented, and it’s great to see major players like Warner Music and Pandora taking the lead on this issue. However, it’s important that more streaming services commit to displaying full credits with their tracks, and that there is greater transparency around royalty accounting and payouts. Only then can we truly ensure that everyone involved in the creation of a song is recognized and compensated fairly.