Credits Due is a new campaign launched by ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus, whose mission is to fix music’s royalty problem, by ensuring that “complete and accurate song metadata is attached to all recordings at the point of creation”.
But before we get into the campaign itself, let’s take a quick look at why it was created. Several factors make up the issue. The first thing to understand is that for music rights holders to collect royalties when someone plays their music, the music must be correctly linked to the rights holder. Without this link, nobody knows that there is anything to collect.
Connecting Music to Music Rights Holders
So how is this link established? It requires five types of information, the songwriter’s identity, the song identifier code, recording identifier code, song title and the names of writer, performer, producer and musicians. When creator identifiers and role codes are absent, royalties often go uncollected. Historically, labels attach data to recordings, but this tends to relate to the artist name(s) and track title, and omits crucial information on its songwriters. Typically, song splits are also missed out i.e. the shares that each songwriter owns of the songs they create.
Björn Ulvaeus’ Credits Due campaign
Launched in collaboration between The Ivors Academy and The Music Rights Awareness Foundation (of which Ulvaeus is a co-founder), Credits Due aims to ensure royalties reach the people to whom they rightfully belong. One of the exciting things about this campaign is that nobody seems to think it is a bad idea. It’s as simple as it sounds. Should people be paid for their musical works? Yes. Should it be difficult for them to get paid? No. Credits Due is designed to make it easier for creators to assign the correct metadata to their music. This makes collecting royalties much easier.
What does this mean for Song Sleuth?
Of course, this is great news for Song Sleuth and those who partner with it. Song Sleuth shares Björn’s goal of getting the right people paid for their work. While Song Sleuth has multiple methods of connecting music to rights holders, Credits Due has the potential to simplify and speed up the process.
As a client of Song Sleuth, you have this entire process automated. Even if you do have the proper metadata attached to a song on which you collect royalties, you will still need help in finding them. Chances are, as the Credits Due campaign takes off, Song Sleuth will become even more effective at helping rights holders collect royalties and create new revenue streams.
The Credits Due campaign is an exciting and long-awaited development in the collection of music rights. Composers often complain about how difficult it is to collect royalties due to a lack of metadata. This campaign addresses exactly that problem simply and elegantly.