Data Management for Music Publishers

We provide data management services to music publishers. Basically, we manage all the metadata, or rather as much as the client wants us to.

In a nutshell

We clean incoming data, type it or import it into the system, prepare registrations (in CWR format), follow through (check acknowledgements, fix issues if present and resend) help in resolving any conflicts. When collecting organizations send statements, we create outgoing ones. We can also track sync-related agreements and income.

Propriatery Technology

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Screenshot of a work editing view in our software. CWR Transaction for this work is rendered when work is opened. The importance of this will becomne clearer with following images.

All our services, including these, are based on our own software, built in-house. This has immense benefits compared to using third-party solutions:

  • We know our technology, all aspects of it.
  • We can extend the functionalities whenever we want to.
  • We can fix bugs really fast (and every software has bugs).
  • Our technology was built for this particular service.
  • This results in faster processing, and far fewer errors and delays.

Lately, we have seen many companies making such claims. We provide several free tools where core functionalities like manual input, data imports, CWR exports and acknowledgement processing can be tested. Most of these tools have unique features, unavailable in any publicly available tools, paid or free.

We do not licence our tech to third parties.

Staff

Tech is just a tool that enables our staff to provide unprecedented quality of service. But it is the staff that provides the service and must be just as exceptional as the tech.

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We explain the CWR format to each member of our staff really well. And we make sure they do not forget. CWR is rendered when an agreement or a work is edited. They see it and read through it hundreds of times every day. They don’t even see the code. All they see is blonde, brunette, redhead.

And they truly are exceptional people. But probably the most important element is the training. Advanced Excel is a prerequisite, but we train them in many other skills. For example, all of our staff can read CWR, but also XML and HTML and JSON. And we are not talking about developers here. The data often comes in strange formats and our staff must be able to handle most of the situations without developers. If you would like to know more, have a look at Learning CWR.

Process

It really comes down to the process. With the right process, we can deliver a higher quality of service at a lower cost.

For example, we meticulously clean and validate all incoming data. We call it No Garbage Policy. We may not live up to it each time, but we make no conscious compromises. This may result in seemingly unnecessary hassle to some clients, as we might need their assistance. We can pretty much figure out what is wrong, but it takes a client to explain what right would be. But once we do clean the data, the rest of the process can run really smoothly.

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We can not really allow characters that are not allowed in CWR to enter our system, can we? We have to fix the errors before they enter the system and, even potentially, make a mess.

We will not go into all the details, but one more example might make things even clearer. The most important reason why we need our staff to be able to read CWR is to read acknowledgements. It is pretty clear why it is important to figure out why a work was rejected, but acknowledgements can be informative also for accepted works. They tell us a lot about how receiving parties (mostly societies) work. This approach has brought us to the point where we have one of the best CWR validators.

Cycle and Timezones

Unless we agree differently, we come to each client twice a week, but we still try to answer all emails on the same working day or, at the latest, in the morning of the next one. Please do bear in mind that operational part of our staff is in CET (Central European Timezone).

Limitations

There are situations when, due to external influences, we can not deliver the high quality of service.

For instance, it makes little sense for us to manage data if our client is affiliated with a society that does not process CWR properly. By ‘properly’, we mean that society sends complete and final acknowledgements within a reasonable period and that most of the other activities can be done through WWW, FTP or some other automated service, not email or snail mail.

In such situations, we still can help with our Data Crunching Service.

Client Interface

Depending on the services we provide, we give the client an online access to the system. It usually only contains reports about our activities, registrations and acknowledgements, received and generated statements, etc. In some cases, we also give our clients access so they can manually add new works. This works well if a client is a production music publisher (controlling 100% of all rights).

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Example of New Work Record interface for original publishers.

In cases when there is just one original publisher and all writers are controlled (which is a common case in production music), we provide the wizard depicted in this image (step 1, step 2 are alternate titles, etc,). Clients can add a new work and corresponding recordings themselves. All missing fields come from client defaults (such as original publisher, library name, etc.). It gets just as complicated as it has to be, not a bit more.

Pricing

We charge a monthly fee and, exceptionally, additional fees for additional work. It really depends on which services we are actually providing. The minimal monthly fee is €240 (~$300).