1 Introduction

The process of transferring catalogues from one record company or aggregator/distributor to another is, today, very inefficient. Catalogue Transfers regularly lead to the disappearance of content, even if only for a short period of time, from DSP’s services. In addition, consumer-provided data such as playlists or comments are often lost alongside long-term usage information. As a consequence, the handling catalogue transfers, today, is causing a non-trivial amount of administrative work for all companies involved.

In 2011, DDEX published a choreography standard to improve the Catalogue Transfer process. However, that standard has not been implemented widely.

These Best Practices replace this standard in order to assist companies relinquishing a catalogue of sound recordings, music videos and/or Releases, companies that acquire such catalogues and any DSPs that offer content from a transferred catalogue to make the transfer as smooth as possible for the three parties involved and without disrupting the consumer experience.

Any organisation wishing to implement this (or any other DDEX Standard) is required to apply for an Implementation Licence. The terms of the licence and an application form can be found here and here.

This standard was developed by the member organisations of the Digital Data Exchange, LLC (DDEX) and provides a suite of messages that give a uniform mechanism to enable Release Creators (usually record companies) to inform DSPs about Releases — whether they are newly created or “back catalogue” — that are available for distribution to consumers.

This standard also enables Release Creators to inform DSPs in a standardised way the terms and conditions under which such Releases can be made available.