PRS for Music

PPL and PRS launch joint data initiative

PPL and PRS for Music have launched a new data-sharing initiative to improve identification of sound recordings and musical works – and the links between them.

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 23 Mar 2017
  • min read
PPL and PRS for Music have launched a new data-sharing initiative to improve identification of sound recordings and musical works – and the links between them.

The aim of the new tool is to establish and promote a set of consistent and authoritative links between recordings and works that can be gathered from and shared across multiple parties.

The prototype represents a step forward in the sharing of the collecting societies’ data, with over 2.5 million recordings already linked to over 1.2 million works and available to search.

Several international societies have already expressed their desire to learn more about the ‘work-in-progress’ initiative, including APRA AMCOS in Australia.

This three-way collaboration has the potential to link in excess of 18 million musical works with in excess of 10 million recordings.

However, the linked data set does not incorporate full ownership information for recordings or works.

This will continue to be managed by each society, but the prototype search tool signposts a user to the most authoritative available source of ownership information for each recording and work, which can be displayed directly from a society database when possible.

It is intended that the prototype will act as a springboard for discussion with a wider set of recording, publishing and rightsholder organisations around the world.

The end goal is to extend the sharing of consistent, authoritative data in order to benefit those who create, perform, and invest in music.

Paul Dilorito, director of operations at PRS for Music, said: ‘One of the biggest challenges we all face is how we create industry-wide access to authoritative data.  Effective linking of works to recordings is the first step and this prototype has enabled us to deliver a successful proof of concept that we are delighted to have brought to fruition in partnership with PPL.

‘Collaboration is key to the successful resolution of the data challenge across the industry, and as industry-leading authoritative sources of metadata we are both very well placed to facilitate a solution.’

Mark Douglas, chief technology officer at PPL, added: ‘For an initiative like this to have value to the industry, it has to be based on authoritative data about sound recordings and musical works.

‘PPL invests significant effort and resources into managing its repertoire database and is rightly recognised as a world-leader, making PPL a natural partner to work with PRS for Music. We are excited about extending beyond this pilot to draw in other collective management organisations and performing right organisations to progress the initiative even further.’  

Alan Balchin, APRA AMCOS head of business systems and development, said: 'The need for an authoritative link between a work and its many recordings is a 'no brainer' from our perspective, to ensure rightsholders get acknowledged, recognised and paid in a timely fashion. We look forward to engaging with our colleagues in the UK on this exciting initiative as it develops.'