SOURCE: ASCAP

ASCAP

October 21, 2009 10:00 ET

Digital Data Exchange Declares Standards for Digital Film and TV; Announces Open Meeting on November 6th in Sunnyvale, CA

NEW YORK, NY,--(Marketwire - October 21, 2009) - Digital Data Exchange ("DDEX") has announced two significant standards that lay out a common format (in XML) for exchanging information about TV programs, movies and videos in the digital media value chain. The first message enables content owners to send information to digital retailers and aggregators to provide to the consumer, and the second enables the digital retailers and aggregators to send the content owners information about sales and usage.

DDEX is also hosting an Open Meeting on Friday, November 6th in Sunnyvale, California, which will offer any companies operating in the digital media value chain the opportunity to gain a detailed insight into the structure of the standards and learn some tips about how they can be implemented.

"As the digital media world continues to grow, all participants involved in DDEX are increasingly involved in managing information about music used in TV program, movie and video product. The existing DDEX messages already cover almost any audio business model you can think of, but these standards extend that capability to cover music used in TV program, movie and video product," said Chris Amenita, ASCAP, the chair of DDEX.

The Open Meeting will be an opportunity for operational and technical personnel to spend time gaining a detailed understanding of the standards and how they were constructed. Some of the companies that are now using the standards will also provide insight into how they overcame the challenges of implementation. Details of the time and location for this meeting can be found at www.DDEX.net. Registrations for attendance at the Open Meeting can be made by e-mailing secretariat@digitaldataexchange.com.

"A huge amount of effort and resource has been spent over the last three years getting the DDEX standards to this point. Now we have a series of stable and proven standards that companies can be confident to implement in order to gain the benefits that standardization brings in the form of improved efficiency and reduced cost," said Amenita. "Further implementations of the DDEX standards have been carried out since we announced the first ones in October last year. We are confident that the standards have now been perfected to meet the widest possible requirements and therefore do not expect any upgrades until well into the middle of 2010."

DDEX has also announced a third standard that allows sales and usage to be reported to record companies and music rights societies (and is known as the Digital Sales Report). However, rather than use XML, it is in a "flat file" format, which means that simple applications such as Excel and .csv files can be used to exchange information. It has been created to offer companies not able to handle XML the benefit of using DDEX standards.

"As always DDEX has been listening to a wide range of companies in the digital music business as well as its own members. It became apparent that there are a significant number of companies out there that would welcome the opportunity to use standardized message formats but do not have the experience of XML to be able to implement the existing DDEX standards. We have therefore produced this version of the Digital Sales Report in response to this issue. We are very hopeful that this will enable a large number of companies to become DDEX compliant using ubiquitous applications like Excel, without needing the investment that larger companies can deploy when implementing XML," said Amenita.

Two minor updates of two other standards have also been published which are the Digital Sales Report Message Suite (Simple Profile) and the Message Transfer Via FTP Standard. All the specifications for all the DDEX standards can be accessed at http://www.ddex.net/documents.html.

About DDEX:

DDEX was set up to develop and encourage the adoption of standard XML message formats to improve the current exchange of data between companies operating in the digital media content value chain. The standards enable the identification of the information required to provide digital media content to the consumer and report sales back to the content owning companies, as well as common ways for this data to be exchanged between companies. DDEX was formed in 2006 by the world's leading companies and organizations involved in the digital music value chain. Initially DDEX has therefore focused on the digital music value chain, but DDEX is now encouraging membership from stakeholders in any media sectors that overlap with music.

The charter members of the organization are the music content companies Sony Music, The Orchard, Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group; music rights societies from the U.S., UK, Spain and France, The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), The Harry Fox Agency Inc. (HFA), PRS for Music, Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs et Éditeurs de Musique (SACEM), Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (SGAE); and the digital and mobile service providers, Apple Inc., France Telecom, Nokia, RealNetworks Inc®, and Telefónica Servicios de Música S.A.U.

Membership of DDEX is open to any organization with a business interest in the digital media content value chain.

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