SOURCE: ASCAP

October 16, 2008 12:00 ET

Music-Industry and Digital Music Services Announce Implementations of DDEX Standards Aimed at Improving Business Operations of the Digital Music Industry

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - October 16, 2008) - Digital Data Exchange (DDEX) has announced a number of implementations of the organisation's digital communication standards. Implementations are in progress by digital music service providers including iTunes, Muzak, Real Networks, SFR and Telefónica Servicios de Música S.A.U., music content companies SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT and Warner Music Group, and music rights societies, ASCAP, BMI, HFA, MCPS-PRS, SACEM, SGAE and SUISA.

"Whilst the DDEX membership has been extremely successful in carrying out technical work and meeting the deadlines for its completion, we have always known that real success should only be measured by implementations of the standards themselves," said Chris Amenita, ASCAP, the chair of DDEX. "It's great news that we now have more than a dozen such implementations in progress. DDEX will continue to encourage more implementations and looks forward to the benefits, in the form of operational cost savings and improved data exchange efficiencies, that widespread implementation will bring. DDEX will be forging ahead with the development of more standards to improve the communication of data in the digital music value chain and we hope that more companies will join us in that endeavour."

DDEX also announced the completion of a number of new standard format XML messages, including two simplified versions of existing standards. These have been produced in response to concerns over the complexity of the original standards from some sections of the industry. DDEX now has specified six standard format messages as follows:

--  Electronic Release Notification Message Suite Standard (Main Profile);
--  Electronic Release Notification Message Suite Standard (Simple
    Profile);
--  Digital Sales Report Message Suite (Main Profile);
--  Digital Sales Report Message Suite (Simple Profile);
--  Musical Work Licensing Message Suite; and
--  Data Mismatch Message Suite.
    

The specifications for all the DDEX standards can be accessed at http://www.ddex.net/evaluation/form.html.

Detailed explanations of these messages standards will be given at open meetings organised by DDEX in New York on 23rd October, in Santa Monica on 28th October and in Paris on 6th November. The meetings 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 implementations. Details of times and locations for these meetings can be found at www.ddex.net. Registrations for attendance at the open meetings can be made by e-mailing secretariat@digitaldataexchange.com.

DDEX was set up to develop standard message formats which will help improve the efficiency of data sharing and the processing of transactions between participants in the digital content value chain. The standards enable the identification of the information required to provide digital 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. Initially DDEX has focused on the digital music value chain, principally because its initial membership was drawn from that sector. Whilst there is still work to do in the music sector DDEX is encouraging membership from stakeholders in other sectors which overlap with music, such as the many organisations operating in the audio-visual world.

About DDEX:

Digital Data Exchange (DDEX, pronounced "dee-dex") was formed in 2006 by the world's leading companies and organizations involved in digital music. 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 content value chain.

The charter members of the organization are the music content companies, EMI Music, SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT, 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), The MCPS-PRS Alliance Limited, 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, Microsoft Corp., RealNetworks Inc®, and Telefónica Servicios de Música S.A.U.

Membership of DDEX is open to any organization with an interest in the legal distribution of digital content.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.