Whitepapers & How-To Guides

Music Biz offers free white papers on various industry topics, all aimed at educating the reader of the current state of our marketplace, while offering ideas on how various segments of the industry can work together to advance the business of music.


July 26, 2016 – DDEX Release Notification Standard Starter Guide for Implementation

The Music Business Association (Music Biz) and its Metadata & Digital Operations Workgroup, in association with DDEX (Digital Data Exchange, LLC), are offering labels and label aggregators a step-by-step guide on how to use the DDEX standard to upload and manage their catalogs on digital retailers.


September 30, 2015 – Classical Metadata Style Guide

Released simultaneously with the Metadata Style Guide V2.1, our Classical Metadata Style Guide is the first to specifically address Classical music, which requires specialized formatting that differs substantially from that of modern popular music. (9.30.15)

metadata style guide 2.1

September 30, 2015 – Music Metadata Style Guide V2.1

The third iteration of Music Biz’s touchstone Music Metadata Style Guide provides a set of common naming conventions and data entry standards for companies to use when listing, ingesting, and managing digital music. (9.30.15)


August 14, 2014 – Music Metadata Style Guide V2.0

Compiled by Music Biz’s Digital Supply Chain and Operations Work Group, the updated document furthers the mission of the original, adding significant changes to standards for artists, albums, and tracks; providing more robust direction on DDEX standards; and adding Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Thai to the languages section. (8.14.14)

hashtag whitepaper

February 12, 2013 – Hashtag Whitepaper

Authored by Sperry Media with contributions from Interscope Records, Sideways Media, Topspin Media, and Universal Republic, the whitepaper examines the current forms of fan/artist communication on existing social platforms. Along the way, it highlights best practices, and offers suggestions to make future iterations of fan/artist collaboration smoother and more profitable, all through the lens of one component tying these various capabilities together—the hashtag. (2.12.13)

innovation paradox

September 25, 2012 – The Innovation Paradox: How Licensing and Copyright Affect Digital Music Startups

Written by David Touve, an Assistant Professor of Business at Washington and Lee University, the paper helps those with innovative ideas for the music industry get inside the heads of rights holders so they can work together to negotiate mutually acceptable agreements that allow their products to succeed. The paper walks the reader through the complications in the copyright landscape over the last decade and explains how those complications have affected the way that record labels, PROs, and other rights holders go about negotiating licensing deals with music startups. The paper concludes that both sides of the table must work together in a process called “negotiated innovation,” where each side is aware of the other’s motivations and willing to work toward creating a new product that can thrive in the marketplace. (9.25.12)

metamillions whaitepaper

June 14, 2012 – MetaMillions: Turning Bits Into Bucks for the Music Industry Through the Standardization of Archival and Contextual Metadata

This whitepaper examines the current state of metadata collection, curation and contextualization as it relates to industry-specific processes and how this data is being shared (or not) with third-party services/retailers. The purpose was to present a business rationale for establishing a new system for metadata by showcasing the sales, marketing and other monetization benefits of a more standardized framework, and the steps necessary to create one. (6.14.12)

music discovery

May 18, 2012 – What’s That Song?: Improving Music Discovery on Television

Written by Billboard Senior Editorial Analyst Glenn Peoples and based on the “Music & TV: Enabling Discovery for the Connected Consumer” session at Music Biz 2012, this paper details the opportunities and challenges presented by music discovery on television, and lays out several recommendations for how to improve monetization and engagement. (5.18.12)

music subscription whitepaper

March 27, 2012 – Music Subscription: The Facts

This whitepaper aims to dispel myths and facilitate a balanced discussion on the role of subscription music services in today’s marketplace.