Music credits make a comeback with the launch of Jaxsta

Monday, 24 Jun 2019

While the digitisation of music has given fans unprecedented access to recorded music catalogues old, new, rare, and nearly forgotten, somewhere along the way to make it all available, the liner notes that were a treasured component of physical product became an afterthought. You don't see a hallowed studio name, the session players, or a graphic designer's credit with your streaming audio, do you?

But, with the launch of Jaxsta, the Sydney-based music/tech start-up has created a massive online platform for music credits to make a comeback. Jaxsta's aim is to be the most comprehensive source of official music information, telling the story behind the music, giving credit where credit is due. The beta version is now live with over 25 million pages of credits attributed across 4 million profiles, 19 million releases and 100 million credits, with data provided by official data partners including Universal, Sony and CD Baby. Warner's catalogue is in the process of being ingested.

So, what does it mean for songwriters and composers? And how can the online platform illuminate the creative contributions that have stayed mostly hidden in the shadows -- or more accurately, probably languishing on a CMS server somewhere?

The Jaxsta team shared a bit more about the platform's capabilities and how it aims to help the industry connect on a global scale, foster professional opportunities, and provide meaningful data and insights for business.

Will the data in beta become territory-centric? E.g. if an artist is signed to different labels in different regions, will it show their different label affiliations?

JAXSTA: Jaxsta will show the different release versions for different territories, provided we’re given that information from our data partners. Any shortfalls in that area are most likely a result of us not yet having done a deal with the relevant data partner in a particular territory, but as we sign deals with more data partners these additional versions will appear.

For our upcoming Pro product, we’re also working on having works data – writers and their publishers by territory, as well as all recordings linked to a work.

How can independent artists and/or creators without affiliations to the Jaxsta data partners become involved at this stage? Or what are the future plans for casting the net wider? Via digital distributors, indies etc. Can anyone submit?

JAXSTA: As we are dedicated to ensuring that Jaxsta’s credit information is authentic, official and 100% correct, we rely on our data partners for information – therefore individuals can’t upload credits directly to the site. That said, artists who aren’t affiliated with one of our partners can contact us via a link in the FAQ section of the Jaxsta website, and our Data Partnerships Team will contact them to discuss the issue further. We are always in the process of signing new deals with data partners both independent and major, and will soon be announcing a deal with one of the world’s largest independent organisations, who represent literally thousands and thousands of independent labels and distributors. We’re also working with independent distributors who allow artists to enter their own credits, which feed through to Jaxsta, so if your distributor isn’t on Jaxsta, please let them know you’d like to be involved.

What will be the biggest differences between a ‘freemium’ version and Pro?

JAXSTA: The ‘Freemium’ version will deliver visitors to the site unparalleled access to official music credits across the decades. APRA AMCOS members (or anyone, for that matter) can do a wide variety of searches across a number of different fields – they can search an Artist, Engineer, Producer, Musician or Songwriter via their songs, their releases (LP, EP, single or bundle) or their collaborations, with filters allowing them to sort by alphabet; newest or oldest release; or most popular release (which is determined by a Jaxsta-curated algorithm). Once on the page of a release, they will have access to all the credits for the piece of work – from key performers to featured guests and additional musicians; from songwriters to producers, mixers and engineers – as well as being able to view record label information, the different versions of the release from around the world and, in many cases, the lyrics. They will also be able to see its RIAA certifications and GRAMMY nominations/awards, as well as any news pertaining to the artist.

Jaxsta Pro will offer industry professionals myriad additional benefits, such as: the opportunity to showcase their best work by claiming, managing and boosting their Jaxsta profile; worldwide charts alerts – we can track anything an artist has worked on and set up customised alerts directly to their inbox; information about the biggest music markets, including population, digital indicators and industry associations; easy access to multiple territory publisher information to make contacts for sync deals easier to find; information on summits, festivals, award ceremonies and conferences around the world, which can easily be added to a member’s calendar; and more detailed information from our database, such as key identifiers ( E.g. IPN,ISNI, ISRC, ISWC numbers).

How far back historically is the data going that is being provided by partners?

JAXSTA: Our data reaches as far back as the records held by our data partners – which is a long way. For example, we have metadata for Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s 1958 album, “Gospel Train”, as well as Big Joe Turner’s 1939 song “Roll ’Em Pete” and Alfred Grünfeld’s 1907 single “Grieg: 3. I Love You”. We even have metadata for speeches from the late-19th Century!

How will Jaxsta research claims by creators?

JAXSTA: We are working constantly with our data suppliers and partners to improve the quality of the data we present via Creators can lodge claims via the FAQ section on the Jaxsta website, which we will pass on to our suppliers and partners to verify. We will then work with those suppliers to correct any issues.

Do you foresee having tools to integrate Jaxsta data and profiles into a songwriter, composer or artist socials or other e-commerce platforms?

JAXSTA: Yes – we’re working on solutions in this area for the future. It is our goal that Jaxsta becomes the go-to tool to help all music industry professionals receive credit for their work and, in turn, raise their profile in an endeavour to generate more works. Jaxsta URLs can be shared right now!

Are there any particular upcoming bells and whistles on the platform that are catering to songwriters and composers that you can tell our members about? 

JAXSTA: Songwriters' and composers’ credits are an essential part of the free Jaxsta experience – their work is accurately credited, and they can use Jaxsta as a tool to help source future work. One of the really exciting things about Jaxsta Pro, however, is that it will give people an opportunity to officially claim their profile, which they can then manage to maximise its impact. The good news for APRA AMCOS members is that they will receive a discount to Jaxsta Pro, which is scheduled to launch in the second half of this year and will cost about the same as a subscription to a streaming service. APRA AMCOS members can register for Jaxsta Pro here, where they will be the first to be notified about its confirmed launch date. 

Any tips for ensuring label copy and metadata are to Jaxsta spec?

JAXSTA: However you enter your data through your label or distributor at present is the best place to start – we take it from those official sources to ensure it’s as accurate as possible. Metadata and releases should come through to Jaxsta at the same time as they get sent to Apple Music and Spotify – provided your distributor has signed up with Jaxsta, of course.

Stay tuned for Jaxsta Pro updates and discounts for APRA AMCOS members.

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