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The Digital Data Exchange (DDEX), a standards-setting organisation for the global media industries, has developed a series of standards aimed at reducing the cost of managing and communicating metadata and content across the digital media supply chain. The initial focus of DDEX’s work lies in the development of standards to support metadata and content exchange along the digital music supply chain.

DDEX standards are used by media companies including all major record companies as well as small labels and intermediaries, major rights societies such as ASCAP, BMI, the Harry Fox Agency, PRS for Music and SACEM, and digital and mobile service provides such as Apple iTunes, Google, Nokia, Orange, SFR, Spotify, Real Networks, TelefónicaServicios de Música, and others.

Intellectual Property

DDEX retains the copyright in the standards and the accompanying XML Schema files. Therefore anyone wishing to use the standards is required to obtain a licence from DDEX.

Such licences are free of charge (see below for details).

 Location Documentation and XML Schemata

All DDEX standards are available from

The XML Schema files referenced in the DDEX standards are also available from the same location as well as from This allows automated processes to always refer to the authoritative XML Schema file.

Implementing DDEX

DDEX offers two free licences depending on the nature of use of the standards:

  1. An “Evaluation Licence” is offered for companies that wish to access and review the DDEX standards in order to assess whether they meet that company’s requirements and to enable an appraisal of the development resource required to implement them. This enables companies to also develop and test their implementation should they decide to do so. The text of the licence is printed on page 2 of each standard.
  2. At the point at which an implementation of a DDEX standard is to be used to actually exchange data in a commercial environment, an “Implementation Licence” is required.

In both cases the licence granted, covers all DDEX standards. To obtain such a licence please go to and click on "Apply for a DDEX Party ID".

Development and Testing

To access and review, and develop and test an implementation, no licence other than the Evaluation Licence, which is printed on page 2 of each standard, is necessary.

Using DDEX in a Commercial Setup

Once an implementation has progressed, and a company wants to use it to send or receive data in a commercial environment the company needs to obtain an Implementation Licence. It can be requested by completing the form on

Once DDEX has received the application, the DDEX Secretariat will:

  1. Issue the company with a unique DDEX Party Identifier (DPID);
  2. Give the user access to DDEX’s document repository system where a register of all allocated DPIDs is made available to all users of the DDEX standards; and
  3. Confirm the Implementation Licence.

The DDEX Party Identifier is the most visible sign that a company has taken out an Implementation Licence. But its main purpose is to identify a sender or recipient in the MessageHeader element of any DDEX Message.

Essential Reading

Besides looking at the standards themselves, any implementer is recommended to have a look at the Message Handbooks and to consult the DDEX Data Dictionary for any term that may be unclear. For the avoidance of doubt, in any communication using a DDEX standard, the only terms that are defined are those contained in the DDEX Data Dictionary.

The Handbooks and Dictionary are available from

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