One main part of the music industry supply chain is the delivery of Resource, Release and product information from Release Creators – typically record companies – to Release Distributors – typically DSPs. This information flow can happen either direct or via intermediaries and DDEX has developed a series of standards for this: The Electronic Release Notification Message Suite Standard (ERN), supported by a series of choreography and profile standards. ERN has been designed to convey the essential information about the Releases, Resources, involved parties as well as the commercial terms and conditions under which such Releases and Resources can be made available.
To offer a rich user experience, especially for instance, to support voice-activated music discovery and playback, DSPs require rich information which would not normally appear in current ERN formatted messages even though some of it might be available at the record company. However, DSPs may also obtain such information from other sources, herein called Metadata Providers, and this standard defines the means by which a DSP can obtain such information as part of an ERN feed, a separate FTP-communicated message or via web services.
Further information on MEAD can be found here and in the following articles:
Today MEAD is a messaging standard, i.e. metadata providers can send MEAD messages to their business partners. DDEX envisages, however, that MEAD will eventually be extended to also work as a query API.
This API will allow a company to call a metadata provider’s web service to request a specific piece of information (e.g. the historic charting information for a specific artist). The reply to such a request should not contain any other previously sent information – and therefore it would not be able to update or retract any other information.
MEAD 1.0 is a "Candidate Standard", which is a formal standard approved by DDEX for which DDEX has not had any information about live implementations. Once DDEX has received such input, it is expected that MEAD will be promoted to "DDEX Standard".