Streaming services should be using the Basic Audio Profile for reporting the usages of music on their service to musical works licensors. This is defined in Clauses 5.2 and 5.3 of Part 3 of the DSR standard [LINK]. These two clauses explain two different approaches to reporting.
If the DSP has access to information about the album Release…
… from which the consumer requested the stream, the reporting needs to be made in accordance with Clause 5.2 (“Definition of Blocks where Release Information is Available”).
Clause 5.2 requires that all sales/usages must be reported within the context of each Release. Clause 5.2 does not permit the direct ascribing of usages to the individual sound recordings that appear on that Release. Instead, Clause 5.2 requires streaming services to ensure that each SU02 usage record points to a “sub release” record RE02 which, in turn, needs to point to an AS01 or AS02 record.
Since publishing Version 1.3 of the Basic Audio Profile, DDEX has determined that this approach is unnecessary, confusing and not particularly efficient. Therefore, DDEX has agreed that, even where Release information is available to the DSP, the DSP can report usages with respect to the individual sound recordings that appear in the Release as well as with respect to the Release itself.
However, this change will not be part of the formal standard until such time as DDEX publishes Version 1.4 of the Basic Audio Profile. At the moment, it is not known when publication will occur. In the meantime, some member companies of DDEX have already decided to use the approach discussed in the above paragraph within their implementations of the Basic Audio Profile in Version 1.3. Therefore, non-DDEX members who implement the Basic Audio Profile in Version 1.3 may also take this approach.
Assume a DSP that has had two customers in a specific reporting period in which they (and only they) accessed exactly one track from a five-track album: consumer A obtained track 1 and consumer B obtained track 5.
The DSR file for this case would lead to a block of Records, compiled in accordance with the Basic Audio Profile, containing:
- One RE01 Record providing the album metadata;
- Two AS01/02 Records describing the two individual tracks that were accessed by the two consumers; and
- Two SU Records providing the sales/usage figures for the two transactions. Each of these two SU Records will point to one of the two AS01/02 Records.
It would be incorrect to create two blocks (comprising just AS and SU records) as this approach would omit the, crucial, album level metadata. For the same reason it is also not correct to create two separate single-track Releases (and have thus two blocks with one RE01 Record, one AS01/02 Record and one SU Record).
If the DSP does not have any Release information …
… the report must be made in accordance with Clause 5.3 (“Definition of Blocks where Release Information is not Available”).
This approach is different from Clause 5.2. In Clause 5.3 each Block comprises one resource record (AS01 or AS02), potentially followed by 0-n records describing the underlying musical work (MW01), and 1-n SU02 records detailing the usage of the sound recording described in the AS01 or AS02 record.