DDEX: AN API for the Music Industry

As everything is evolving and transforming people’s lives, so is the music industry which has extended its reach and integrated with technology and has gained a lot of advantage. Music industry basically includes people and companies whose whole life is dependent on creating a new song and selling it in the form of concerts, video or audio recordings. APIs are here to the rescue once more, but not in the exact same modern format we are mostly familiar with.

Music has always been a part of our life as it depicts our social conditions. So, on daily basis music is affecting. You’ll see on the sidewalks people of every age have headphones and they are enjoying their life fullest. So, in every corner of this world music is deeply engraved. Now there are no cultural differences Americans are now enjoying K-pop and Asians are relishing on the melodies of Americans. So, the music industry is just spreading happiness, harmony, and ease all over the globe.

As the music industry has become the force to reckon, a proper distribution channel is needed after the entrance to the digital era. The same has happened with many other industries over and over again the last decade. Here we’ll provide you with the solution.


DDEX was founded in 2006 as a “Digital Data Exchange” by adjoining music licensing organizations, leading media companies, technical intermediaries and different service providers. They started this company to promote a legal digital music industry that requires the adoption of standards in a way it communicates information about tracking, working, products, sales, and ownership. This metadata needed to be converted into a common format to be communicated properly to then deliver to the companies in a manner that each party needs access to the data. In DDEX’s early days each company was developing their own formats and delivery methods. So, when any company wanted to do business with the organization it has to understand multiple formats and ways.

Their initial focus was developing standards that allow information sharing and communication between record companies and digital retailers regarding releases or products offered to customers.  Digital Sales Report Message Suite and Electronic Release Notification Message were the one developed in early days. Early attempts were just to improve privacy and legal ways, but the solution was not standard.

Music companies simultaneously transitioned from high value, low volume and low value to high volume. This trend of communicating and formatting was very expensive and inefficient. That was the main reason of DDEX standardizing format in which the data is represented in XML and method of exchange between partners.

In 2008 first time in the history of DDEX standardized format was introduced. During that time, DDEX developed early versions of Musical Work Licensing Message Suite.

Now, DDEX has been in the market for more than a decade becoming the sole consortium of providing a standard format and metadata delivery regarding digital music supply chain. It includes music publishers to digital music service providers. The format developed over the past years now has been used all over the globe for data communication.


AN API for the Music Industry

DDEX has standardized its format of information sharing, the format is represented in XML messages. This format is used to exchange information among partners. DDEX is completely used for business to business data exchange. And its standard formats simplify as well as speed up communication, it also increases the accuracy of data needed for sharing content on digital service providers to consumers for sale.

This not only improves the supply chain but also allows us to share quality information with the end consumer. So, in the music industry as digitalization have deeply penetrated DDEX really facilitate the process and improve consumer’s experience. It should be noted that consumer privacy is not affected by using DDEX in a supply chain. It just makes the content available quicker.

Now DDEX is playing an important role in digital supply chain development as more and more companies are recognizing the importance of standardization. DDEX is now evolving as the world is evolving as the company is looking at all facets of standardization within the digital supply chain of the music industry. Recently company included choreographies, business profiles, and automated message exchange. This shows DDEX focus on making a legal digital music industry. First, providing making digital supply chain technical and second, finding ways to implement these standards effectively.

Additionally, DDEX is having broad discussions with organizations that have or plan to develop standards relating to digital supply chain. This has included IFPI in relation to GRid and ISRC, and CISAC in relation to ISWC and ISNI. All these discussions are being made to work as a whole community to improve interoperability with the aim of automating supply chain as much as possible.

DDEX do not follow other standards, the company develops its own standards. The detailed development of standards is done in technical working groups, subject matters and make it compulsory for each group, Board appoints a chair for each group, which must be a full member or charter.

The standards of DDEX have been widely implemented across the supply chain by retailers, distributors, record companies, and aggregators. These implementations have been deployed by major digital music players including Apple, Beezik, Consolidated Independent, Digiplug, EMI Music, the Harry Fox Agency, Kontor New Media, Naxos, NCB, Omnifone, PRS for Music, SACEM, Sony Music Entertainment, Spotify, SUISA, Rhapsody, Rightsflow and Warner Music Group as well as a full range of other companies. Overall more than 700 implementation licenses have been issued so far and this number is growing daily.

Policy makers and the government is also keen on the developing standards and their deployment. They want to expand the digital market by introducing high automation level. So, DDEX plans to keep a close link with the changing environment in order to remain competitive and compatible in the community. Therefore, DDEX is really an API of the music industry as it is facilitating and helping the industry.

So, in the end, DDEX is working really hard to improve digital supply chain of the music industry and helping the enormous and ever-increasing industry to establish and flourish in long run.

A Music API Standard: DDEX

Parsers, Code and More

Within Orfium we have used this solution for many years now and we can tell how powerful it is. We have seen how stable it is and how much the whole industry trusts it. This is more than amazing since we have created some solutions that are stable for more than a couple of years without any change. This in terms of technology is actually unique.

There is also a nice python library but you definitely don’t need it. It is much easier developing your own custom solution and encapsulate it in your classes that express your business logic.