The purpose of DDEX as set out in its Operating Agreement is “to develop standards relating to metadata creation and management, identification of entities and the communication of such information in relation to media rights, agreements and content to enable a highly automated, timely and cost-effective transaction processing environment providing the highest possible level of operational efficiency amongst participants in the physical and digital media value chain…and to promote, through the creation of publicity material, the holding of training seminars and the like, global awareness and compliant implementation of those standards”.

Now that DDEX has passed its tenth birthday it is playing a critical role in the development of the digital music value chain as more and more companies recognise the vital importance of standardisation. The number of DDEX members has increased significantly over the last eighteen months and now stands at over 100 with new companies joining almost every month.

The focus of DDEX’s work has also changed in the last eighteen months so that, from just looking to develop standard format messages, DDEX is looking at all aspects of standardisation within the digital music value chain. DDEX also carries out regular discussions with organisations that have or are developing standards of relevance to the digital music value chain, as well as those developing standards for other media industries. All these discussions are about identifying how the community as a whole can work to improve the operation and interoperability of these standards with the goal of automating as much of the value chain as possible. Also in this context, DDEX has been making tentative strides towards finding ways of improving the overall quality of the metadata itself as it moves around the whole value chain. This activity is very much in its early stages but is seen as critical in the longer term.

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