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DDEX Publishes ERN 4.3 Update and Catalogue Transfer Standard 1.0

DDEX, the international standards-setting organisation dedicated to improving the exchange of data and information across the music industry, has released the Electronic Release Notification standard (ERN) in version 4.3, a cumulative update from ERN 4.2 that adds more functionality and reduces complexity from earlier ERN versions.

As part of this update, DDEX has also updated the ERN Choreography for Cloud Based Storage standard which defines how record companies or distributors can securely transmit information to DSPs and caters for non-repudiation requirements to be met, and the ERN Choreography for Web Services standard which defines how record companies or distributors can securely transmit information to DSPs using an Atom-based web service architecture. All these updates can be viewed in full on the DDEX Knowledge Base at

The ERN 4.3 update includes various additional business benefits over earlier versions. These additional benefits include:

  • Full support for the first time for the communication of data about immersive audio including data about different sound engineers and mixers who helped to create the immersive editions;
  • Enabling a record company or distributor to provide data about sound recording and video clips that are authorised for a user-generated content DSP, allowing its users to create and upload short clips which embody the identified sound recording or video clips in the user's creation;
  • Support for data about more granular album visibility dates for streaming DSPs including when DSPs are permitted to show both the cover art and track listings for a new release;
  • A "hook" mechanism to enable a record company or distributor to direct the DSP from the ERN message to Media Enrichment and Description (MEAD) and/or Party Identification and Enrichment (PIE) messages. These messages communicate rich metadata about the sound recordings, musical works, and parties involved, and has been shown to boost usage (see here) and;
  • Significantly enhanced handling of classical music requiring less human intervention by clarifying the rules as to how to communicate title data for individual movements, hierarchical title data for bigger classical works (concerto, symphony, oratorio, etc.), and data about soloists, orchestras, composers and conductors.


A number of DDEX members are committed to implementing ERN 4.3 because of the improved functionality it offers. These include Universal Music Group, Beggars Group and Spotify.

"UMG continues to operate at the forefront of DDEX standards. Implementing ERN 4.3 will enable us to send expanded artist product information to our partners, to enable the creation of richer, more engaging, fan experiences," said Kim Beauchamp, SVP Process Innovation & Advanced Operations, Universal Music Group and DDEX Chair.

"ERN 4.3 opens so many doors for important upcoming features," said Sung-Kyu Choi, Global Head of Content Operations, Spotify. "Spotify will adopt ERN 4.3, and we hope that more will soon follow."

In addition to the updates to the various part of the ERN standards, DDEX has released the Catalogue Transfer Standard 1.0, which includes a mechanism for removing inefficiencies, improves the catalogue transfer process, and significantly reduces the manual intervention required to carry out a catalogue transfer of sound recordings. The mechanism contained in the standard is for a specific type of catalogue transfer where there are only three parties involved: a relinquishing record company, an acquiring record company, and a DSP. This process is sometimes known as "lift and shift". The standard in its current iteration does not support catalogue transfers involving distributors.

To read more about ERN 4.3 and why to upgrade to it, visit the DDEX knowledge base here.

To read more about the changes between ERN 4.2 and 4.3, visit the DDEX knowledge base here.

To read more about the Catalogue Transfer Standard 1.0, visit the DDEX knowledge base here.

Formed in 2006, DDEX's 100+ members include leading media companies, music licensing organisations, digital service providers, and technical intermediaries - any organisation of any size with a business interest in digital media content. DDEX now has eleven families of standards that support the entire arc of digital music operations, from initial recording through distribution and reporting as well as other types of business transactions in particular sectors of the industry. A company does not need to become a member to implement any of the DDEX standards; but normally participation in the working groups around the development and refinement of current and new standards is limited to members, as are the biannual plenary events. Information about upcoming meetings and webinars, as well as recordings of previous events, can be found at

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