A Step In the Right Direction: Expanding Recording Credits on Digital Platforms

Members of the Recording Academy were primed to participate in last week’s Credit Day, Oct 25, to post full recording credits for their releases to social media.  “Behind The Record” is the Academy’s campaign to promote publication of recording credits for digital releases that are as extensive as those found on physical recordings: engineers, producers, track performers, and artwork creators.

The “Behind the Record” campaign is the outgrowth of the Recording Academy’s 2013 advocacy project, “Give Fans the Credit,” to highlight the fact that digital services didn’t include anything close to the credits typically found on a CD.

“Behind the Record” has two elements: the social media posting of pre-formatted customizable “Credit Covers” by artists and/or labels, and the ongoing effort to bring digital platforms’ content into greater conformity with record industry (and fan) expectations.

Make a Credit Cover – or a dozen!

All artists and labels are welcome to add to the public’s knowledge of recordings’ behind the scenes talent. Simply follow this link from the Recording Academy, follow the simple data entry instructions, upload an album cover, and then download the new Credit Cover. You can post the Credit Cover everywhere, including social media – and use the hashtag #GiveCredit.


Creating and posting the credit cover is another step for the self-releasing artist to put on their release checklist; it only takes a few minutes per album using the Credit Covers interface. Shown above, how the Credit Cover Generator scales to accommodate few or many credits.

Digital Platforms Are Slowly Adding Credits

In coordination with the Recording Academy’s Credit Day, TIDAL and Pandora both announced the addition of enhanced credits to their platforms. In both cases, the listener can click through to view a recording’s credits, and a further click can generate a playlist of other recordings that included the same creator.

The metadata used in the online listings comes from Rovi/ALLMUSIC, directly from major labels, Jaxsta and other databases. The Recording Academy hopes its initiative will inspire other services to get on board with extended credits but does not currently plan to provide access to the Credit Covers database to digital platforms as part of that advocacy.

For more info, and screen shots:

TIDAL: https://tidal.com/credits

Pandora: http://blog.pandora.com/us/pandora-introduces-full-song-credits-on-the-web-and-pandoras-desktop-app/

Spotify gets props for adding songwriter, performer and producer credits to track listings in early 2018.

At the start of the Recording Academy’s campaign in 2013, Rhapsody (now Napster) committed to add album-type credits to its database “within three months,” but is not one of the services now offering extended credits.

Apple Music and Amazon and do not currently display album-style credit listings.

Can You Get Your Album Credits to Digital Platforms Yet?

Yes and no, depending on the indie distributor you use to deliver your works for streaming or download.

CDBaby doesn’t deliver extended credits. (In its own CDBaby.com store, listings can include some free text fields where an artist can add credit info if desired.) Here’s what they tell us: “We’re working with our digital music partners to provide as much of this information as we can, with the long-term goal of delivering all allowable music credits.”

Jonathan Gardner, TuneCore COO, reports: “TuneCore is currently collecting that information on behalf of our customers and delivering it to Apple and Spotify and will be sending it to TIDAL and Pandora before the end of the year.” Technical roles that can be added to a Tunecore release include producer, arranger, sound engineer, vocal engineer, mixing engineer, mastering engineer and production assistant. Myriad instrumentalist and performer roles are also offered for attribution.

We queried TIDAL about a route for artists to directly deliver extended metadata. We’ll let you know if they offer a solution. Pandora accepts submissions for its curated service via physical media, so Pandora can receive extended credits from independent creators who include them in their liner notes.

Online publication The Verge has covered metadata issues in music for a while; read its coverage here:


Become an advocate

When you are communicating with CDBaby or another distributor – or someone at the online platforms – in the course of doing business, remember to tell them how valuable credits are to you as a creator. We miss the days when mastering clients called (called!) and told us they found us in the credits on a favorite recording.

Thank you for thanking your mastering engineer!