The business, and it is a business, of ascertaining who contributed what to a finished recording (a unit of copyright, to put it even less romantically) has always been complicated and often contentious.
These days (especially these very days, these COVID-blighted days), it is even more so, with composition, performance and the technical aspect of actual recording being increasingly remote and disjointed.
Perhaps even more importantly, VEVA Collect also ensures that every songwriter, musician, producer, engineer, etc. is properly and accurately credited – and properly and accurately paid.
Here, VEVA Sound President, Deborah Fairchild, tells MBW how Collect is a data-centric solution for file management and credit integrity, built specifically with the realities of the modern music business and the needs of today’s creatives in mind…
Can you start by giving us a top-down view of what VEVA Collect is and what it does?
VEVA Collect is a platform for music creators to store their files and manage credits and metadata in one place.
This enables collaboration from a holistic view — not only are the files associated with a project kept in one place, but the who, when, and where of a project too. This makes it easier for everyone to get credit and, more importantly, get paid.
“VEVA Collect is a platform for music creators to store their files and manage credits and metadata in one place.”
The platform is for every stage of production: from songwriting to mastering, podcasts to song catalogs, and the best way to ensure credits are accurate is to Collect while you Create.
That’s why metadata is at the center of VEVA Collect’s platform, with the ability to export a valid DDEX RIN file.
What inspired the development of VEVA Collect? What problems were you trying to fix and which gaps were you trying to fill?
We at VEVA Sound have verified and archived thousands of projects for labels for almost 20 years. We’ve noticed two problems in the industry: file management, and credits.
Because of the way music is created now, the industry agrees that the best way to keep files organized and credits accurate is to do so during the creative process.
“We want to make sure that everyone who participates in a project gets the credit they’re due.”
Deborah Fairchild, VEVA Sound
We want to make sure that everyone who participates in a project gets the credit they’re due.
We want to bring enterprise-level data management to individual creators — empowering them to keep accurate records for better crediting, more efficient pay, and to collect a more complete archive of their work.
Typically, what are the reasons musicians, songwriters, producers etc. don’t get properly credited and, therefore, remunerated – and how big a problem (in terms of unpaid monies) do you estimate this to be?
The larger question in the industry is: whose responsibility is it to keep a record of accurate credits for any given project?
Two main issues arise: accuracy and completeness. In some cases, people are simply omitted from credits by accident. In others, whether it be due to misspellings or other inaccuracies, payments are held until a contributor can be verified.
“There are many speculations as to the monetary scale of the problem, but we understand it to be millions of dollars of unpaid royalties.”
With VEVA Collect, we want to empower every contributor to attribute themselves — ensuring completeness and accuracy of all credits.
To further address the issue of accuracy, we are promoting the use of unique identifiers to our users, starting with our partnership with Quansic to provide free ISNI registrations to all VEVA Collect members — with plans to expand our offerings in identifier registrations very soon.
There are many speculations as to the monetary scale of the problem, but we understand it to be millions of dollars of unpaid royalties.
What does VEVA Collect do or prioritise differently to other available platforms?
Other file sharing sites are file-centric. We like to think of ourselves as data-centric, with a concentration in the music industry.
Beyond managing thousands of files which eventually result in a recording, we provide a utility for our users to keep a repository of credits and metadata surrounding the project – including credits and metadata.
“We want to ensure VEVA Collect is the best platform for creators, so we want to do the best job of listening to them.”
Also, as we continue to build new features within VEVA Collect, we’ve created a group of advisory members made up of producers, engineers, songwriters, artists and music business professionals who are helping to guide our development, provide suggestions, as well as prioritize the collective feedback from all of our users to continue to build the best possible product for music creators.
We want to ensure VEVA Collect is the best platform for creators, so we want to do the best job of listening to them.
Can you talk about how VEVA Collect also improves other aspects of a creative’s life, in terms of workflow, security, seamless collaborations etc?
With VEVA Collect, we knew that credit and metadata management is not significant enough of a feature to drive mass-adoption.
Instead of introducing an additional platform into the workflow of creatives, we aim to replace whatever cloud-based file storage/sharing platform is already in their workflow by incorporating file storage in our platform.
“Every product we bring to market is built with the highest standards of data security in mind. We are largely in the business of unreleased music, so security is a top priority in every product we build.”
This makes VEVA Collect a resource for seamless collaboration by tracking who works on what, when, and where, as well as crediting the intellectual property surrounding a project and in-depth metadata to track how a project is created.
So, rather than shared folders, word documents, etc. floating around in the ether, everyone working on a project has one point of reference.
Every product we bring to market is built with the highest standards of data security in mind. We are largely in the business of unreleased music, so security is a top priority in every product we build.
How has VEVA’s background helped shape Collect?
Because of the work we’ve done since 2002 to verify and validate recordings, we understand what it takes to get creators paid for their work.
We have first-hand experience with the pitfalls of credits and metadata management. That’s why we’ve made it a priority to incorporate the export of a valid DDEX RIN file, in addition to other credit formats, so that sharing the information collected in VEVA will be easily facilitated by other content management systems.
Does it work for artists/writers/etc anywhere in the world?
Anyone interested in better file, credit, and metadata management can use it. Currently, VEVA Collect is available in English and was launched with North America and Europe in mind, but we continue to work on incorporating features which will aid creators in territories around the world.
What should anyone interested in using VEVA Collect do now?
Visit VEVAcollect.com, register for an account and start clicking around.
Our free account offers credit and metadata management with 2GB of storage, as well as free registration for an ISNI. Our YouTube channel has helpful tutorials to explain different sections of the platform.
For those wanting more than 2GB of storage, through the end of the year we are offering 3 months of any paid tier at 50% off. Just use the code FALL2020 at sign-up.Music Business Worldwide