"We want to know who's playing the music we're hearing, who produced it, who arranged it, where it was recorded and by whom,” reads the MoveOn petition page for ‘Show the Album Credits on Apple Music!’
Bassist Jon Burr launched the campaign yesterday (July 5), following the explosive launch week of Apple Music, which garnered many positive reviews, particularly around the service’s free Beats 1 international radio station.
"We chose to target Apple at this time because the rollout of Apple Music is missing this category of information," the petition's creator, Jon Burr, tells Billboard.
"Apple has shown a willingness to listen to feedback in the past, and is sensitive to their user base (which contains many of these same creatives). As the leader in technology and music marketing, if they set a trend, others may follow."
Metadata is a problem that has plagued the digital music space for years, suffering from a lack of standardization around music files and their internal cataloguing of contributors to the work they contain. The lack, or incompleteness, of metadata can adversely affect artist payouts as well -- if the robot doesn't know where to look, if doesn't know which palm to place the penny.
"We understand that doing this will create a burden on these services -- many just don’t have access to the information due to the way digital music is delivered to them," says Burr. "If we can encourage a cultural shift going forward and develop enhanced supply chains, we’ll be making the kind of progress needed by musicians, composers, lyricists, engineers, photographers, designers, and other contributing creatives."
Spotify and Pandora, Apple Music’s biggest competitors, do not list comprehensive credits either when songs are played. Recordings within YouTube that have been scanned into the company’s “sort-of-switched-on” (still in beta) Music Key program do list label, publisher, composer(s) and performers (as in this Percy Mayfield recording).
Spotify refused to comment for this report. A request for comment from Pandora wasn’t immediately returned.
Jon Burr is a first call New York City bass player who recently toured with Tony Bennett.