YouTube Music may soon be adding song credits to bring it up to speed with rivals like Spotify and Tidal.
There is no way to see full album or song credits on YouTube Music right now. But that may be changing soon. An eagle-eyed reddit user spotted a change to the song menu that now includes an option to view song credits. Tapping the overflow menu next to each song will bring up options with a ‘View song credits’ to see the composer, producer, songwriters, and performers listed by the music metadata provider.
The option will depend on publishers getting music metadata right, so everyone involved in the process gets credit. Music credits are something the music industry still struggles with, especially when major players like Google take so long to get it right for the end user. The experience of knowing who is involved in the creation of an album should be no different for digital music listeners compared to those who buy CDs and vinyl.
Metadata includes all the underlying information tied to a released song or album. Without that, those involved in the production of music are leaving money on the table.
“Recently a musician signed to a major indie label told me they were owed up to $40,000 in song royalties they would never be able to collect. It wasn’t that they had missed out on payments for a single song—it was that they had missed out on payments for 70 songs, going back at least six years,” writes The Verge when describing how the metadata issue plagues the music industry.
Getting metadata right for everyone in the process is a huge undertaking. There are no standards for how the information is collected or displayed, and there’s no need to verify the accuracy of the provided metadata before a song is published. Even accurate metadata that includes misspellings can result in the scenario presented above—a creator losing out on money due to a technical issue.