Spotify recently announced that it is adding songwriting and production credits to the desktop app. It's the real deal, folks.
Right-click on a track and select “Show Credits” from the menu of options to view information on performers, songwriters, and producers.
"At launch, we’re showing information we have from record label-provided metadata, and will also display the source of the credits so you know where it’s coming from. We realize some of the label-provided credits are incomplete or may contain inaccuracies, but this is just the first step in displaying songwriter credits on Spotify. The feature will continually evolve to become more efficient, provide better functionality, and incorporate more information from industry partners over time," Spotify states.
Understandably, all the credits won't be available right away. That is a lot of data to process. Please, keep that in mind.
It's a win all around. Music fans will enjoy the "unsolved mystery" of pulling back a sort of veil. It improves listener education because they can become aware of people that work on making the songs they love what they are.
Songwriters/producers deserve to be recognized. Imagine every lyricist, beatmaker, composer, arranger, etc. packing up shop and not doing what they do anymore. You don't have your sweet music anymore. These people deserve to be recognized and commended for their efforts.
Amidst all the joy of this, we still have to consider something. How accurate will it be. Music Ally states, "There’s a big caveat here: labels don’t always have the correct credits, for songwriters in particular. In fact, this is at the heart of some of Spotify’s legal problems in recent years: missing or inaccurate publishing metadata provided by labels." They provide an excellent example of Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door. Bob Dylan's versions are correctly credited to Dylan as the songwriter. Now look for one of the many cover versions of the song by artists on Spotify.
Now, I have concern for independent songwriters. How closely will Spotify pay attention to their cases? If they are verifying data from labels, will independently (independent of any label) released music be on the backburner?
In the case for songwriter credits, Spotify has a lot of work to do. Aside from current incomplete information and the uphill battle of continuously verfiying and uploading credits, they still do not have it available on the smartphone app. Users would love to be able to access the credits in app via mobile. Our hope is that Spotify will continue on this path to creative transparency and (whether you find it elementary or not) some sort of advocacy for songwriters and producers all over.
We're looking forward to a conversation about improved payout rates, also. Too soon?