Give Fans the Credit

6th July 2013 No comments

One of the best things about getting a new album or CD was opening it up and analyzing every inch of the liner notes. Inspecting, not only the artwork the artists had created, but reading the lyrics and finding out information about the album’s producers, engineers, and all of the people whose hard work and commitment is essential to the success and completion of the music we all love was as import a part of the music making process as the music itself. With the advent digital releases, liner notes have fallen to the wayside. Now, The Recording Academy, more commonly known as ‘the Grammy people,’ have launched an initiative called “Give Fans the Credit” which aims to include liner notes or ‘credits’ with digital album copies.

At its most fundamental, the drive for Give Fans the Credit is due to the simple fact that it does take the talent of many individuals to create an album and in the world of streaming and digital music, only those whose name appears on the front of the album get recognition. Digital liner notes would provide acknowledgement to the individuals who work behind the scenes and allow fans to see who worked on the music they listen to.
The goal of Give Fans the Credit is twofold: First, to credit the industry professionals whose work has gone unnoticed in the digital age, as stated above. Secondly, to help fans discover new music.
Reading the names of producers, engineers, and songwriters on favorite albums has always been the way music fans learned about up and coming talent and seasoned veterans, alike.
Clearly the internet is the easiest way to do this now, but there is much to be said for the experience of reading through the lyrics and thank yous of your favorite artist while listening to a record for the first (or twentieth) time.

Moreover, the initiative will better regulate payment for industry professionals. While digital music should provide immediate access to information on who has worked on a given track, this hasn’t been the case historically. Particularly in genres such as dance and house music which tend to be producer driven rather than artist driven, not only do fans lack access to information on writing credits, oftentimes this information has been difficult to obtain by music publishers and the digital music companies themselves.


This past May, Rhapsody became the first digital music service to support the Give Fans the Credit campaign. This means that Rhapsody subscribers will soon have access to information on who was involved in making the music they’re listening to.
Rhapsody also plans to use this information to offer even more specific listening suggestions to its listeners. In addition to the typical information such services use to make musical suggestions (i.e; artist and genre preferences), in coming months Rhapsody will implement tools that will suggest new music based on the producers, engineers, and any additional songwriters involved in the music subscriber’s are streaming.
At this point Rhapsody remains the only company that has agreed to comply with what artists and The Recording Academy have requested, but it has only been a few weeks.
Perhaps more digital music companies will follow Rhapsody’s lead and all recording professionals will get the acknowledgement they deserve.

The campaign’s ambassadors; T. Bone Burnett, Don Was, Jimmy Jam, Ryan Tedder, Skylar Gray, Sheila E., RedOne, and Lamont Dozier, have been vocal about the importance of digital music providers giving fans information on who made the music they listen to. If you’d like to get involved, sign The Academy’s Give Fans the Credit petition HERE
Feel free to pass along the petition on your favorite social media sites to help insure that all recording professionals get acknowledgement for their work.

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