Sponsored by Jaxsta

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Jaxsta profiles include credits, collaborators, charts, and awards.

How the world’s most comprehensive database of official music credits brings liner notes to life

In music’s transition from physical to digital consumption, credits somehow got lost along the way. It’s a sad fact that music streaming is the only digital experience that gives fans less information than they get in the physical world. Piecemeal efforts to solve the problem have led to inconsistent, inaccurate, and decentralized credits information, which has implications for everyone throughout the ecosystem—from the fans seeking to learn more about their favorite artists to the people behind the scenes who deserve to be recognized—and paid—for their work.

While the industry has made great strides toward standardizing and streamlining metadata, there has never been an authoritative hub of music credits, until now.

Jaxsta Overview
Australian company Jaxsta is using technology and big data to develop the world’s most comprehensive resource of official music credits. Founded in 2015 by Jacqui Louez Schoorl, a producer and entrepreneur with a career in television, film and music, together with Louis Schoorl, an award winning producer/songwriter, Jaxsta wants to ensure that everyone in the music-creation chain—artists, producers, engineers, songwriters, musicians, and other collaborators—receives credit where credit is due. “An average of 250 people will touch a release to get it to market,” says Louez Schoorl. “Where have all those credits gone?”

Jaxsta, whose name is a tribute to the lost “jacket stars,” the creative collaborators whose credits populate jacket liner notes, was founded “by music people, for music people”: it’s led by industry veterans who share a common mission to “put the people behind the music back on the record.”

This is an ambitious undertaking, to put it mildly: “We're on a mission to create a single source of truth of everything, everybody, that was involved in every song ever created,” says Shaun Alexander, Jaxsta’s Head of Growth. “And then the job from there is to put it together in a very usable format that's going to be of benefit to all groups within the music industry.”

Jaxsta sources data from record labels, distributors, PROs, and other industry organizations, and offers both fan-facing content and discovery features and a Pro platform aimed at helping producers, engineers, and other industry insiders promote their work, connect with other creatives and research charts, awards, and other data that have never been curated in a single place before.

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The Jaxsta home page offers original content and music discovery features.

To give you a sense of scope, the site houses more than 130 million official credits and 80,000 professional members: “From a pages point of view, we're bigger than Wikipedia,” says Alexander. “We're one of the largest physical websites in the world.”

Collecting all of that official information—emphasis on official—is a complex process that began nine years ago. “We do not accept crowd-sourced information,” Alexander explains. “Jaxsta's credibility comes from the fact that we deliver official data sourced exclusively and directly from the custodians of that data, such as major and independent record labels, publishers, royalty agencies, and industry associations across the globe. The data is de-duplicated, cross-referenced, deep-linked, and then made available online within a multi-functional, ever-evolving platform.”

Partnerships with behemoth organizations such as Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and the Merlin Network provide access to data from hundreds of thousands of record labels and publishers; Jaxsta currently hosts about 90 percent of the credits in existence and adds more data every day. Charts and awards information is pulled directly from official sources, including Spotify and Apple (charts), the Recording Academy (Grammy Awards), and the RIAA (certifications).

The Currency of Credits
Anyone who has worked on a record knows that proper credits are critical, not just for getting paid, but for landing that next gig—your modern business card, so to speak.

In a fragmented digital landscape, Jaxsta is emerging as an essential career tool for producers and engineers. “Jaxsta has been taken up the most by the engineering community, and there are really great reasons for that,” says Alexander. “That reputation, based on credits, is what drives business. We've seen where there's a flaw and a gap, and we're trying to fill that.”

“While we toil away in our writing rooms and studios, the world searches for who we are and what we do,” adds Grammy Award-winning mixer John Hanes (Taylor Swift, Mark Ronson). “This is a place where the people of the music business can connect your musical contributions to you, explore your musical world, and contact you to connect.”

Producer/engineer Adrian Breakspear (Gang of Youths, Pharrell Williams and a moderator here @ GS) says that for him, Jaxsta is invaluable for several reasons: “Obviously the ability to have your own page with official verifiable credits is a godsend in the era of streaming, but also as a fan for checking out who did what on recordings you admire,” he explains. “It’s very easy to disappear down the rabbit hole with Jaxsta’s database as you trace the career of an artist or contributor...the chart alerts, notifications of the success of a recording in different territories or across different platforms provide another data stream previously undiscovered.”

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The Jaxsta Pro platform pulls chart data from Apple Music, Spotify, and other services.

When the pandemic began, Jaxsta made its Pro platform free, as the company felt it was the right thing to do considering Covid-19’s devastating impact on the music industry. The company encourages engineers and producers to sign up and claim their profiles: “Once they join, they're able to create a feature catalog of their best work; they’re able to put in their bio and add in their contact details,” says Alexander.

On the other side of the equation are the industry insiders seeking this information: creative collaborators, journalists, A&R reps, managers, publicists, even students. “We really tried to drill down into those communities that are going to get the most out of the platform,” says Alexander. For pros, Jaxsta aims to offer a “360-degree experience” spanning charts, bios, and original content (helmed by former Rolling Stone Australia editor Rod Yates), all cross-linked to profiles and credits. “This is a massive selling point for the engineering and the producer community,” Alexander explains. “We are the only platform that has all of that information for non-artists, meaning for the first time, producers, engineers, writers and even backing singers can get credit directly attributed to them if a song they have worked on is charting anywhere in the world.”

One of Jaxsta’s biggest strengths is the platform’s interactive, “family tree” aspect. “Every profile on Jaxsta is interconnected,” says Alexander. “So, it’s easy to explore not only what that person has worked on, but who they have worked with. That really gives color and context to the amazing talent these people have. And that's really what we're trying to get across in this tapestry of credits and profiles on the platform.”

Advocating for a Greater Awareness
For the past two years, Jaxsta has been actively championing music makers through online outreach: The company is the official credits supplier of the Recording Academy’s Behind the Record social media initiative, which encourages artists to showcase collaborators behind the scenes by sharing alternate “Credit Covers” listing performers, songwriters, engineers and producers, and label personnel.

“We have had a great relationship with the Recording Academy, including the P&E Wing,” says Alexander. “There's an amazing synergy between both companies, in terms of championing those people behind the record.

“Jacqui Louez Schoorl has been on a mission for more than eight years to ensure that music creators are properly credited,” says Maureen Droney, Senior Managing Director of the Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing. “She is one of the most determined people I know. She’s met every challenge and has let nothing throw her off track. What she’s accomplished with Jaxsta’s database and features is unique, and extremely impressive. Plus, it just keeps getting better.”

On its own social channels, Jaxsta launched a "Roll the Credits" program, which displays the credits behind a major music release, film style, and tags everyone involved in the project. “It has all been about giving credit where credit is due,” explains Alexander, “and it is the engineer community who has valued this the most as they are so often left out of the conversation.”

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A Behind the Record “credits cover”

Realizing the Potential of Music Metadata
Jaxsta recently released a commercial API for businesses who want to use its data to enhance their own projects; the company’s first partner is Nightlife Music, which will use Jaxsta to track the royalties behind its premium music services for hotels, gyms, restaurants, and other hospitality providers.

When it comes to providing metadata for other industries, it’s all about homing in on the data points that are valuable to them, says Alexander. “For us, creating essentially a data business, we need to think about what are the applications of the data? What data for instance, would a mix engineer find valuable? And how would he or she use it? And why would you use it? Because the trick is, there's so much data, it's almost a case of what not to include.”

It all comes back to making sure credit is given where credit is due. And in that sense, Jaxsta is a powerful tool for music makers to take control of their careers. “It was hard to go from this world of being paid for physical music to this new world of being paid whatever per stream, and all of that,” says Alexander. “All of a sudden, we’ve given local musicians a global stage and global distribution. But the trick now is, it now requires them to be a lot more proactive in terms of managing their own careers because global distribution brings more competition. And the credits and this platform enable them to put their best foot forward.”

Join Jaxsta Pro for Free
If you’ve been involved in the production of any commercially released music, you likely have credits—and therefore a profile—on Jaxsta. Jaxsta Pro continues to be free for music creatives and production professionals to join and to claim and update their profiles. Sign up for Jaxsta Pro for free HERE.