by ARD, powered by BMAT

A search and download platform for background music – DISCONTINUED


Beginning 1st of July of 2023, DigiBack is solely operated through ARD.

DigiBack is an ARD-owned platform that allows TV and Radio producers to intuitively search for music to use within their audiovisual productions and download it.

Production Music Libraries sign an agreement to share their music and its corresponding metadata with ARD. BMAT then powers up this platform by providing audio files and music metadata.

How to get your music on the DigiBack platform – for Production Music Libraries:

Have the master and the ownership rights to the music you want to provide.

Sign the agreements

You need to have in place a label agreement with ARD and DeutschlandRadio, plus an agreement on Trailers and Online Productions. o sign up, please contact legal department of SWR:

The agreements regulate the use of music for content published online only without prior broadcasting on radio or TV.

Send the audio files and metadata to BMAT

As soon as you’ve signed the above agreements, you can write to us at to kick off. We’ll integrate you as a new Library for DigiBack, and guide you through the transfer of your music.

You’ll need to collect all your audio files in .wav – min. 44,1 kHz, min. 16 Bit – and make sure the metadata is complete with keywords in German or English. Once we get the ARD confirmation, we’ll send you clear guidelines and a metadata template. You’ll also have one of us help you during the whole process of data delivery.


How much time does it take for the music I send to be available in DigiBack?

After BMAT has confirmed to you the successful upload into our system, your content will be searchable in DigiBack within the next 24-48 hours.

Is it aready possible to make deliveries to BMAT for DigiBack via Harvest Media and to include wav files?

We are working on this integration and we expect to have it ready in the next months.

How does the DigiBack user interface look like?

You could see some examples here.

How do ARD/DLR search for the audios they use in online productions?

You can check this video tutorial to know how the platform looks like, how users search for tracks, filter by keywords and download the audio.

Does the DigiBack user interface that ARD producers will use show the track waveforms?

Not yet, but ARD plans to release a new version by the end of the year and they may consider displaying the waveforms.

Is there a drop-down menu or any similar feature for related tracks (instrumental versions, alternate versions, stems) or are they linked in any way to the main tracks?

If the “related tracks” have the same EAN, they are linked to the main track.

Do the search algorithms display the results according to importance (e.g. is the year more important than the genre?)

No, the current search function doesn’t take into account the weight of the results.

How will album and track description be used in DigiBack?

The fields are part of the standard template for BMAT metadata. Since they are not available in DigiBack, they are not transmitted to ARD.

Can we see the protocol according to which our English keywords are matched to the German keywords in the ARD database? That is important for us in order to be able to check the metadata in the system.

Not all English keywords are translated into German, however, they are recorded. Translations are mostly done for the mood keywords.
For example, if a source sends “mysterious ” or “secretive ” as a keyword, it is translated into “geheimnisvoll” and it is properly assigned (as per the digiBack_ausdruckscharakter.xlsx list). So, when a user searches for “secretive”, the user interface shows the tracks with the keyword = “geheimnisvoll”.
On the other hand, the keywords that DigiBack receives without any translation in the ARD vocabulary, remain in English and are made searchable via free text.

Do you have more information on the keyword mapping process? Is it automated for every distributor?

The keywords listed in the provided Excel files (digiBack_ausdruckscharakter.xlsx, digiBack_ausführung.xlsx and digiBack_epoche.xlsx) are the most important ones for ARD and make up to about 25% of all the keywords used by them. DigiBack assigns your keywords to those ones and the unassigned ones are saved in a free text field. The mapping process is the same for every distributor.

Will the unassigned keywords in Digiback be searchable and if so, how?

Yes, the unassigned keywords are saved as free text and are searchable. For further information, please, see the file Content_Factsheet_DigiBack.pdf.

How can I update the metadata?

If you need to update metadata, resend us the new metadata along with the WAV files in the same way you do for the back catalogue and new releases.

Could I have an access to an overview or to the list of the albums that we already uploaded?

If you need an overview of the uploaded content, please, feel free to contact us anytime and we will provide you with a list of all the tracks you have sent us for DigiBack.

Is it ok if I use as decade keyword "1970" or "70s" or do we have to put exactly "1970er Jahre"?

“1970er Jahre” is the name convention that ARD uses in DigiBack. Ideally, you should use the same one but in case you provide another format, the text will be saved in the DigiBack database as free text.

Do the files "digiBack_ausdruckscharakter.xlsx", "digiBack_epoche.xlsx" and "digiBack_ausführung.xlsx" contain all the keywords that will be used in the DigiBack search program or will other terms be added later?

The lists contain the most frequently used keywords that ARD producers use to search for music content. There are, however, more keywords as subjects, genres, geographical areas and sound bodies/instruments.