Music 101: Industry Business Codes

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Ever wondered all artist collect worldwide royalties for their music? Get worldwide music publishing distribution, royalty collection, song registration, and more with Dreams Collective.

A UPC (Universal Product Code) is a 12 digit number that represents an  entire digital product (album, EP or single), as opposed to just an individual digital track. UPC codes are typically found on the back of the sound recording’s physical packaging, and are used by stores and online shops to gather and track sales information for the product.

The IRSC (International Standard Recording) Code is an unique 12-character alphanumeric international identifier for sound recordings. They are usually provided by your label or distributor. The IRSC identifies individual tracks while the UPC identifies the complete work. Each recording should only have one ISRC, but one song can have multiple ISRCs if the song has been recorded, remixed or edited more than once.

Publishers, performance rights organizations, collection societies and music services use ISRCs to match master recordings to underlying compositions. If your ISRCs aren’t being sent to collection societies, services like Spotify, Apple Play, Pandora, etc.. might not know who to pay when your songs are streamed.

An ISWC (International Standard Work Code) helps those who wish to use your music distinguish your track from similarly titled tracks and also provide valuable metadata about your song. They are assigned by performance rights organizations (PROs) when your songs are registered. Each song should only have one ISWC. But different adaptations, arrangements, and translations in different languages should receive their own unique ISWCs.

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Comments 2

  1. I really like the infographic you shared here. I have to admit that I learned a few new things about ISRC. 🙂

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