CISAC reveals new music identifier system

CISAC reveals new music identifier system

The International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) has revealed a brand new music identifier – the ISWC (International Standard Musical Works Codes) system. It is the first upgrade in 15 years, and more than 50 million ISWC codes have been allocated to work in that period.

ISWC aids in identifying music work, so that creators and publishers can be paid accordingly. The new system will enhance the accuracy, speed and efficiency of the CISAC societies’ work in order to track work and royalties.

Over 100 authors’ societies have switched to the new system, and will soon be rolled out for publishing and digital platforms. CISAC commissioned Spanish Point Technologies in January 2018 to develop the system, resulting in a two-year project.

CISAC president Björn Ulvaeus said: “Songwriters and composers are now depending more than ever on digital income, so they need technology to work better than ever to help them get paid. ISWC is one of the most important identifiers in the music industry and I’m delighted that the upgrade is now completed and is being implemented across the sector. It will track music works better and faster and help put more money more quickly into creators’ pockets. The key now is to make sure the system really does go global – it needs to be universally applied to bring the potential rewards it offers to all players”.

In 2019, CISAC societies collection for digital music rose 27% to €2.1 billion (£1.9 billion) and has nearly tripled in the last five years. Digital accounted for 22% of all music collections.

Director-general of CISAC, Gadi Oron, said: “We are launching a major upgrade to the ISWC system which will lead to massive improvements in the way music works are identified and licensed. The new system will save time and costs for all parties and most importantly, will help deliver more royalties to creators. We are now working closely with our partners across the music sector to make sure the upgraded system is used universally across the digital music market."


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