PRS For Music has extended its Nexus programme, with a new initiative to ensure songwriter and composer information is linked to recordings prior to release.
With tens of thousands of new recordings uploaded to streaming services daily, music creators and publishers face a constant challenge to identify where and when their works have been used.
PRS said the problem is complicated because metadata identifying the work – both the composition and lyrics – is rarely provided to streaming services by those uploading recordings. It can take months, and sometimes even years, after release for songwriters and composers to be matched to a recording of their works.
Supported by CISAC (the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers), PRS For Music’s initiative aims to solve this problem by allowing those releasing music to instantly generate a unique identifier for the work. Establishing the link between the identifiers for the recording, the International Standard Recording Code (ISRC), and the work, the International Standard Works Code (ISWC), is the most effective way of tracking where and when a work has been used online.
By giving those uploading music a simplified way to include an ISWC, alongside the existing data they already provide to streaming services, will significantly streamline the process of collecting and paying royalties.
The new technology, delivered via an online tool extending the current CISAC system, will help PRS For Music to more quickly and cost-effectively maximise the value of members’ works online.
PRS For Music CEO Andrea Czapary Martin said: “This pioneering initiative is designed to solve a worldwide issue and revolutionise how songwriters are paid. Linking ISWCs to ISRCs at the point of release is crucial and has long been an obstacle for music creators. We are committed to driving the entire music industry towards a single and unified data strategy, a common rail which is built on transparency and trust. This is why we launched our Nexus programme, which is aimed at moving the industry from merely discussing its data problems to solving them.”
This pioneering initiative is designed to solve a worldwide issue and revolutionise how songwriters are paid
Andrea Czapary Martin
Mark Krajewski, PRS For Music’s managing director of strategic alliances and chief information officer, said: “Incomplete or inaccurate metadata too often results in significant delays in royalty payments to creators. The industry has long recognised the value of providing complete recording and works data at the point of release, but progress towards achieving this has been too slow. We have taken on the challenge of simplifying the process of obtaining an ISWC, removing one of the key barriers in the existing data chain. This is a perfect addition to our wider Nexus programme, which has been established to drive positive change and provide practical solutions to the industry’s data challenges.”
CISAC director general Gadi Oron said: “CISAC is delighted to support PRS For Music in this project. Bringing together the ISWC and ISRC at the point of release of a song has a huge potential for creators and rights holders and would be a giant leap forward for the industry, as a whole.”
The project will run for six months with PRS For Music hosting the testing and Spanish Point Technologies building a new test environment, which will interface with the existing ISWC system managed by CISAC. Upon completion, the findings will be evaluated and, if successful, handed over to CISAC for continued development.
PRS For Music’s Nexus programme also includes the metadata portal announced in 2022 and the recently launched Get Paid Guide, an education initiative created in partnership with The Ivors Academy, the UK Music Publishers Association (MPA) and the UK’s Intellectual Property Office.
PHOTO: Andrea Czapary Martin and Mark Krajewski (Garry Jones Photography)