Business News Labels & Publishers

IFPI and SoundExchange collaborate on publicly available sound recordings database

By | Published on Wednesday 9 March 2016


Record industry trade group IFPI and the US collecting society SoundExchange are joining the data party with the launch of a new publicly accessible online database that will list information about nearly 20 million sound recordings.

This will include the so called ISRC code for each track, the unique code labels allocate to every record they release, to enable the industry to identify which recording is which, given you have multiple recordings of the same song, not to mention multiple songs with the same title and different versions of the same recording.

There has been much debate of late, of course, about the lack of a one-stop global database of music rights, let alone one that is publicly accessible. This has always been an issue, but bad copyright data is becoming a bigger problem in the digital age where people are paid per play rather than per sale, and where tiny micro-payments are the norm, meaning the industry needs much more efficient reporting and payment systems.

The new publicly accessible ISRC database from IFPI and SoundExchange isn’t that one-stop global database by any means – and the holy grail remains the database that will link ISRC codes to the ISWC codes attached to songs, so there is an efficient way to know what songs are contained in what recordings – but any move to make more music data publicly available is a good move.

Bigging up the new data venture, IFPI boss Frances Moore told reporters: “The ISRC Search Site will give a new level of accessibility to help musicians, performers, managers, music publishers, and many others understand where their music has been used whilst also facilitating more accurate reporting by users of digital music. With the quantity of data expected to grow as we move deeper into the digital age, this tool will be vital to ensuring better communication throughout the music ecosystem”.

Meanwhile SoundExchange CEO Michael Huppe added: “We created this critical resource to improve our own efficient royalty processing, and we are delighted now to give the music community access to this data. This is part of our ongoing commitment to develop products and services that help the music industry move forward. We eliminate friction through better and more efficient technology solutions, so creators in the music community can focus on the music”.