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Industry Associate Ronnie Gurr, Robert Kilpatrick of the Scottish Industry Music Association (SMIA), and Ally Gray of EmuBands, answer your questions on distributing music online.
A digital distributor or aggregator will distribute your music to hundreds of their national and international retailers, mobile apps and streaming partners. Delivering to these partners is not a simple process. Each has specific coding and metadata requirements and specific instructions for how they want content delivered. The distributor will have the knowledge and skills to meet all of these requirements from the multitude of potential global outlets.
All three help you or your business partners to efficiently track all international use of the individual song and collective album copyrights:
If you’re a label or just want to do it yourself, you can apply for ISRC codes via your local ISRC agency and generate your own UPC over at GS1 UK. Both can be inputted into your digital distributors’ metadata.
In order to effectively track both digital and physical albums you will need both a UPC/barcode, respectively. For definitive information on obtaining a barcode for a physical product, visit the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).
All legitimate online distributors or aggregators should have comprehensive advice on their website. Key points to establish are:
Take a note of discrepancies between providers then take formal legal advice – the Musicians’ Union can assist their members at a cost effective level in this regard.