Airshow Mastering released “The Last Word – and Numbers – on Your CD,” the third in its series of white papers to help artists and labels learn about new release formats and digital distribution. The white paper covers Universal Product Codes, ISRC codes, online CD databases and CD text.
“At Airshow, we noticed an increase in calls from artists with questions about ISRC codes and online databases. There is some confusion about the information conveyed by the various codes, where the information contained in the codes comes from, and how the various pieces of information get connected to a CD project,” says Ann Blonston, general manager and principal author of the report.
“Initially, we just wanted to decode the terminology for artists and for independent labels. As we got into the research, we found out how many royalty systems are based on the information in the codes. I think this will be new and welcome information for many artists.”
An example cited in the report is the payment of royalties to artists whose recordings are used in satellite radio and Internet radio. These are a new form of royalty available to artists, administered by an organization that didn’t exist six years ago, SoundExchange. The SoundExchange database of recorded songs is compiled from a variety of sources, including ISRC codes and online CD database entries.
Another example is the payment of royalties to artists from a fund established by Congress in the ‘90s to compensate artists for home taping and CD burning. A royalty collected on every piece of blank media is pooled and paid out to artists by the Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies (AARC), formed by the RIAA. The AARC uses Nielsen Soundscan figures to divvy up the pool, and those figures use the UPC found on the CD package.
For more information about Airshow Mastering, visit: airshowmastering.com.