Songwriters: ‘good music data is your income ticket’

prs for music explores

Music industry experts have called on songwriters, composers and producers to grasp the importance of managing their music rights and works’ data to ensure they get paid.

Talking at the recent PRS Explores: Big Data event, experts from Soundcloud, PRS for Music and Auddly called on songwriters to grasp the importance of recording their songwriting splits and publisher affiliations as they create the music.

A key concern around missing songwriter and publisher information is that collecting societies are less able to accurately distribute royalties to the correct parties.

Paul Dilorito, director of operations at PRS for Music, said: ‘Most creators don’t understand the importance of getting the data right or understand the concept of the International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) and why it’s right. It’s your ticket to collecting your income, at the end of the day.’

Helienne Lindvall, head of business relations at song management platform Auddly, said: ‘I’m a songwriter and I will admit that historically I’ve been crap at keeping track of my information and submitting it. Nobody gets into songwriting to become an administrator.

‘But what we’ve discovered at Auddly is that if you use the word “metadata”, you lose songwriters straight away – their eyes glaze over. Instead of calling it “big data”, you should just explain it’s something they can do to earn more money.’

She went on to explain that songwriters need to ensure they’re capturing this important information in the studio, as the music is created, but acknowledged the process must be streamlined.

She said: ‘Where’s the best place to capture what happened in the studio? In the studio. But you need to make that process as easy as possible for songwriters.’

Elsewhere, Matt Fenby-Taylor of Soundcloud, said it was hard, in the world of User Generated Content (UGC), to obtain all the information needed about songwriting splits and publisher affiliations.

‘The majority of the music uploaded [onto Soundcloud] that comes from record companies is in a good format and carries the right information. But then UGC is a whole different ballpark.

‘When we launched eight years ago we focused on creators uploading their own content. We asked for any data that was available, but less than one percent of people even attempted to enter anything. The data quality just isn’t there when you ask creators to upload their own content.’

For more information on ISRC codes, registering musical works and managing your copyrights, please see

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