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A woman is sitting in front of a red curtain. A woman is sitting in front of a red curtain.

Getting credited and paid basics

2 min read

How are creators credited and paid?

There are many ways for creators to get credited and paid, but you should always start by registering yourself as the creator, your musical works, and sound recordings.

In the music industry, credits can be simply understood as the public acknowledgement of someone’s contribution to the creation of a , a live , or . Getting credit for your contributions can depend on a number of factors, but it’s important for acknowledging your and ensuring you get the payments you are entitled to for the use of your musical work or sound recording. And let’s not forget your fans want to know all about you and your music too.

Income generated from the use of musical works, sound recordings and performances can be made as payments to music creators in the form of , , on-off fees and remunerations. Different payments occur for different types of rights in a musical work and sound recording, and under various circumstances.

With such a high volume of new released every day involving many and other , it's important to keep track of who has contributed to those songs, how they are used, and who should get paid.

This can sometimes be challenging. For example, many songs have the same titles; creators can have the same names, and names get misspelled or exist in different languages that have different letters and characters in their alphabets. So, identifying all the key elements using text alone just doesn’t cut it when it comes to accurately paying out royalties.

The music industry solves this problem by using and five different codes, or key identifiers, to identify creators, rights holders, musical works and sound recordings.

The five key identifiers are:

  • IPI - Interested Party Information. The unique identifier for and

  • ISWC - International Standard Musical Work Code. The unique identifier for musical works

  • ISRC - International Standard Recording Code. The unique identifier for sound recordings

  • IPN - International Performer Number. The unique identifier for performers

  • ISNI - International Standard Name Identifier. The unique identifier for people, organizations, and companies involved in creative activities.

It’s important that all creators understand these key identifiers and associated metadata and responsibility for ensuring everyone involved in the creation of a song is correctly identified and credited so that everyone gets paid fairly and accurately when it’s used.

But before we deep dive into all of that, let’s begin by understanding credits and payments.

Video credit: Tiffany Orvet, Daniel Sundström, Eric Ivar Persson, Christine Miller, Nikki Skelly, Jeff Noble, Tony Bollas, Kelly Wright, Tobias Leo Nordquist, Ponny Höijer, William Engström, Parapix