UK music industry and government launch Get Paid Guide for music creators


A new website for songwriters, composers and artists helps to demystify music metadata. The digital Get Paid Guide equips music creators with quick and easy step-by-step guidance on what music data is, why it matters, and what to do with it. The Get Paid Guide empowers songwriters and composers to take control of their music data and learn how to manage it correctly and successfully.

Widespread lack of awareness around accurate metadata input within the creator community, means incomplete data can lead to significant delays to creators being paid for the use of their works, and in some cases not being paid at all.

A partnership between PRS for Music, The Ivors Academy, the Music Publishers Association (MPA) and the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), the Get Paid Guide offers an education solution to simplify metadata and helps creators navigate their music data and music royalties effectively.

In 2021, the Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) Select Committee carried out an inquiry into the economic impact of music streaming on creators and the sustainability of the wider music industry. Following the inquiry, the government set up working groups to ensure positive industry collaboration and progress. The music metadata working group published the Metadata Agreement in May 2023, which identified education as an area that needed vital work. The partners involved collaborated to create a guide, to raise awareness and educate the songwriter and composer community on how critical their metadata is.

Fiona Bevan, acclaimed songwriter and artist, and Board Director at The Ivors Academy, said: “Without accurate song data you won’t get paid. It is so important that creators get this right from the beginning. This guidesimplifies what seems complex by helping songwriters, composers, managers, and publishers understand what they need to know and what they need to do to make sure they aren’t missing out on royalties. I hope it puts more money in songwriters’ pockets by taking some of the mystery out of data.”

Michelle Escoffery, award-winning songwriter and President of the PRS Members’ Council, said: “The GetPaid Guide is a crucial handbook for songwriters. Getting the data right at the point of works registration is vitally important and is often the difference between being paid or not. This guide brings us closer to achieving a healthier metadata ecosystem overall. I encourage all music creators to use this guide, get fluent with the relevant codes and empower themselves to get paid accurately and quickly.”

David Humphries, Head of Research, Intellectual Property Office, said:The agreement announced last month demonstrates a strong desire across the music industry to progressively improve the quality of metadata, benefitting everyone who creates and enjoys music. Education and awareness of the importance of music metadata is crucial to improving the quality of the data, and it is important that creators can access the knowledge and information they need to take ownership of their data.

“The Get Paid Guide provides a user-friendly, accessible tool to take creators – and those supporting them – through the necessary steps to get paid and attributed, and the Intellectual Property Office is delighted to support this exciting initiative. We are grateful to PRS for Music, the Ivors Academy, and the Music Publishers Association for driving this work forward and look forward to building on this through the proposed Metadata Education Group.”

Music creators and songwriters can watch short tutorials on International Standard Musical Work (ISWC) and International Standard Recording (ISRC) codes, access a useful checklist to help manage music data, and take part in a quiz to put their knowledge to the test. The guide also includes help with frequently asked questions from the creator community including the use of pseudonyms and what to do when covering another artist’s song.


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