British Music Industry Releases ‘Get Paid Guide’ for Music Creators

music creators get paid
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music creators get paid
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Photo Credit: PRS For Music

The UK music industry and government have released the much-anticipated ‘Get Paid Guide’ for music creators to help demystify music metadata.

The Get Paid Guide provides songwriters, composers, and artists with quick and easy step-by-step guidance on what music data is, why it matters, and what to do with it. The guide aims to empower songwriters and composers to take control of their music data and learn how to manage it correctly and successfully.

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

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

“Without accurate song data, you won’t get paid,” says Fiona Bevan, acclaimed songwriter and artist and Board Director at The Ivors Academy. “It is so important that creators get this right from the beginning.” 

“This guide simplifies 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.”

In 2021, the Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) Select Committee of the British House of Commons inquired into the economic impact of music streaming on creators and the sustainability of the wider music industry. Afterward, the government established working groups to ensure positive industry collaboration and progress.

The music metadata working group published the Metadata Agreement in May 2023, identifying education as an area needing vital work. The partners involved collaborated to create a guide to raise awareness and educate the music creator community on how critical their metadata is.

“The Get Paid 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,” adds Michelle Escoffery, award-winning songwriter and President of the PRS Members’ Council. 

“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.”

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