Barcodes for Music
Nationwide Barcode is a partner with Indie Artists Alliance and www.imuzic.com and is the vendor of choice for Pandora.
Barcodes for music, whether physical products like vinyl or CDs or for Digital Albums are exactly the same type of barcodes used for other products.
Nationwide Barcode is the suggested supplier for Pandora for digital distribution and is the largest supplier of Barcodes for Amazon Resellers. We provide both UPC and EAN barcodes. UPCs are used throughout the US and Canada and can be used for digital sales worldwide. EANs are used outside of the US/Canada and are a subset of the UPC barcode.
CDs and Digital Albums only need one UPC barcode regardless of the number of tracks on the album. If you are going to be selling both a physical CD and a digital album, you will need a different barcode for each. The purpose of the barcode is to electronically help a retailer track sales and insure that the correct price is charged for the item being sold. Since a physical CD and a digital album are two different things, they need to be tracked differently.
It used to be that the second to last number was used to designate a type of product: 2 for CDs, 4 for cassettes, 1 for vinyl LPs, or 7 for vinyl 7-inches. This was a recommendation by the RIAA and this is no longer valid. The second to last number can be 0-9 for any music product. There is no difference between barcodes for music and any other product.
If you are selling a digital album and are also selling individual tracks from that album, one barcode is all you need and may want to add ISRC codes during the mastering process.
The UPC or EAN barcode represents the entire digital product. The UPC/EAN number can be embedded (but is not required) into the digital album at the mastering stage. The barcode is also attached to the album in some way, either by your graphic designer at the time you are creating your physical album artwork, or after the fact by affixing labels.
ISRC codes are used to track the sales of single tracks through digital distribution outlets like iTunes.
An ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) is a unique ‘digital fingerprint’ that stays with an individual recorded track, no matter whether there are any changes in the ownership of the track.
All of the ISRC’s should be added to your recording when you are mastering the album. They can also be added at the time of encoding by the digital aggregator or distributor used to deliver your recorded content.
The ISRC codes also help to track plays/royalties through Internet and Satellite radio.
You can apply for an ISRC code from the RIAA.
If you are going to create a physical or digital product, you need a barcode.
Once you buy your barcode from Nationwide Barcode and we send you your barcode, you can access Nielsen Soundscan here to register your title here.
What is Soundscan?
Nielsen SoundScan is an information system that tracks sales of music and music video products throughout the United States and Canada. Sales data from point-of-sale cash registers is collected weekly from over 14,000 retail, mass merchant and non-traditional (on-line stores, venues, etc.) outlets. Weekly data is compiled and made available every Wednesday. Nielsen SoundScan is the sales source for the Billboard music charts. SoundScan is only able to track those CDs that have a UPC or EAN bar code.
Click here for information about submitting music to Pandora