This page has a lot of good information for musicians… please take a minute to read it.
Nationwide Barcode is a partner with Indie Artists Alliance, the vendor of choice for Pandora and an ideal solution for Amazon and iTunes.
You need one barcode for each title – regardless of how many you produce.
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. 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 This was a recommendation by the RIAA and this is no longer valid.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.
You get a barcode for the “product” – regardless of how many songs are on the “product”.
Here is where it gets confusing…..
If you are selling a physical album on-line, some places will allow you to also make it available as digital downloads. In this situation one barcode is all you need.
If you start selling your album as a digital product and later release your album as a CD, you will need a barcode for each.
Once you list a barcode anywhere, it locks in the number so it can’t be used for anything else.
Our recommendation is that you treat digital, CD and vinyl as different products and get a different barcode for each. Look at the prices above. 1 Barcode is $9.50, 2 is $19.00 and 5 are $25.00. If you join Indie Artists Alliance you get a coupon for 20% off. They have both monthly and yearly memberships. It’ll give you a ton of resources and will save you money on your barcodes.
Barcodes for iTunes and Digital singles, EPs and albums.
iTunes needs two things.
1. A UPC for each product
2. ISRC codes for each track.
The UPC is for the entire product (Your digital Album)
iTunes requires that you identify each one of the tracks. The way that you identify the tracks is by using ISRC codes.
The ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) is the international identification system for sound recordings and music video recordings. Each ISRC is a unique and permanent identifier for a specific recording, independent of the format on which it appears (CD, audio file, etc) or the rights holders involved. Only one ISRC should be issued to a track, and an ISRC can never represent more than one unique recording.
ISRCs are widely used in digital commerce by download sites and collecting societies.
Want to save money on UPC barcodes (for musicians only)?
In partnership with Nationwide Barcode, Indie Artists Alliance has deeper discounts on UPC Barcodes when you subscribe to the Indie Artists Alliance site starting at $4.00 per UPC.
In addition, you will have access to Music Contracts, several resource directories, the ability to register your barcode with your album/EP/single information and much more. Click on the link below for more information.
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.