Nexus PRS

PRS for Music announces new initiative to accelerate royalties

PRS for Music CEO Andrea Czapary Martin says this expansion of the pioneering Nexus programme will ‘revolutionise how songwriters are paid’.

Sam Moore
  • By Sam Harteam Moore
  • 6 Sep 2023
  • min read

PRS for Music has announced a new initiative that is designed to accelerate the payment of music royalties to songwriters and composers across the world.

This marks the latest expansion of the Nexus programme, which aims to deliver innovative data solutions for the music industry. It already includes the metadata portal and the recently launched Get Paid Guide.

With 100,000s of new recordings being uploaded daily to streaming services, music creators and publishers face a persistent challenge of establishing when and where their works have been used. These difficulties are compounded by the lack of metadata, which helps identify each work, that is available at the time of upload – meaning it can take months, and sometimes even years, after release before songwriters and composers are accurately matched to their work. This naturally causes a delay in how swiftly royalties can be paid out.

The most effective way of tracking when and where a work has been used is by establishing a link between the identifier of the recording, the International Standard Recording Code (ISRC), and the work itself, the International Standard Works Code (ISWC). If those uploading music can access a simplified way of generating an ISWC alongside the existing data they already provide to streaming services, then the overall process will be significantly streamlined – ensuring that the collection and payment of royalties will be expedited.

PRS for Music’s new initiative, which is supported by CISAC (the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers), is aiming to realise this goal by giving creators the necessary tools to instantly generate a unique identifier for their work. By implementing this new technology, which extends the current CISAC system, PRS for Music will be able to maximise the value of members’ works online and pay out royalties quickly and efficiently.

CEO Andrea Czapary Martin and CIO Mark Krajewski sit together at PRS for Music headquarters in London, England. Photo credit @GarryJonesPhotography

PRS for Music CEO Andrea Czapary Martin said in a statement that ‘this pioneering initiative is designed to solve a worldwide issue and revolutionise how songwriters are paid’.

‘Linking ISWCs to ISRCs at the point of release is crucial, and has long been an obstacle for music creators,’ she added. ‘We are committed to driving the entire music industry towards a single and unified data strategy, a common rail which is built on transparency and trust. This is why we launched our Nexus programme, which is aimed at moving the industry from merely discussing its data problems to solving them.’

PRS for Music’s Managing Director of Strategic Alliances and Chief Information Officer Mark Krajewski said: ‘Incomplete or inaccurate metadata too often results in significant delays in royalty payments to creators. The industry has long recognised the value of providing complete recording and works data at the point of release, but progress towards achieving this has been too slow. We have taken on the challenge of simplifying the process of obtaining an ISWC, removing one of the key barriers in the existing data chain. 

‘This is a perfect addition to our wider Nexus programme, which has been established to drive positive change and provide practical solutions to the industry’s data challenges.’

CISAC Director General Gadi Oron added that the organisation is ‘delighted to support PRS for Music in this project’, saying that ‘bringing together the ISWC and ISRC at the point of release of a song has a huge potential for creators and rights holders, and would be a giant leap forward for the industry as a whole.’

This initiative will initially run for six months, with PRS for Music hosting the testing and Spanish Point Technologies Ltd building a new test environment which will interface with the existing CISAC-managed ISWC system. Upon completion, the findings will be evaluated and, if successful, handed over to CISAC for continued development.