There are a number of codes that are required for the distribution of digital music. These identifiers are important for accounting, delivery and cataloguing. The three we are concerned about are UPCs, ISRCs and Catalogue Numbers.
The UPC (Universal Product Code) or EAN (European Article Number) is a 12-13 digit code specific to each version and format of an album/EP/Single. Physical products have a different code to the digital version. A deluxe version has its own code, and so on. For accurate tracking of sales, it’s imperative that every version of a release has its own unique code. If the numbers you have are 12 digits, you should add a leading zero when uploading content as we require 13 digit codes.
The ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) is the identifier for each recording. Each version or mix of a track must have its own ISRC. If a song is remastered, for example, or if it has been edited for radio play purposes, remixed, or extended, each different version must have a new ISRC. The ISRC is very important for accounting purposes for digital services and is used by bodies such as PRS and PPL. If you wish to change the audio on a track, please ensure you are adhering to the guidelines set out here.
Also, if you’re transferring a catalogue between distributors you can maintain plays and playlisting on the likes of Spotify if you maintain this code. If you’re producing a physical product, the ISRCs on the physical tracks will be the same as the ISRCs on the digital, as they are the same sound recording.
Catalogue Numbers are traditionally assigned by labels. If this field is left blank during upload, we will automatically generate an AWAL Catalogue Number for your release. This doesn't appear on the majority of digital services but will display on some of the dance-oriented services such as Beatport, Juno and Traxsource.