Why are UPC codes so important?

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Why are UPC codes so important?

Post by Petros_K »

Looking to release soon on Bandcamp, but there will be a three week delay with CDBaby (because that's how they do it for some reason). Bandcamp doesn't provide UPC codes for your tracks but CDBaby does. Are these codes really so important that you shouldn't release an album without them?

If it's about tracking sales, I see that Bandcamp reports to BIllboard, but really that suggests you need a code to verify sales? I don't understand.
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Re: Why are UPC codes so important?

Post by James Perrett »

I would say that ISRC's are more important as that's how many digital sites track your release.
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Re: Why are UPC codes so important?

Post by Petros_K »

An ISRC Code is a specific code generated by your distributor in most cases that tracks sales, plays and radio spins of a specific track, while the code given to the entire album is called the UPC, but essentially does the same thing. This ISRC code can be PERMANENTLY coded into the actual sound file to report when it’s played on the radio for you! Which means if you have your publishing in order, which you should by now, you are covered to earn royalties! Here’s how to use it. For example we use Distrokid, when our music is uploaded and becomes live on all streaming platforms we get a screen listing the songs and to the right it displays the ISRC code. Most digital distributors generate these for you – FREE – but you can pay a small fee to generate them yourself. Copy THAT code and input it into the TRACK ISRC field of your bandcamp upload! Boom, when that song is played or purchased it will report it to SoundScan! (Make sure you input your UPC code for the album itself too, not JUST the track ISRC codes)

You’d be surprised how many artists I talk to that have NOT done this step – crazy right?! Don’t be the next guy!


https://prhymalrage.com/2020/03/03/are- ... -upc-isrc/

So then it's NOT really a mistake to release on Bandcamp without have a ISRC code for each track? Bandcamp is not for digital streaming.
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Re: Why are UPC codes so important?

Post by James Perrett »

Petros_K wrote:
You’d be surprised how many artists I talk to that have NOT done this step – crazy right?! Don’t be the next guy!


https://prhymalrage.com/2020/03/03/are- ... -upc-isrc/

So then it's NOT really a mistake to release on Bandcamp without have a ISRC code for each track? Bandcamp is not for digital streaming.


No - you need an ISRC for each song if you want the best chance of receiving the money that you are due.
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