YouTube adopts ISNI to help allocate payments

February 2018

Internet, recorded music, music publishing


YouTube is to begin issuing International Standard Name Identifier  (ISNI) numbers to creators. The platform has become a registration agency which means it will now start requesting and issuing ISNI codes from and to any creators who publish content, including musicians and songwriters in a move which should help with attribution and royalty payments. ISNI numbers can cover “researchers, inventors, writers, artists, visual creators, performers, producers, publishers, aggregators, and more”.

YouTube will use the ISNI code to identify musicians and songwriters on its platform, allocating numbers to those who don’t already have one. It also plans to share those codes with any one creator’s business partners, such as record labels and music publishers, to encourage wider adoption of the identifier system.

YouTube’s Technical Program Manager FX Nuttall said “By adopting ISNI, artists, songwriters and other creators will be unambiguously identified, enabling better visibility and tracking on YouTube. Bringing the ISNI open standard to music opens the door to more accurate credit for creators, discovery for fans, and transparency for the industry”.

The ISNI International Agency’s Executive Director Tim Devenport said: “We’re delighted to partner with YouTube on such an ambitious effort. Many organisations active in the music sector have already shown interest in using ISNI identifiers as part of the infrastructure they need to manage rights and royalties effectively” adding “Working closely with YouTube, ISNI is very pleased to contribute its experience and skill-sets to these critical objectives. We view this as a transformative opportunity to offer the music industry a valuable identifier scheme and in so doing, to deepen ISNI’s knowledge of this domain and improve its technical facilities and approaches”.

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