YouTube has announced its partnership with the International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI). Part of the ISBN family, the lesser known ISNI is the ISO certified global standard number for identifying the creative works of millions of contributors to creative works and those active in their distribution. Whilst ISBN identifies a mobile phone, ISNI identifies a song.
The first registered agency in the music space, YouTube will utilise ISNI to assign all YouTube creators and their works with a unique number which will help reconcile data and ensure attribution. YouTube will share ISNIs with its record label and publishing partners ‘to promote the use of the standard across the music industry’.
‘ISNI holds public records of over 9.5 million identities’, but what value will this have to the wider music industry? In a shifting industry where streaming is king, any tool which ensures correct attribution will support the tracking of data and provide more accurate insights.
In the press release, YouTube’s Technical Program Manager FX Nuttall summarised the benefits:
James Stewart, you say? Which one, there are at least 14 on YouTube! 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.