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Universal Product Codes (UPC Codes) are the 12-digit numbers commonly required for products sold by retailers and distribution centers. Each unique product requires it’s own assigned UPC code from GS1.

In music, these codes are used to identify individual releases, such as singles or albums. UPC codes are required for Nielsen SoundScan tracking, which is how Billboard counts sales in their charts.

If you want your music tracked by SoundScan, you can add it here.

How to get a UPC code for your music release

Many music distributors like CDBaby assign you a UPC code for your albums and singles once you start working with them.

However, if you need or want to create your own UPC code for greater control, you need to get it through GS1.

The steps are as follows:

  1. Determine how many UPC codes you will need. If you need less than 10, you can buy single UPCs for $30 each.
  2. Assign a unique product number.
  3. Determine how your product will display barcode.
  4. Order your barcodes.

If you need more info, you can contact GS1 here.

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