International Federation of the Phonographic Industry

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) is the organisation that represents the interests of the recording industry worldwide. It is a non-profit members' organisation registered in Switzerland and founded in Italy in 1933. It operates a Secretariat based in London, with regional offices in Brussels, Hong Kong, and Miami.

International Federation of the Phonographic Industry
MottoRepresenting the recording industry worldwide
Headquarters7 Air Street Piccadilly, London, United Kingdom
Chief executive
Frances Moore
Main organ
Main board of directors


IFPI's mission is to promote the value of recorded music, campaign for record producer rights, and expand the commercial uses of recorded music.[1] Its services to members include a legal policy programme, litigation, content protection, sales reporting for the recorded music market, insight and analysis and work in the areas of performance rights, technology and trade.[2]


IFPI is governed by its Main Board, a group including representatives from across the organisation's members (including major and independent record labels), representatives from certain IFPI National Groups and the organisation's CEO.[3]There are also two regional boards (the IFPI Asia/Pacific Regional Board and IFPI Latin America Regional Board) which oversee regional matters.[3]

Frances Moore is the current CEO. She was appointed the chief executive with a term effective from 1 July 2010.[4] She replaced John Kennedy OBE, who had headed the organisation since 2005 and was also one of the co-producers of Live Aid and Live8.[5]

Scope of influence

IFPI represents the recording industry worldwide with some 1,300 members in almost 60 countries and national groups or affiliated industry associations in 56 countries.[1] According to its criteria, IFPI membership is open to "a legal entity or person which is either a producer of phonograms or music videos, copies of which are made available to the public in reasonable quantities",[1] though the organisation does not define "reasonable quantities".

National groups and affiliate bodies include SNEP in France; BVMI in Germany; RIAJ in Japan; BPI in the UK; RIAA in the US; ARIA in Australia; Music Canada; AMPROFON in Mexico; Recorded Music New Zealand; Promusicae in Spain; FIMI in Italy and others[6]. Record labels can be members of both their local industry body and IFPI.


Members of the international phonographic industry formed IFPI at the industry's first international congress in Rome, Italy, held from 10–14 November 1933[7].IFPI described its mission as representing "the interests of the recording industry worldwide in all fora"[8] by promoting legislation and copyrights[9] and "to protect the largely British-based recording industry" by promoting a global performance right in gramophone sound recordings.[10]

Phonogram copyrights established

The IFPI lobbied at the Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organisations of 1961, which established an international standard for the protection of sound recordings, live performances and broadcasts. This Convention was opposed by trade groups representing authors and composers, who were concerned that establishing such "neighbouring rights" would undermine their own control over how their works were used and would result in prohibitively expensive licensing.[11] Pressure from United States-based broadcasters who didn't want to license the records they broadcast, among other factors, kept the United States from signing the Convention; the United States would not recognise a separate sound recording copyright until 1971.[12]

Phonogram copy protection efforts

In an effort to combat copyright violation, in 1971, the IFPI advocated for the Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms (the Geneva Phonograms Convention), which 72 countries signed.[13]

In 1986, the ISO established the International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) standard, ISO 3901. In 1989, the IFPI was designated the registration authority for ISRC codes. ISRC codes "enable the use of copyright protected recordings and works to be controlled; facilitate the distribution and collection of royalties (performances, private copying); and assist in the fight against piracy".[14]

To further combat infringement of recorded works, the IFPI and the compact disc manufacturing industry introduced Source Identification (SID) codes in 1994. The SID codes are markings on optical discs such as compact discs (CD) and digital versatile discs (DVD) that identify the manufacturer, equipment, and master discs used to create each disc. There are two codes: the SID mastering code and the SID mould code. The SID mastering code identifies the manufacturing facility used to produce a master from which moulds are produced. The SID mould code identifies the plant where the disc was moulded (replicated). Since not all optical disc manufacturing facilities have the ability to both produce master discs and replicate discs, the SID mastering code and SID mould code on a given optical disc may or may not represent the same manufacturing facility.[15]:3,4

SID codes follow a standard format consisting of the letters "IFPI" followed by four or five hexadecimal digits. A number prefaced with "L" is a "mastering code", a serial number taken from a pool assigned by Philips to the manufacturer. The mastering code identifies the Laser Beam Recorder (LBR) signal processor or mould that produced a particular stamper or a glass master disc from which moulds are produced. Non-"L" numbers are "mould codes", which identify the manufacturer that replicated the disc. Phillips assigns the first 2 or 3 digits of the mould code and the remaining digits are a serial number assigned by that plant to its moulds.[15]:4,7

The Pirate Bay incidents

In mid-October 2007, after IFPI let the domain registration lapse, ownership of the domain was transferred to The Pirate Bay, a group which claimed it received the domain from an anonymous donor.[16] The group set up a Website under the domain titled "International Federation of Pirates Interests", a replacement backronym for IFPI. Ownership of the domain was returned to IFPI in late November, when a WIPO arbitration panel concluded that "the Disputed Domain Name is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark in which the [IFPI] has rights" and that the Pirate Bay's representative "registered and [was] using the Disputed Domain Name in bad faith" and failed to adequately rebut IFPI's contention that he "has no rights or a legitimate interest in the Disputed Domain Name".[17] The organisation's website was unaffected during the dispute.

In a separate incident, on 18 February 2009, the domain ( for the Swedish National Group, IFPI Sweden, was hacked by The Pirate Bay supporter(s). This occurred on the third day of the trial of the Pirate Bay founders in Sweden. The site was replaced with a short message directed at the Prosecutor Håkan Roswall and plaintiffs ("Warner Brothers etc"). It was signed "The New Generation".[18] Peter Sunde of Pirate Bay made an appeal on Twitter requesting that the hackers stop this defacement.[19]

On 19 April 2009, after the announcement of an unfavorable Swedish court decision against The Pirate Bay, the and domains were reportedly subjected to a DDoS attack. The British technology news and opinion website The Register and the copyright, file sharing and digital rights focused news site TorrentFreak speculated that the attacks were perpetrated by Pirate Bay supporters.[20][21]


  • 1996 – Platinum Europe Awards established[22]
  • 2003 – Pro-Music established, a website with a directory of licensed music services in each country, supported by a cross-sector industry groups and set up and run by IFPI[23]
  • 2004 – IFPI's Global Music Report first published (an annual publication; first edition called Online Music Report and subsequently renamed Digital Music Report in 2005. Rebranded to current name in 2016 and combined with separate publication Recording Industry in Numbers as combined report Global Music Report)
  • 2005 – IFPI instrumental in litigation against illegal file-sharing site Kazaa, which later became a licensed service[24]
  • 2009 – coordinated music industry action against The Pirate Bay, resulting in a high profile ruling against the site’s operators[25]
  • 2013 – IFPI’s Global Recording Artist of the Year Award is established; a list of the world’s top 10 most popular artists across a calendar year. The artist in the number one spot is presented with a physical award by IFPI.[26]
  • 2015 – Launch of New Music Fridays, the global switch to all markets releasing music on a Friday, driven by a steering committee including IFPI[27]
  • 2015 – IFPI led legal action against Russian site vKontakte which led to a Russian court ordering the service to stop its “large scale infringement”[28] and later saw the site become licensed in 2016[29]
  • 2017 – IFPI co-ordinated legal action leading to the closure of the world’s largest stream-ripping site, YouTubeMP3[30]
  • 2019 – Changes to the European Copyright Directive - designed to great a fairer licensing environment for recorded music online - are adopted by the European Parliament, following a campaign by the creative industries, including IFPI [31]

Certifications and Awards

IFPI publishes three annual top 10 charts: Global Artist of the Year Award; Global Top Digital Single and Global Top Album.

Launched in January 2014[26], the IFPI Global Artist of the Year award and chart was the first global chart to accurately capture the popularity of artists across streaming channels, alongside digital and physical album and singles sales. The independently verified [32]chart includes sales of albums – across digital, CD and vinyl formats; singles, both downloaded and physical; and streams across the calendar year. The chart includes all the music of each artist featured, not just one track or album. It uses album equivalent units to combine measurements of downloads, physical sales and streams.

The top 10 recording artist chart is published each year, with the no.1 artist being presented with a physical award. The past winners are: 2013 – One Direction; [26]2014 – Taylor Swift[33]; 2015 – Adele[34]; 2016 – Drake[35]; 2017 – Ed Sheeran[36]; 2018 – Drake.[32]

The organisation also publishes the top performing global singles and albums each year. The most recent winners, for 2018 were Camila Cabello’s Havana[37] and soundtrack The Greatest Showman.[38]

Formerly, IFPI ran certifications called the IFPI Platinum Europe Awards and the IFPI Middle East Awards.

The IFPI Platinum Europe Awards were founded in 1996.[22] They are awarded for actual retail sales (as opposed to shipments) of one million albums, in one of the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and United Kingdom.[39]

The IFPI Middle East Awards were established in October 2009.[22] They are awarded for sales in either Lebanon or the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. in the GCC, Gold certificate is awarded for sales of 3,000 units and Platinum for sales of 6,000 units. In Lebanon, Gold certificate is awarded for sales of 1,000 units and Platinum for sales of 2,000 units.[40]

See also


  1. "IFPI's Mission". IFPI. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
  2. "What We Do — IFPI — Representing the recording industry worldwide". Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  3. "Our Boards — IFPI — Representing the recording industry worldwide". Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  4. "Frances Moore to be new CEO of IFPI" (Press release). IFPI. 24 June 2010. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  5. "John Kennedy to succeed Jay Berman as Chairman and CEO of IFPI" (Press release). IFPI. 13 September 2004. Retrieved 2 July 2008.
  6. "National Groups — IFPI — Representing the recording industry worldwide". Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  7. Thalheim, Dr. R. (1938). "Der Schutz der Schallplatte nach italienischen Verordnung vom 18. February 1937.". Archiv für Urheber-, Film- und Theaterrecht. 11. Berlin: Julius Springer. p. 39.
  8. Drahos, Peter; Braithwaite, John (2002). Information Feudalism: Who Owns The Knowledge Economy?. Earthscan. pp. 181–182. ISBN 1-85383-917-5. The key actor in coordinating the industry's piracy strategy became its international trade association, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Formed in 1933, its mission was to represent 'the interests of the recording industry worldwide in all fora'.
  9. Davies, Gillian (May 1984). Oral History of Recorded Sound (Abstract). British Library National Sound Archiv e. Retrieved 10 April 2008. IFPI founded in 1933 to deal with [r]ecord industry at inter-governmental level; promoting legislation; copyrights for industry worldwide.
  10. Frith, Simon (January 1988). "Copyright and the Music Business". 7 (1). Popular Music: 57. JSTOR 853076. IFPI was founded in 1933, in its own words, 'to protect the largely British-based recording industry', but, as Gavin McFarlane points out, its brief was more specifically 'to promote on a world-wide basis the performing right in gramophone records'... Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  11. Drahos & Braithwaite 2002, p. 181: "Authors and composers became increasingly worried by copyright's technological turn. They saw it as compromising the artistic purity of copyright. At a more practical level, authors were worried that the recognition of a 'neighbouring right' in the form of a sound recording would undermine their control over the use of works as well as add to users' costs. Users would now have to pay additional licence fees to producers of sound recordings. It was the resistance of key author associations that helps to explain why it took more than 30 years for an international standard for the protection of sound recordings to emerge in the form of the Rome Convention of 1961."
  12. Drahos & Braithwaite 2002, p. 181: "The US did not join the Rome Convention. Aside from some constitutional issues, powerful broadcasting organisations in the US did not want to endanger a status quo in which they received records from the recording industry for free or at a discount. Domestically, the US did not recognise a separate copyright in sound recordings until 1971."
  13. Drahos & Braithwaite 2002, p. 181: "After its major lobbying effort on the Rome Convention [of 1961], IFPI began a campaign against piracy. It pushed for and obtained in 1971 the Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms against Unauthorised Duplication of their Phonograms."
  14. ISRC Practical Guide, 3rd edition, 1998, International ISRC Agency, London.
  15. "SID Code Implementation Guide" (PDF). IFPI. International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
  16. Ernesto (12 October 2007). "Anti-Piracy Organization Domain Now Owned by The Pirate Bay". TorrentFreak. Retrieved 10 April 2008.
  17. "WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center Administrative Panel Decision: IFPI Secretariat, IFPI International Federation of the Phonographic Industry v. Peter Kopimi Sunde aka Brokep (Case No. D2007-1328)". 19 November 2007. Retrieved 10 April 2008.
  18. "Screenshot of translated message, original in Swedish". Archived from the original on 27 March 2009.
  19. "Technology = "Whoever is hacking, please stop doing that"". New Scientist. Reed Business Information. 201 (2697): 17.
  20. Leyden, John (20 April 2009). "Music industry sites DDoSed after Pirate Bay verdict". Retrieved 20 April 2009.
  21. "Ernesto Van Der Sar" (20 April 2009). "IFPI Site Under Attack by Pirate Bay Supporters". Retrieved 20 April 2009.
  22. "IFPI Awards". Archived from the original on 29 July 2010. Retrieved 16 May 2011. IFPI Middle East Awards
  23. "Pro Music : All You Need To Know About Getting Music On The Internet". Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  24. "Kazaa site becomes legal service". 27 July 2006. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  25. Kiss, Jemima (17 April 2009). "The Pirate Bay trial: guilty verdict". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  26. Guardian Music, Guardian Music (30 January 2014). "One Direction named top global recording artists in new award". The Guardian.
  27. ""New Music Fridays" go live as albums and singles switch over to global release day". Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  28. "Russian court orders VK to stop infringement". Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  29. "VKontakte launches licensed Spotify rival - but waits on Universal". Music Business Worldwide. 4 May 2016. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  30. "World's largest music stream ripping site shuts down after successful international legal action from record industry". Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  31. "European Parliament approves new copyright rules for the internet | News | European Parliament". 26 March 2019. Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  32. "Drake named Global Recording Artist of 2018". Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  33. "Taylor Swift named IFPI Global Recording Artist of 2014". Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  34. "Adele confirmed by IFPI as the number 1 global recording artist". Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  35. "Drake named IFPI Global Recording Artist 2016". Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  36. "Ed Sheeran officially named the best-selling global recording artist of 2017". Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  37. "Havana by Camila Cabello (featuring Young Thug) named best-selling single of 2018". Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  38. "The Greatest Showman soundtrack named best-selling album of 2018". Retrieved 25 October 2019.
  39. "Platinum Europe Awards – Terms and Conditions". Retrieved 16 May 2011.
  40. "IFPI MIDDLE EAST AWARD APPLICATION FORM" (PDF). October 2009. Retrieved 16 May 2011.

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