Launch: Standardised Cue Sheet for Music in Commercials

April 16 2021

As part of the effort to produce a set of recommendations for the appropriate, complete, and accurate reporting of music use and exchange of data between societies and publishers, the Society Publisher Forum (SPF) is delighted to announce the standardised format for Music in Commercial Sheets.

Completion comes just a few months after another milestone project: Standardised Music Cue Sheets (for broader usages of music).  See recent ICMP/CISAC webinar.

An initiative to standardise the reporting of music usage in commercials. Applicable to:

  • Broadcast users (TV and radio)
  • CMOs
  • Publishers
  • Writers.

Designed for worldwide use and effect.

Ensuring correct identification of music used in commercials is a challenge across the industry. Due to many external stakeholders in the life-cycle of a commercial, often operating internationally and with practical problems such as differing reporting formats or language barriers, metadata in commercial uses can be lost. The new Commercial Sheet standardises reporting of data and eases the matching of musical works used in commercials, by:

  • Standardising data flow
  • Easing business operations
  • Improving global distributions for music in commercials


The standardised Commercial Sheet captures two sets of information:

  1. A ‘Submission’ form – contains information available to publishers at time of commissioning or sync license agreement. Should be submitted at the earliest opportunity.
  2. A ‘Cue Sheet’ – contains the additional information and all relevant music details together with usage information where available.


The project was generated by the Society Publisher Foruma cross-industry initiative ICMP supports, and spearheaded by Co-Chairs Alex Batterbee (Sony Music Publishing) and Gustavo Gonzalez (Abramus). Dee Hale (Sony Music Publishing) and Tim Carmichael (PRS for Music) have been the Working Group leaders. SPF works in close cooperation with ICMP members and CMOs from around the world.

This project’s success is dictated by uptake and usage.

We ask all creators, publishers, and societies to use the document as standard when sharing information about music in commercials.


Optimising this project will require:

  1. Widespread uptake, and
  2. Sustained communication.

We all need to do our bit to encourage universal adoption.

Both ICMP and CISAC are rolling it out to our global memberships today. A good start. Please ensure your local users and business partners are aware of this project and ensure they implement the new system.

The SPF is a joint initiative of the CMO and music publishing industries. Questions? Contact: