Converting Data from a Custom Excel Format into CWR and Registering Works with PRS

PRS and ICE Services

All CWR registrations for PRS, as well as several other large European societies, are handled by ICE Services. In our opinion, ICE has strictest requirements, but also a very forthcoming support team.

Our Client

We will not disclose the name of the publisher in question, but it is a US-based publisher that represents tens of thousands of works including oldies, recent hits and production music. The registration in question was for 4.500 library works. The data was manually compiled into an Excel file by the client. The registrations were pretty complicated, as each one contained multiple authors, each having multiple original publishers, administrators etc. This is, basically, the worst possible situation.

The test file

It was the first registration for this client in ICE, so they asked us to submit a test file. We prefer to send a longer file if possible, in order to detect as many issues as possible before the first “real” submission. In this instance, the registrations had, besides the usual data about work, authors, and publishers, also data about performers, recordings, and the library itself. On average each work took over 30 lines of CWR.

Even after we have detected and corrected issues that can be detected without a society, the test file with 300 works was returned several times due to mismatching agreement numbers, incorrect (although valid) IPI Name numbers, as well as several other minor issues. Of course, we have been fixing these errors in the “big” file and just exporting first 300 works for the “test” file. Eventually, it was accepted. Client received SFTP access.

Real Registrations

We created and uploaded the “big” file. Close to 4.500 works in over 140.000 rows

A few days later, there was the acknowledgment file. The vast majority of works have been accepted, but there was still some 5% that were rejected. We have fixed the big file (for future registrations), extracted those works and registered them again. Next day, all but five works were accepted. It took one more fix and one more registration to get to the 100%.


Fixing the manually compiled data in Excel takes time. It is a joined effort between us and the client. It usually takes several iterations until we get all works registered. If data is already in any kind of database, usually there are fewer errors and the process is faster.

If you keep your data in Excel files or an MS Acces or a FileMaker Pro database and need it converted to a CWR file (or some other format), to be delivered to a society, a sub-publisher or imported into a new software, then it is a very similar situation to the described one and we can do it for you.