Supply chain standards and solutions organization GS1 has agreed to deliver to the music industry a license for single bar codes, as part of a new effort to foster the online music business.

Musicians and labels can now obtain a unique bar code number - known as a Global Trade Identification Number (GTIN) - for an annual subscription of £25 ($50). GS1 codes enable works to be identified and accurated tracked.

The new initiative, launched today in collaboration with British trade bodies AIM and the BPI, will enable artists and labels to be properly remunerated for their works online, the parties said in a joint statement.

"The introduction of GS1 licensed single bar codes reaches out to companies and individuals who previously could not justify a full membership of GS1, but need legitimate bar code numbers to ensure utmost accuracy when producing and selling needs," says the standards body's U.K. director of operations, Alaster Purchase.

GS1's rules ban the selling or leasing of bar codes to other firms.