Does the ISRC Change If I Release a Work as a Single and Part of an Album?

Not unless it’s an alternate version or unique recording.

A song that is released as a single and as part of an album will always maintain the same International Standard Recording Code (ISRC). This is because an ISRC identifies the unique recording to which it was assigned. Changes not pertaining to the actual sound recording do not affect the ISRC or require a new code. 

However, if you release alternate versions of the sound recording — such as a live version or an acoustic demo version — each version would require a new ISRC since the changes represent a unique recording that differs in sound from the original release.

For a full, more detailed description of situations that require a new ISRC to be assigned, please consult the most recent ISRC Handbook.


If you are releasing music through a distributor like CD Baby or Distrokid, they will automatically assign the same ISRC to both releases, so you won't need to worry about this. However, if you are distributing your music independently, you should make sure you are not creating a new ISRC for the album version of a single (assuming they’re identical recordings).


Interested in learning more? Check out our article on everything you need to know about ISRCs.


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