What is an ISRC?

Make sure to include it with registrations to maximize your royalties.

What is an ISRC?

An ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) is a unique 12-digit alphanumeric code that’s assigned to a one-of-a-kind sound recording (e.g., an audio file, track on a CD, or music video). It acts as a “digital fingerprint,” identifying a sound recording from the many other sound recordings available worldwide.

ISRCs are used to monitor and verify specific information about a recording, including but not limited to: track recording sales, streams, and radio station plays; the name of the artist(s) and their record label; its UPC (Universal Product Code); and the composition’s author(s). 

Each recording can only have one ISRC attached to it. This code should never be reused. For example, if an artist plans on releasing a 15-song album for public consumption, it would contain 15 unique ISRCs (one for each track). 

In order to properly register, map, and collect royalties for a song, it is important to include its ISRC with the song registration in your account. Without this key information, our ability to collect on streaming mechanical royalties and YouTube is severely limited. 

We make it easy with a tool that grabs metadata via Spotify’s API. Here's a quick explainer on how to use it. If your songs have not been released on Spotify, you can obtain your ISRCs by contacting your distributor (DistroKid or CD Baby, for instance). If you’ve never worked with a distributor, ISRCs can be purchased through the official International Standard Recording Code site.


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