What is an ISRC?

 In order to maximize your royalties, it is important to include an ISRC with your registration.

What is an ISRC?

An ISRC is a unique 12-digit code that is assigned to a specific sound recording (i.e CD, an audio file, video, etc). It acts as a "digital fingerprint" for a sound recording: it represents a recording's unique identification number and helps separate it from the hundreds and thousands of other sound recordings worldwide.

ISRCs are used to track and verify specific information about a recording, including but not limited to:

  • Track recording sales, streams, and the radio station plays
  • Artist(s) name
  • Label name 
  • UPC (Universal Product Code)
  • Identifying the authors of the composition being recorded

Each recording can only have one ISRC attached to it, and this code should never be reused for another recording. For example, if an artist plans on releasing a 15-song album for public consumption, that album would contain 15 unique ISRCs (one per each track being released) which would be linked to each specific recording forever. 

In order to properly register, map, and collect royalties for a song, it is important to include an ISRC with your song registration in your account. Without this, our ability to collect on streaming mechanical royalties and YouTube is severely limited. We make it easy, though, with a tool that uses Spotify's API to grab the metadata - here's a quick explainer on how to do it.

If your songs have not been released on Spotify, you can obtain your ISRC's by contacting your distributor, like DistroKid or CD Baby. If you've never worked with a distributor, they can be purchased through 3rd party services online such as http://www.usisrc.org/. 


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