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What is an ISRC Code? And How Can I Get ISRC Codes

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What is an ISRC Code?

An ISRC code or International Standard Recording Code is a unique 12-character identifier for a specific sound recording or music video. It’s like a fingerprint for your audio, ensuring it can be tracked and identified throughout the world.

Why do songs need ISRC codes?

There are several important reasons why songs need ISRC codes:

Track Royalties: ISRC codes are essential for collecting royalties whenever your music is played, downloaded, or streamed. Streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music use ISRC codes to identify your recordings and ensure you get paid accurately.

Distribution and Sales: Many digital music distributors and online stores require ISRC codes before they’ll list your music. This helps them categorize and track your songs effectively.

Accurate Data: ISRC codes contribute to a more organized music industry. They prevent confusion between different versions or remixes of the same song.

How to get an ISRC code

There are two main ways to obtain ISRC codes for your music:

  1. Through a Digital Distributor: Many digital music distributors offer free ISRC code generation when you upload your music for distribution. This is a convenient option, especially for independent artists.
  2. Register Directly with Your National ISRC Agency: For more control and the ability to generate your own ISRC codes, you can register with your country’s designated ISRC agency. This usually involves a one-time fee.
  • Find Your National Agency: Every country (or territory) has a designated agency responsible for issuing ISRC codes. You can find yours by visiting the International ISRC Registration Authority The website allows you to search for the relevant agency in your location.
  • Contact Your National Agency: Once you’ve identified your national agency, reach out to them directly (by phone or email). They can provide specific details on their registration process and any required fees.
  • Alternative: Contact IFPI: If your country doesn’t have a designated ISRC agency, you can contact the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) directly. The IFPI is a global organization representing the recording industry and can assist you in obtaining ISRC codes.

PPL serves as the national ISRC agency for the United Kingdom, while the United States is represented by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). Other countries have their own designated agencies, such as FIMI (Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana) in Italy.

Frequently Asked Questions about ISRC codes

By obtaining ISRC codes for your songs, you ensure they are properly recognized and you receive the royalties you deserve.

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