ISRC Codes


Please tell Khalid Nurredin that he doesn’t have to join RIAA to use ISRC Codes (International Standard Recording Codes). Nor does he have to have any particular company structure.

The codes are comprised of a country portion, a year portion, a company portion, and a track portion. The year and country are obvious (e.g. US, 07), and the track is a five digit number that you come up with yourself.

You also keep your own log of these numbers, the RIAA does not. The only thing the RIAA does is assign a unique code for your company. (Somebody has to do this, or chaos would result from duplication of registrant codes.)

Registrant codes are free and can be obtained by simply faxing back a one page form that’s available on line as a downloadable .pdf file or a Word document. Print it out, hand-write a few details (corporation not necessary) and fax it to them. They will email you back your company code in about three days.

Most all of the indie artists I represent have these codes embedded during the mastering process. It’s for your own benefit, so you can be paid for digital downloads and digital transmissions (satellite radio, etc.) internationally. The individual code stays with the track it belongs to, so that the owner can be identified and paid (and not by RIAA, I should add, more likely by Sound Exchange or other international organizations that handle such matters).

To the best of my knowledge, almost everyone who handles digital downloads (CD Baby, iTunes, etc.) requires these codes as they are the only way to track this usage.

The history of ISRC goes back many years, and originated with the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

For more info., history, explanations and application forms, the link is

ISRC Codes

To clarify, I am an independent consultant, artist manager and publicist. No connection with RIAA.

Thanks, Bob for your continuous supply of enlightening information!

–David Carr
David Carr Music & Media / The KubRo Group

This is a read-only blog. E-mail comments directly to Bob.