Alpha Duplication explain all you need to know about ISRC codes

Blog by Alpha Duplication under Recording & Production, Selling & Distributing Your Music

This blog is contributed by Alpha Duplication, CD duplication, DVD duplication, disc printing and packaging specialists...

What is an ISRC code?
The 'International Standard Recording Code' (or ISRC code) is a unique identification system for sound recordings and music video recordings. Each ISRC code identifies a specific unique recording and can be permanently encoded into a product as a kind of digital fingerprint. It can then be used for sales tracking by the music download and streaming platforms. If your music is being played publicly in Leeds or London, it will be instantly recognised and the ISRCs codes will ensure you can claim royalties…

An ISRC Code follows a standard template and looks like this: UK-AAA-19-12345

•    The first two characters identify the country where the member is based (‘UK’ represents ‘United Kingdom’).
•    The next three characters identify the recording rightsholder. You are allocated three letters – they are specific to you as the rightsholder. (Please note that this code does not imply permanent ownership of the recording or video. The code will not change if the recording is later licensed to a different owner.)
•    The next two characters identify the year in which the specific recording was given an ISRC.
•    The last five characters are the choice of the rightsholder when allocating recordings with an ISRC. These characters are always numbers. The easiest way to organise this section of the code is to give the first recording ‘00001’, the second ‘00002’, etc. The sequence can be reset to ‘00001’ when a new year of reference (section three, detailed above) is applicable.

How do I get an ISRC code?
This is very easy and can be done very quickly. Registering with PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited), the organisation responsible for collecting and distributing royalties for recorded music in the UK is your first port of call.

If you haven't registered before, you will be issued with your own ISRC first registrant code (ie – UK-AAA). You then follow the online instructions to register your individual tracks. You will need to keep a record of these codes and provide them to your duplication company, such as Alpha Duplication, who will embed them onto your CD master and on all subsequent copies. We can also add CD text and offer Gracenote registration for your CDs.

Why do I need an ISRC code?

Thinking of skipping the ISRC code? Think again! Digital stores will NOT put any track on sale without an ISRC code – they need it for sales tracking.

Also remember, each individual track needs to have a different ISRC code. It’s the recording not the track that it’s attached to. The same applies to releasing music physically. If you want to release a single online with a couple of remixes, a live version and a B-side, each track will need its own code.

For more information on IRSC codes, CD Duplication, Disc Packaging, contact Shaun at Alpha Duplication on 0113 2864871 or email on [email protected]


Alpha Duplication explain all you need to know about ISRC codes


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