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What is an ISRC and why do you need it?

Posted By : IHM, Posted On : January 25, 2010

What is an ISRC and why do you need it? An International Sound Recording Code (ISRC) is a code issued by the RIAA (at that is increasingly being used by “major download sites, digital distribution companies and collecting societies as a tool to manage digital repertoire and track commerce.”  For example, if you have recorded music and want to distrubute it digitally online (on iTunes or other popular digital retail sites), you’ll need to assign a unique ISRC to each song – for the life of the song – because most digital distribution companies require the code.

To register for ISRC codes, you can visit or go direct to the ISRC Application Page and follow the sites instructions.  

There is a $75 application fee and as the site notes, “All Registrants who apply through this site must own the rights to the recordings (as distinct from the rights to the songs) to which they would like to assign ISRCs.”

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