What are ISRC Codes and why do I need them? 

 ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) is the globally recognized standard numbering system for audio and music video recordings. It comprises a 12-digit alphanumeric code and functions as a universal identification number for each sound recording. 

ISRC codes are primarily used to identify and catalog individual songs (tracks) on an album. The ISRC allows you to get paid for digital music sales by ensuring that your royalties are tracked properly. ISRC codes are necessary to sell your individual tracks via iTunes and other online music distributors. They are also required for any songs that you plan to offer for streaming on Spotify and other streaming services. 

Similarly, you need to get ISRC codes in order to have your songs participate in the Billboard charts. In order to have a chance at making the Billboard music charts, your release must be registered with SoundScan using your ISRC codes for the individual tracks. If you do not register then your sales figures are not counted, and you remain invisible to the system. 

ISRC Codes are also used to identify videos and spoken word recordings such as audio books, sermons, and training programs.

 

 

Is the ISRC code different from a UPC code? 

 Yes, it is. 

The ISRC is your Performance Identifier. The International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) is the standard unique international identifier for sound and music video recording itself. The ISRC is tied to the recording in the track and not the carrier of the track (CD/Vinyl/Digital Album or individual digital sound/video file). 

The UPC is your Release Identifier. The Universal Product Code (UPC) is the standard unique identifier for the release that carries your audio or video performance(s). The UPC may identify a single, an EP, an LP and the various versions thereof (digital download, CD, vinyl, tape, or DVD).