This is a quick overview of what ISRC means, if you’d like some more information, please read our in-depth guide on ISRC Codes.
ISRC – International Standard Recording Code
You’re assigned this unique number for every song that you register through your national ISRC agency (PPL in the UK & Sound Exchange in the USA for example). You can find your existing ISRCs from your national agencies found here. If you don’t have an ISRC you can apply for one here.
What does it stand for?
The ISRC format is as follows: Country code – Registrant code – Year of reference – Designation code (ie: GB-LFP-16-12345)
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. Same applies to releasing music physically. So if you want to release a single online with a couple of remixes, a live version and an instrumental, each track will need its own code.
ISWC – International Standard Work Code
An eleven-digit alphanumeric code given to each song registered to any PRO worldwide which makes it uniquely identifiable. Using either this or a ‘Tunecode’ (which is essentially the same thing but shorter – see below), royalties that are generated by that song can find their way back to the correct PRO and then back to the author, composer and publisher.
Your International Standard Work Code only accounts for a composition and not the recording of the song. You can find your country’s agency here, as well as registering your song and getting an ISWC. You can search for your ISWC here.
Unique eight-digit code containing numbers and letters that’s applied to each work when registered with PRS or MCPS. Ensures that the work can be accurately identified whenever it is used. This ensures PRS pays the correct royalties to the rights-holders and other interested parties.