How to Apply for an ISRC Code

By Stewart Cararas

Updated September 22, 2017

The ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) is the international identification system for sound recordings and music-video recordings. Each ISRC is a unique and permanent identifier for a specific recording which can be permanently encoded into a product as its digital fingerprint. Encoded ISRC provides the means to automatically identify recordings for royalty payments. Before your CD goes to press it will need this pertinent digital information encoded into it. I'll show you how to obtain the ISRC code for this procedure.

Go to the RIAA website at riaa.com and click "What We Do." From here you can click on ISRC Codes.

Download the application in the form of a .pdf or Word document.

Fill out all of the necessary information and either mail or fax to the RIAA office. They usually require five business day to respond with your code, but in my experience, if faxed, they will respond within a day or two.

Once you receive the code bring it along with your CD to the mastering session. The mastering engineer will encode this information into your master CD. You can now bring this to the duplication house and have a sense of relief knowing that you can be properly paid whenever this music is played.

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