What is an ISRC-code?

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An ISRC-code (International Standard Recording Code) is a code which represents a recording of your song across stores and music services. When you upload your music to Indepentia, you will be assigned free ISRC codes for your songs. This code is always unique to the uploaded version of that song and you can use this code forever.

However, you may prefer to use your own codes. For example, if you have a label and you want all your artists to have the same prefix. Or if you want all your songs to be linked to a company name.

Distributors, streaming services and stores use ISRC codes to keep track of how often your track is played or sold. It also helps identify and match a version of your song throughout multiple services.

An example of an ISRC-code is ‘NL-AAA-21-00001’. In this article, we’ll walk you through the different parts the code is made up of.

1. The country code

This is a two-letter country code identifying the country where the party generating the code is based. Since Indepentia is based in The Netherlands, codes you’ll receive from us always start with ‘NL’. But it can also be BE or GB for example for Belgium or the United Kingdom.

2. The registration code

The registration code, also called a “prefix”, identifies the company or person generating the code. This prefix can be your distibutor’s, your label’s, or even your own.

You can request your own ISRC prefix for free at your country’s ISRC agency, see below for a link.

3. The year

The last two digits of the year. This shows the year in which the recording was registered. A unique number for the recording of five digits. Start at 00001 (note the zeros!). Most of the ISRC code can be made up, e.g. NL-L8M-16-00001 for the first number we assigned an ISRC code. Only the registration code (prefix) is not yours to invent. Fortunately, you can apply for this code free of charge at SENA.

4. The recording ID

The last part of the ISRC is a 5-digit sequential number which simply represents the number of generated codes plus one. The first number created is ‘00001’, the second number ‘00002’ etc. Every year, you start again from ‘00001’ with the first code generated that year.

Please note that every new master or recording of a song should get it’s own, new ISRC code. Never re-use codes!

Your own prefix?

Remember: when you use Indepentia, you don’t have to request a prefix and create your own codes. We’ll generate them for free as soon as you upload your track.

If you still prefer to use your own ISRC prefix for your codes, you can request one for free at your country’s national ISRC agency. You can find a list of national ISRC agencies at the IFPI website.

Have questions about ISRC codes or how to use them? Feel free to send us an e-mail via our contact page.