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What Is An ISRC Code

If you are an unsigned or independent artist that is selling music online, then you will already be using an ISRC code, believe me you will. Even if you didn't know you were. So lets explain a few things, including

What is an ISRC code?

How to Get an ISRC Code?

Why do i need an ISRC code?

Maybe you have been told that you need an ISRC to release music but don't know how to generate an ISRC code or where to get one. You may have been asked for one by your mastering plant, they may have given you one. Either way, you need to know what they are, so here goes...


The 'International Standard Recording Code' is a unique identification system for sound recordings and music video recordings. Each ISRC code identifies a specific unique recording and can be permanently encoded into a product as a kind of digital fingerprint. This means it can be (and is) used for sales tracking by music download stores.

What Is An ISRC

Oasis Used ISRC Codes For All Their Smash Hit Singles!


So whether your music is being played in Skegness or Sweden, it will be instantly recognised, all thanks to your ISRC code.

Alright, so thats that sorted, but now you want to release a single online with a couple of remixes, a live version and a b-side. How many ISCR codes do you need?

Well, each individual track would have a different ISRC code. It’s the recording not the track that it’s attached to. Same applies to releasing music physically.


An ISRC Code follows a standard template and looks like this - GB-LFP-89-13527


Let’s break that down:


GB is the country

LFP is the unique assigned to the record label (At Ditto Music our code is LFP )

89 is the year

13527 is a unique number assigned by the label themselves. Most record labels assign them sequentially so their first recording of 2010 would be GB-LFP-10-00001.

So this ISRC code, its not such a big deal right?

Well actually, an International organisation called the IFPI oversee ISRCs with 46 agencies worldwide. Ditto Music are UK-based so are label-members of the PPL and give out free ISRCs with every release if needed.

What Is An ISRC



How Do I Get An ISRC code?

You can get an ISRC code from the PPL or other when you sign up as a label. OR Ditto Music give you ISRC codes for free, because we are nice like that.

Why do I Need An ISRC code?

Thinking of skipping the ISRC code? Think again! Digital stores will NOT put any track on sale without an ISRC code – they need it for sales tracking.

Can I Make Up or Generate An ISRC Code?

Stores or upload systems will not accept it if it’s not a valid ISRC and Ditto Music give them away for free – so there isn’t much point. To generate an ISRC you need to be a member of your local IFPI organisation, e.g. PPL. You can join the PPL as a label member and they will give you the 3-character code to generate an ISRC.

Thinking of starting a record label yourself? Check here for information on starting a record label with PPL.

Do I Have To Pay For an ISRC Code?

No. You should never pay for ISRCs. They are free, which is why Ditto Music give you free ISRC codes with every release.

Is An ISRC The Same As A Barcode?

No. ISRCs for individual tracks/recordings. Barcodes are for the total product (album/ep/single) the tracks come together to make.

I’ve Seen An ISRC That Starts With US or IE

Just as Ditto Music’s ISRCs start with GB for Great Britain, US is United States and IE is Ireland.

Is my song chart eligible if it has an ISRC ?

Not unless it’s registered with the PPL/Charts Company – which Ditto can sort for you. The retailer will report the sale to the Chart Company but if it’s not registered it won’t count.


* Ditto Music specialise in digital music distribution and enable thousands of unsigned artists to sell their music in stores like iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and hundreds more. ISRC codes are completely free of charge with your release. We even distribute your music to iTunes free of charge. Click here to submit a FREE release

For more details check out where you can set up a record label and release your own music.

Any questions guys, just leave them at the bottom of the page and we will answer them for you.