One of the final aspects of audio production involves mastering a track and this is typically when the ISRC codes are written to a track or a CD file. Many artists either do not understand what ISRC codes are necessary for and that’s only if they have even heard of the term before.
What Are ISRC Codes For?
An ISRC code is used to track sales of a particular track both for simple reporting purposes as well as ensuring that the owner of that song or better said the writer of that track gets paid the royalties which they deserve for having written that track when a sale is generated.
Each and every song which you write if you are interested in selling your music should have an ISRC code. This data is necessary when writing the data to a track or a CD as well as when you upload your music to a modern online merchandiser such as BandCamp or an online streaming service like Spotify.
Unfortunately there is a cost associated with obtaining ISRC codes for your own music. This comes at a one time cost to you from ADD NAME OF PLACE. Fortunately it is just a one time fee for you to be in their database and for you to obtain your unique code. Once you have your unique code (which consists of your 2 digit/letter country code + a 3 digit/letter unique code for your band/label), you can go ahead and begin creating your own ISRC codes.
A sample ISRC code would be: QM (the current country code for new artists and labels based out of the US)-HMR (a random code assigned to a particular band or label)-12 (to represent the last two digits of the current year when the song was released)-00001 (to represent that this is the first ISRC code created in that year). So once you know your country code and unique code, you can begin creating ISRC codes based on the order in which you release your music.
If you have a new CD with 5 tracks and it is the first thing which you put out that year, your code would be QM-(your unique 3 digit/letter ID)-12-00001.
You may wonder why the country code for the US is QM rather than US. The truth is it used to be US but the number of bands coming out of this country exceeded the number of combinations possible so they transitioned to QM.
You have your unique ID for life and never have to pay to renew your account or anything like that and can create up to 99999 ISRC codes for a given year. Obviously no artist would put out that many songs in a year but some of the largest labels on the planet create codes for every artist on their label using the same unique ID.