ISRC Codes

When registering a track with a PRO, how important is the ISRC code for tracking royalties? If you are using them, did you register to create your own codes directly (registrant code) or do you just use a management site and pay per track?

I know places like Distrokid and CD baby give you codes, but since I do not plan on distributing my music I won’t be using them. TIA

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It can help a lot. I assign ISRC codes to all of my tracks. I registered to have my own codes generated via a neighbouring rights org.


Really? How so?
Personally, I’ve never done it, so I’m curious.

Well if you think about it like this: let’s say you have a track called “Inspirational Motivational Piano”. There are dozens if not hundreds of other tracks with the same name.
Having a unique code attached to the registration of your track in all the different copyright systems can help streamline your royalties between them.
For example: Soundmouse, ASCAP, Identifyy all allow you to put in an ISRC code.
So besides your IPI number, the ISRC code is one extra number that ties a registered track to you as an author.

I don’t have actual proof that it helps but I can’t imagine it doesn’t. It unambiguously helps systems to “know” which track is at hand.


I think that ISWC is even more important.

ISWC = work (composition) number
ISRC = recording number

Composition usually gets bigger royalties than recording. Many PROs base on tracking ISWC instead of ISRC.

I mean, both can help, however I trust ISWC more than ISRC. Though few months ago I did receive right to “generate” my own unique ISRC and I have started to update everything with both of them.

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Yes true I also register both everywhere

@RedOctopus Where are you adding these numbers too? Is there a place on AJ to add these? Do you add them to a sheet you send out with the zip file giving your PRO info for people to use on cue sheets?

And, as always, thanks for your help :slight_smile:

I add it to:


Updating pdf sheet consumes too much time for me. Maybe I should start creating unique pdfs for the new items at least…

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@RedOctopus Do you register all your tracks with your PRO or just the ones that sell?

It takes a few days to get a ISWC from your PRO. Do you wait until you get this number before uploading to AJ or just upload the song first?



I ulpoad first.

But soon I am going to change this and register first.

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I have a little problem with assigning ISRC codes…
At my local organization that is in charge of assigning codes, they ask me for some kind of proof of ownership of the tracks, some kind of contract and the similar…
Has anyone had a similar situation?
And what could serve as adequate evidence for them?