This is most suitable for indie artists who are looking to digitally release their albums on streaming platforms like Spotify, Pandora, Google Play, etc.
Option 2- Request a batch of ISRC numbers from your local ISRC Agency and embed those ISRC codes in your digital files.
This is interesting for indie musicians who are planning a physical release and music producers who are pursuing sync licensing opportunities where it is common to cut multiple versions of a single composition (remember: 1 recording = 1 ISRC number, 5 recordings = 5 ISRC numbers, even if it’s the same song/composition/musical work).
4- How to embed ISWC and ISRC codes in your audio files?
Working With a Music Distributor
If you chose option 1 above, your digital distributor will take care of the embedding for you.
Your distributor will already have the information for the ISRC code (1 recording = 1 ISRC) and UPC code (1 album = 1 UPC code) because they provide those.
If you need to embed data on a physical CD or DVD, the company pressing the physical support should be able to do that for you. Just make sure you give them the information they need and double check their work afterwards to ensure they did it properly.
5- Quick-Fire Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about ISWC and ISRC numbers
Having an ISRC number is not a requirement to submit music to most sync licensing opportunities (or publishers and producers for that matter). But it can’t hurt to have that information embedded in your audio files anyway.
It’s highly recommended that you register your composition with a PRO and get an ISWC number before you make your music public.
UPC or EAN numbers are codes that identify an album, as opposed to a single recording that is identified by an ISRC number.
If you are commercially exploiting 4 different recorded versions of the same song, you will need 4 different ISRC numbers, 1 for each recording. To see how “different” the versions need to be to require their own ISRC, refer to section 4.9 of the ISRC Handbook.
Have a question that’s not been answered?
Let me know in the comments section.
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