What is an isrc code?

It is important to remember that ISRC codes identify sound and video recordings only – and not physical products (“carriers”) such as CDs. This ensures there is no conflict with existing product catalogue numbering systems.

The structure of the 12 digit ISRC code follows this example:
Country Code Registrant Code Year of Reference Designation Code
2 characters
2 characters 1 digit for either audio ( 0 or 1) or visual (8 or 9). The Registrant Code is always allocated by Recorded Music NZ
2 digits – 11 for 2011
5 digits Allocated by a record company when they have their own designated Registrant Code. Otherwise allocated by Recorded Music NZ.
Who should apply for an ISRC code?

A master rights owner of any sound or video recording should apply. This is usually a record label. The master rights owner is the “first owner” of a recording.

If the producer or master rights owner of the recording has sold the recording with all rights before coding, the acquirer should be considered as the first owner for the purposes of ISRC.

Record labels releasing multiple tracks on an ongoing basis will usually be allocated a Registrant Code and will then allocate and manage their own Designation Codes for all subsequent releases (using this same Registrant Code for all tracks released by the company).

Self-released artists can apply for individual codes from Recorded Music NZ.

What does it do?

The ISRC system is the key to royalty collection for recordings in the digital information age.

  • ISRC is a unique, reliable, international identification system.
  • ISRC provides a unique tool for the purpose of rights’ administration.
  • ISRC is a useful identification tool in the electronic distribution of music.
  • ISRC coding is compatible with standards developed in the field of consumer electronics and is readable by hardware already used in the recording industry.
  • ISRC is cost effective – it can be put into operation without requiring special investment in equipment or technologies.
How much does it cost and how long will it take?

There is no cost – the ISRC code is free. Once we have your complete application we can provide the code immediately.

So how do I get one?

If you are the copyright holder of a New Zealand recording and wish to apply for an individual code or Registrant Code please contact Recorded Music NZ’s Distribution and Membership Services Manager, Dean Cameron on DDI (09) 361 6836 or email dean@recordedmusic.co.nz. He will require the following information:

  • The full name of the applicant, or business/company name;
  • A contact address;
  • A contact person;
  • Contact details (phone number, and email address);
  • Recording Artist Name;
  • Recording Titles i.e. track names;
  • Recording Duration(s);
  • Year of Release;
  • Product name i.e. album name;
  • Catalogue # ; (if available)
  • Barcode / UPC; (if available)

Recorded Music NZ will then supply the applicant or business/company with an individual code or Registrant Code and a fact sheet outlining ISRC. If you have been issued with a Registrant Code we will also advise how you can issue your own codes for future recordings and what method of reporting is required.

For more ISRC information visit http://isrc.ifpi.org/.