What is ISRC?

The ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) is an international standard code created by recording industry to fulfil the need to identify sound recordings and music videos. IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) is the international ISRC agency, it coordinates this codification system and appoints national agencies in different territories. AGEDI is the National Agency for ISRC in Spain.

IFPI recommends all phonogram producers to adopt ISRC as an international instrument to identify sound recordings and music videos.

Click to visit ISRC official website


The Registrant Entity has the following obligations regarding the ISRC management system:

  • The Registrant Entity is responsible for assigning the Designation Code.
  • Registrants can only assign ISRC codes once issued with a Registrant Code from the National ISRC Agency for their territory.

Among its obligations are the following:

  • Ensure the uniqueness of ISRC codes.
  • Keep a register of all ISRC Codes that have been assigned and their related details in a relevant database.
  • Include ISRC in all relevant documents concerning the rights in a recording and their licensing.
  • Ensure that a competent person is responsible for the assignment of ISRC and the application of the pertinent regulations to their respect.
  • Keep a permanent contact with National Agency and provide them the ISRC codes that have been assigned when requested.

Benefits of using ISRC

  • It allows for an effective exchange of information regarding ownership and use of sound recordings and music videos and also to trace ownership changes along the life of a recording.
  • It simplifies the management of rights associated to sound recordings and music videos, as it is a single and worldwide accepted identification system.
  • ISRC is more and more present in electronic and digital rights management systems.
  • It provides to potential users of sound recordings and music easy access to the information on the current rights owner. In this regard, the premise is to get a broad usage among phonographic producers, music licensing companies, broadcasting organizations, libraries, etc.
  • It is a cost-efficient encoding system, as it can be implemented without the need for a special investment in equipment. It only requires a structure capable of managing the ISRC administration within the organization.

Structure of the ISRC

The ISRC consists of twelve characters representing:

  • Country code (2 characters)
  • Registrant Code (3 characters)
  • Year of Reference (2 digits)
  • Designation Code (5 digits)

For visual presentation the code is divided into four elements separated by hyphens and the letters ISRC should always precede an ISRC code, as in the example below:

ISRC ES-000-07-00001

Despite the separation of the code into elements, what really identifies a recording or music video is the full 12 characters. It is important to highlight that ISRC identifies the sound recordings and music videos, and not the carriers containing them, so a specific recording that is available is different carriers (cassette, CD, DVD, vinyl, etc.) shall have the same ISRC Code in all formats.

How do I get ISRC?

For Spain, AGEDI is the National Agency for ISRC and responsible for issuing ISRC Registrant Code or Company Code.

There are several ways to obtain an ISRC Registrant Code:

  • As an AGEDI member company, as far as you already have commercialised repertoire. If you wish to proceed, please review information available at AGEDI website, section Become a member, where you can also download the Application form.
  • If you don’t wish or cannot become a member of AGEDI but you need an ISRC Registrant Code, you can obtain one as Participant in the ISRC system. In this case, you must settle the relevant management costs (*).
  • There is a third way available for independent artists and small labels that consists in hiring the services of an Agent for ISRC, that shall deal with the assignment of full ISRC codes for your recordings.

If you wish to apply for an ISRC Code or need more information on the modalities with Agents for ISRC, please contact by email with our ISRC Department.

In all cases, the phonographic producer wishing to obtain an ISRC Registrant Code must apply to AGEDI and provide proof of being a legitimate producer through the relevant documentation.

(*) Current management costs to obtain an ISRC Registrant Code as Participant are set at 130€ (VAT not included).