SoundExchange has been designated by the Recording Industry Association of America as the authoritative source for International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) data in the United States. Since 2016, SoundExchange has operated an online tool for looking up ISRCs — the global standard for identifying sound recordings, and the RIAA cited the firm’s work for endorsing it as the industry standard.
“Accurate and accessible data is vital to a healthy music industry, and serving as the authoritative source of ISRC data advances SoundExchange’s mission to ensure that music creators are paid accurately and efficiently,” said Michael Huppe, president & CEO, SoundExchange. “When we eliminate friction through better and more efficient technology solutions such as access to ISRC data, creators in the music community can focus on the music.”
David Hughes, the RIAA’s head of technology and standards, said that “everyone should utilize [SoundExchange’s] data,” and that “industry wide use of these codes and associated data will contribute to the successful implementation of the [Music Modernization Act] and to increased efficiency across the U.S. music industry more generally.”
Countries have their own ISRC agency that assigns the unique 12-digit codes, comprised of a two-letter country code, a three-character code for the registrant, two numbers for the year, and five assigned by the registrant. For example, the ISRC for Juice Wrld’s “Wishing Well,” which just debuted at No. 5 on the Hot 100, is USUG12001905, or US(country)UG1(registrant)20(year)01905(designation). The RIAA oversees the ISRC system in the US and its territories, while the IFPI oversees the data globally.
ISRC is used throughout the music industry to maintain efficiency across supply chains, reporting, music discovery, archiving and rights management. It’s also a key data element used to link recordings to musical compositions and their identifier, International Standard Musical Work Code (ISWC).
“We welcome this important action that will bring greater certainty within the U.S.,” said Dr. Richard Gooch, CTO, IFPI and executive director of the International ISRC Registration Authority. “The long-term work of SoundExchange to assemble comprehensive, accurate data about the recordings used in the U.S. market has vastly benefited every corner of the industry. We encourage rights holders globally to continue cooperating with SoundExchange on assembling an increasingly comprehensive body of ISRC data, and we are thrilled that RIAA has designated SoundExchange as the authoritative source of this data for recordings used in the U.S.”