In this article you can read about:

What is ISRC?

Before creating ISRC

This is how the different parts of the ISRC are structured

Tips for your own system

ISRC example of a release


What is ISRC?

ISRC is the recording identification number and stands for International Standard Recording Code. It can be compared to ISBN numbers on books or ISWC numbers on compositions. ISRC codes are an important tool in the industry, also internationally, not least for the recording to be identified by streaming services.

All recordings released in Norway must have an ISRC code.

Always send with ISRC when you distribute your recording or get others to do so . So when we get reports on what has been used, we can immediately identify the ISRC on the recording and see who is entitled to Gramo money.

The code consists of 12 characters:

  • The first seven characters are predetermined and must be registrant code and year.

  • The last five characters are optional.

Here is an example:

You can only get the registrant code from Gramo or others who are authorised to assign codes, it is NOT something you can invent yourself. You do not have to be a member of Gramo to be assigned a registrant code and ISRC.

Read more about label, record label and registrant code in this article.


Before creating ISRC 🤚

First find out if you are actually going to create a new ISRC, or use an existing one.

If one and the same recording gets several ISRC codes, it can easily be a chore when we are going to find out which recordings you should be paid for.

Do not create new ISRC ...

  • ... when the recording has been released before .
    Then it already has ISRC code, use it.

    One and the same recording can be included on many different releases, for example on compilation records or "best of" releases.
    To reissue a recording , use the existing ISRC code as in the original release .

  • ... if the recording changes or changes ownership.
    If the code and recording change owner, you must change this on My Account, so that any payments will be correct. Contact us if you need help with that.

Create new ISRC on only new recordings and versions .
For example:

  • concert recordings

  • cover versions

  • remixer

  • music videos

Clarify who will create the ISRC

If there is anyone else who publishes or distributes the music for you, it is they who have or should have the ISRC code. In that case, remember to consult with them before creating a new one and registering it in Gramo. If an ISRC already exists, use it.


This is how the different parts of the ISRC are structured

The first seven digits

The first seven digits are predetermined and consist of a registrant code and year.

NOXXX = Registrant Code

These five characters tell you which country it belongs to and which label or record label created the ISRC code on the recording. Read more about how to find or obtain a registrant code.

21 = Year

This should always be the year the song was released for the first time. If you master in 2021, but it will be published in 2022, you use 21 in years. In the example above, we see that this is a song that was released in 2021.

The last five digits

The last five digits of the code are at your disposal as the owner of the code, and you are free to create your own system.

Tips for your own system

Here's a tip on how to create an ISRC system for the last five digits , if you want to try to keep it tidy.

These are suggestions only. You are free to create your own system 🙂

Before creating ISRC - read this

04 = Number of release within a year.

In the example above, this is the fourth release in 2021.

03 = Number of song on the release.

If you release a single, you only have one recording on the release. This does not have to be the same numerical order as the order of the tracks on the release.

In the example above, this is the third song on the fourth release in 2021.

0 = Index number.

Is often used to indicate whether the recording is a remix or similar. An original version usually has 0 at the end, while remixes usually have 1, 2, 3 and so on, one number in the row for each new remix. This is how you ensure that each remix gets a unique ISRC code, while the numbers on the front are the same, and therefore say something about which song has been remixed.

In the example above, this is the original version of the third song on the fourth release in 2021.

ISRC example of a release

With your own registrant code , this becomes a full-fledged ISRC that you can use, if you want.

Traces of the release

Registrant code + Year

Own system

Track 1

NOXXX21

01010

Track 2

NOXXX21

01020

Track 3

NOXXX21

01030

Track 3

NOXXX21

01040

...

...

Track 10

NOXXX21

01100

Track 11

NOXXX21

01110

and so on ...

and so on ...

and so on ...


How to release music - read Brak's guide here

Any questions? Get in touch and we will help you 🙂

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