Any new or materially changed recording must be provided with a new ISRC.

An ISRC is assigned to a sound recording or music video before it is released and remains the same for the lifetime of the recording.

Each distinct recording should be assigned its own unique ISRC.

An ISRC can be assigned retrospectively too. If a recording was released without an ISRC one should be allocated before it is re-released.

If a recording has been materially changed since its original ISRC was assigned, it will require a new ISRC.

A material change is where the musical content of the recording has changed, such as:

  • Different versions, for example having differences in playing time
  • Different mixes/edits
  • Creating a new surround mix from recorded stems
  • Restoration of a historical recordings that involves creative input

The general rule is that if the changes being made to the recording involve new artistic input then a new ISRC code is assigned to the resulting recording or version.

Different ISRCs can be assigned to different parts of a recording, particularly if these may be separately exploited.

Please refer to Annex A of the ISRC Handbook for full details of when a new ISRC may or may not be required

Different ISRCs can be assigned:

  • To individual movements of classical repertoire as well as the overall work.
  • To components of a recording, when they will be separately exploited, for example stem files, soloed parts, acapella parts or vocal supressed/instrumental versions of a recording.
  • To digitised audio files or clips for use as phone ring or alert sounds.