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July 22, 2020 | Press Statements

RIAA Designates SoundExchange as Authoritative Source of ISRC Data in the United States

Washington, D.C. (July 22, 2020) – The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) today designated SoundExchange as the authoritative source of International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) data in the United States.

RIAA is making this designation to ensure a trusted and authoritative source of ISRC data for the U.S. marketplace, particularly as the implementation of the Music Modernization Act and the transition to streaming make accurate identification of sound recordings even more critical. This designation builds on a prior agreement by SoundExchange with IFPI to provide a publicly accessible ISRC lookup service.

ISRC is the internationally recognized identification tool for sound recordings and music videos implemented by IFPI. It serves as a fundamental component of data associated with recordings. ISRC is used throughout the music industry with applications across supply chains, reporting, music discovery, archiving and rights management. It is also a key data element used to link recordings to musical compositions and their identifier, International Standard Musical Work Code (ISWC).

“Due to SoundExchange’s extensive experience and widely respected reputation for efficiency and transparency, RIAA considers the ISRC codes and associated sound recording data held by SoundExchange as authoritative for commercial use in the U.S. marketplace. Moving forward, everyone should utilize this data. Industry wide use of these codes and associated data will contribute to the successful implementation of the MMA and to increased efficiency across the U.S. music industry more generally,” said David Hughes, head of technology and standards at RIAA.

“I am routinely asked how ISRC users can know whether a given code is correct. Designating SoundExchange as the authoritative source addresses this issue within the U.S. We hope it will lead to more efficient and cost-effective processes for data management and transmission,”said Paul Jessop, Executive Director of the U.S. National ISRC Agency.

“We welcome this important action that will bring greater certainty within the U.S. 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.” said Dr. Richard Gooch, Chief Technology Officer, IFPI and Executive Director of the International ISRC Registration Authority.

“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.”

Additional information about the designation for ISRC users is available at usisrc.org.

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The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is the trade organization that supports and promotes the creative and financial vitality of the major music companies. Its members comprise the most vibrant record industry in the world, investing in great artists to help them reach their potential and connect to their fans. Nearly 85% of all legitimate recorded music produced and sold in the United States is created, manufactured or distributed by RIAA members. 

SoundExchange provides royalty solutions for sound recordings and music publishing. The organization collects and distributes digital performance royalties on behalf of more than 200,000 recording artists’ and master rights owners’ accounts. Its technology solutions help turn massive amounts of data into accurate revenue for creators and include: Music Data Exchange (MDX), International Standard Recording Codes (ISRC) Search, and the Notice of Intention to Use (NOI) LOOKUP. To date, SoundExchange has paid out more than $7 billion in royalties.

IFPI is the organisation that promotes the interests of the international recording industry worldwide. Its membership comprises some 1,300 major and independent companies in almost 60 countries. It also has affiliated industry national groups in 56 countries. IFPI’s mission is to promote the value of recorded music, campaign for the rights of record producers and expand the commercial uses of recorded music in all markets where its members operate.