Understanding UPC (Universal Product Code) and ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) is critical for any artist looking to scale their work and track sales across platforms. This FAQ will walk you through the what, why, and how of these essential identifiers.
What are UPC and ISRC Codes?
UPC Code: This is a globally standardized identifier that allows albums to be sold, reordered, and tracked through supply chains.
ISRC Code: These codes serve as internationally accepted identifiers for individual sound and music video recordings.
Why Are These Codes Important?
Sales Tracking: These codes are indispensable for organization and security in music sales reporting. They help track your music across different platforms.
Chart Eligibility: SoundScan requires these codes for reporting to the Billboard Charts.
Security: These identifiers assist in flagging and preventing fraudulent uploads and releases of your music.
When Do You Need These Codes?
If you're planning on uploading your music to Single, iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, or any other Digital Service Provider (DSP), you will need to secure a UPC for your album and an ISRC for each track. They are also necessary when reporting music sales to the charts.
How to Obtain UPC and ISRC Codes
While Single doesn't offer UPC and ISRC registration, there are multiple avenues to obtain these:
Through a Distributor: If you're already using a distributor, simply ask them for the UPC and ISRC codes. They should be able to provide these as part of their service.
Purchase Independently: If you don't have a distributor, you can directly purchase UPC codes here.
Things to note
- You only need to input these codes if you want your music to be eligible for chart reporting. If you're only selling beats, stems, or other types of non-eligible content, these codes aren't necessary.
- If you need to Register your UPC with Luminate Data (formerly MRC/SoundScan)? You can do so HERE.