What's A Sound Recording?

A recording comprises actual sounds capable of playback. Performers and producers typically own sound recordings because they author what we physically hear. Engineers can also play a part in this process. The author of a sound recording is not necessarily the author of the underlying musical work (composition).

For example, say Childish Gambino records the vocals to a song. This action makes him, at least, a co-owner of the sound recording, but not of the composition. However, if he wrote the lyrics and melody, he also deserves writing credit. To learn more about compositions vs. sound recordings, visit our blog—click here.

What Are ISRCs? Where Do I Get One? Do I Need One??

"ISRC" stands for International Standard Recording Code. ISRCs create a global system that helps identify sound recordings.

If you have digital distribution, you already have an ISRC. However, if you are struggling to find your ISRCs, you can likely obtain them by contacting your distributor. Stem can assign ISRCs to any track distributed through our system.

SoundScan tracks ISRCs for potential Billboard charting. Additionally, the RIAA monitors ISRCs when calculating album equivalents.