News March 10, 2016

IFPI & SoundExchange launch searchable database for world’s recordings

Former Editor
IFPI & SoundExchange launch searchable database for world’s recordings

Global trade body IFPI has partnered with the world’s biggest digital Collective Management Organisation SoundExchange to create a website that will make it easier to identify sound recordings. 

The ISRC Search Site is a new platform which will give recording artists, rights owners and music services access to nearly 20 million unique recordings. Meaning the industry will now have the largest database of identifiers of sound recordings at their fingertips.

The IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) already globally manages what is called the ISRC identification system, or the standardised International Standard Recording Code, which is unique to every single music recording or music video.

ISRC’s are necessary to track and account for each piece of recording. But now, each code will be publicly accessible and searchable, for free.

Rights holders, performers and music services can access the ISRC Search Site via ISRC official website or via SoundExchange here The aforementioned can search either by artist/track or by ISRC code to find various products that a given recording appears on. They can then download that data as a CSV file.

Alan Balchin, APRA AMCOS’ Head of Business and Systems Development, told TMN the society believes the service is a step in the right direction and a great tool for the industry-at-large.

“As APRA was one of the key supporters of the defunct (repertoire database) GRD we are always looking for initiatives which can improve the quality of data so that we can improve the service to our members,” said Balchin.


The ISRC Search Site was developed by SoundExchange. The Washington-based society collects royalties from the use of recordings under US law. It collects from more than 2,500 non-interactive Internet radio, satellite radio and cable radio services. Last year it increased its payments to rights holders by 4% from 2014, divvying out more than US$802 million.

IFPI’s Chief Executive, Frances Moore, said, “The ISRC Search Site will give a new level of accessibility to help musicians, performers, managers, music publishers, and many others understand where their music has been used whilst also facilitating more accurate reporting by users of digital music. With the quantity of data expected to grow as we move deeper into the digital age, this tool will be vital to ensuring better communication throughout the music ecosystem.”

SoundExchange President and CEO, Michael Huppe added: “We created this critical resource to improve our own efficient royalty processing, and we are delighted now to give the music community access to this data.

“This is part of our ongoing commitment to develop products and services that help the music industry move forward. We eliminate friction through better and more efficient technology solutions, so creators in the music community can focus on the music.”

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