Join Evan Sutton for an in-depth discussion in this video Registering for and implementing ISRC codes, part of Digital Release and Promotion Strategies for Musicians.
- Another thing you need to think about, especially if you're self-mastering, is ISRC codes. ISRC stands for International Standard Recording Code and it's basically like a watermark on all of your audio files that will help you to collect royalties if it's played in certain places around the world, forevermore. You need to embed ISRC codes if you're releasing through certain online outlets such as iTunes, and many online aggregators will deal with that for you and we'll talk about that in a moment, but if you're doing things yourself and just throwing something up on Band Camp, it's still a great idea to embed ISRC codes.
If you need to make your own codes and your online aggregator isn't doing it for you, then go ahead and check out USISRC.org. Basically, the way it works is you have to apply using their application process, and the way it works is you basically need to be registered with BMI or ASCAP and then you get your code and then once you have your code, and you're all approved and ready to go, you can actually generate your own ISRC codes on a per-release basis. So, the code is generally made up of the country code, your personal ISRC code and then you add on there the track number, and there's a very specific way to set all of those up, but they have all of these resources on the web page.
Remember USISRC.org is the official one. There are other services out there that will help you to generate codes on a per-code basis for certain amounts of money. Those are fine to use, they're pretty quick, they're easy but also keep in mind that your online aggregator, meaning the service you go through to get your music onto iTunes or onto the online services of your choice, may very likely help you with the ISRC codes and so I just want to mention that and make sure that you know that you can actually do them yourself and they have everything you need here, from how to register, how to create the codes, all the way up through how to encode the codes into your audio files.
Again, this is really important with digital releases because it's like a watermark. It stays in that file no matter where it goes and so it'll help you to collect royalties. Maybe something happens with your track one day, you got the ISRC code in there, the money will find you. It's great.
He then discusses email-marketing strategies for capturing contact information, scheduling emails, and working with email marketing platforms like MailChimp. He wraps up the course talking about maintaining momentum with an audience, including consistency in promotion, audience interaction, horizontal networking, and hiring third parties to assist in the project.
- Readying your finished tracks for mastering
- Self-mastering vs. working with a mastering engineer
- Choosing an online aggregator
- Setting a release date
- Targeting blogs that fit your brand
- Writing a press release
- Using social media
- Sending promotional emails
- Maintaining a connection with your audience