Music Industry ISNI Registrations Now Free and Automated

Sound Credit Team

Sound Credit music credit cloud profile system offers world's only free and automated ISNI registration service

MEMPHIS, TENN., OCTOBER 23, 2020 – Every creative work is unique, and every creator deserves credit. When it comes to music credits, the platforms that stream our music and count the royalties owed must identify the creators of albums, songs and other products with a number: the International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI). When a creator's ISNI number is shared between all platforms, accuracy is boosted and creators can more easily get paid. As digital music systems become more complex, they simply cannot coordinate information with names alone. Hence, support for ISNI in the music industry has grown exponentially since the numbering protocol was first established in 2010.

“For years, Sound Credit users would report that, after paying for an ISNI code, they sometimes had to wait months to actually receive it,” says Gebre Waddell, Sound Credit CEO. Sound Credit tackled the problem head-on by building an automated method for registering new ISNI codes into its already popular system for music credit registration. It's the only automated ISNI registration system of its kind, and it's free.

Sound Credit's free and automated ISNI registration system writes ISNI codes into a digital profile used for crediting music creators.

“It hasn’t been easy. We have had to make adjustments on our side, and the ISNI Assignment Agency team working at OCLC in the Netherlands has also made adjustments” says Waddell, adding that “what we see now is a more stable ISNI service overall.” And the ISNI system promises to become even more robust as Sound Credit now commences a dialogue with the British Library, sharing lessons learned while operating their services.

This cooperation and stability become more crucial as industry giants like YouTube, not to mention record labels, management organizations, movie studios, and libraries, adopt the ISNI standard.

“The adoption of ISNI in the music industry is an important contributor to its digital present and future” says Tim Devenport, Executive Director of ISNI. “The Sound Credit system offers a service that is fast and easy for the user, helping remove some of the barriers to a creator's contribution to a musical work being properly acknowledged.”

Sound Credit's ISNI registration system is part of its larger system for music crediting, using Sound Credit's new massive cloud profile feature. Once music creators and engineers set up a free profile, they can be instantly credited simply by entering an email address, swiping a card at a kiosk, or selecting their profile in an app. Any credited profile in Sound Credit will automatically attribute their ISNI code to every project involving that creator, along with other identifier codes such as the IPI/CAE or IPN that users can optionally enter. As the credits flow anywhere the creative work is used, the codes follow suit, and a host of painful and costly problems that the industry has faced for decades simply disappear.

“Back in the 90s I was telling my friends that eventually you would just be able to swipe a card at studios to get your unique number into the paperwork, and they thought I was crazy” says Paul Jessop, an industry identifiers consultant who help to develop the ISNI standard and has since been working on its adoption alongside recording identifier ISRC (where he runs the US registration agency) and song identifier ISWC. “This initiative from Sound Credit will give a further boost to having creators credited and paid”.

Printable ISNI certificate generated by Sound Credit after successful registration.

Indeed, the ISNI system dovetails with Sound Credit's larger mission of archiving credits for all creators who make a musical work possible, from artists to engineers. The platform has issued over 500,000 license codes, but Sound Credit's developers won't be satisfied until it's universal.

While liner notes once contained a host of names associated with a musical artwork, even those could be riddled with errors. Now, with Sound Credit operating on a global level, updates and widespread usage keep the system more dependable and accurate than any album sleeve. And Waddell is hopeful that music producers act now: “When studios are back in full swing, this will become more important than ever, especially if live shows are more rare. Sound Credit not only helps creators receive their royalties, it helps every listener get to know how music is made and who makes it.” Creators who want to ready themselves for an upsurge in music production and recognition now can get on board by visiting Their Sound Credit profile and free ISNI identifier can be created in less than a minute.


Sound Credit is a Memphis-based corporation that develops breakthrough technology for the music industry. The company is dedicated to revolutionizing credits and other factors in the supply chain of sound recordings, from the studio through to the listener. Sound Credit boasts users in over 50 countries and is recognized throughout the music industry.


ISNI (the International Standard Name Identifier) is an ISO standard in use around the world to uniquely identify individuals and organizations involved in creative activities. Already widely adopted in the library and publishing sectors, ISNI uptake is rapidly increasing in the music industry, where it can be used to identify not only composers and performers but also other public personas such as stage names, pseudonyms, music publishers and record labels. ISNI is a collaborative and nonprofit organization, with over 60 Members and Registration Agencies gate-keeping and curating the data they contribute.

The original post of this content was on the ISNI website:

Updated Oct 24, 2020