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What is an ISNI?

3 min read

The ISNI uniquely identifies persons, organizations and companies involved in creative activities.

An ISNI can link to other key identifiers and additional information.

What is an ISNI?

ISNI stands for International Standard Name Identifier. It is an . Like an or , an ISNI can be a reliable way to uniquely identify individuals and organizations. But there is a difference.

and are used purely for contributors or in specific creative industries, such as music, whereas an ISNI can be used across many additional industries and roles, including literary and scientific writers, visual artists, inventors, and film producers.

ISNIs can be used to help and other organizations uniquely and unambiguously identify and the different they may have, such as stage names and pseudonyms. It can also identify other rights-holding entities, such as and . This unique number is useful to CMOs that do not have access to IPIs, as well as large music users, including , in making sure rights holders of musical works and sound recordings get paid accurately.

Visit the ISNI website to learn more.

ISNI is a public identification number that can link information about the other four key identifiers for music creators:

By combining information from all four of these identifiers, the ISNI can help track all your contributions to both a musical work as a songwriter and as a performer and owner of the sound recording.

Who is an ISNI for?

Any creator or rights holder, may get an ISNI, including , , , music publishers, and record labels. It is possible to have more than one. If, for example, you compose musical works under your legal name and perform under a stage name, you could register for two separate ISNIs, one for your legal name and one for your stage name.

How do you get an ISNI?

You can get an ISNI from an approved ISNI Agency. For more information, head to the ISNI website.

Why is an ISNI important?

The ISNI is how your public personas can be uniquely identified. An ISNI can help identify you and track the uses of your musical work or sound recording, so that you get and paid.

Image credit: Martin Fabricius Rasmussen