About the ISWC Database


The ISWC (International Standard Work Code – ISO 15707:2001) was designed as a system of assigning a globally unique identifier code to musical works for the benefit of the key value chain participants: composers, authors, publishers, broadcasters, tracking services and members of CISAC.

ISWC enables the standardization of data and promotes the use of standard codes to make the administration of rights, usage identification and distribution of royalties more efficient on a worldwide basis.

The ISWC identifies musical works by reference to the title of a work and its creators (including composers, authors, and arrangers). It does not however serve to identify instances of use of the work in manifestations, such as publications, recordings or broadcasts). Other codes exist for such purposes: the International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) for sound recordings; the International Standard Code for Text (ISTC) or any other type of performance associated with the musical work.

New ISWC Database

The new ISWC Database is launching in mid 2020 bringing new capabilities and integration mechanisms. This portal is intended to provide all relevant information needed for a Society or Publisher to integrate with the ISWC database.

Key improvements in the new ISWC Database include:

  • Modern REST based APIs for Societies/Agencies and Publishers
  • Modern JSON based data exchange formats
  • New public ISWC and Agency portals
  • Support for disambiguating different works that have the same metadata so that distinct ISWCs can be assigned
  • Support for advanced transactions such as merge, demerge and metadata correction approval workflows etc.

Whats Next

Explore the different integration options for Societies and Publishers shown on the home page of this site.

Check out the REST API Documentation that describes how to use the REST based APIs and includes code samples in multiple languages. The API Console allows you to directly interact with the API right here in the developer portal.