An ISAN distinguishes between audiovisual works regardless of language version, distribution title and other national or regional adaptations. A work provided with an ISAN can be identified anytime and anywhere.

ISANs thus serve the needs of filmmakers, rights holders, users, distributors and consumers. The ISAN makes it possible, for example, to trace the exploitation of films and is an effective means of combating piracy. Automated data exchange via ISAN identifiers simplifies the settlement of copyright compensation and facilitates the activities of film funding institutions.

The prerequisite for creating an ISAN is the creation of a customer account. Only then the audiovisual work can be registered and an ISAN can be created. Proceed as follows:

  1. Click on Online Registration and fill in the web form.
  2. Click on "SEND" and send it back to us.
  3. Your customer account will be created within five working days. If it takes longer, please contact us.
  4. You will receive your access data to your customer account by e-mail.
  5. Go to the ISAN Switzerland homepage and click on "Login" or click on the link to login in the e-mail with your access data.
  6. Log in with your user name and password.
  7. You can obtain further instructions directly in your customer account.



Your film is almost finished? Post-production almost finished, only the credits are missing? There is no longer any doubt that your work will reach the market. Now is the right time for an ISAN. An ISAN costs CHF 30 per number. For quantity discounts, please contact us.

In addition to two control digits, an ISAN consists of 24 hexadecimal digits divided into different segments and makes it possible to distinguish one work from another.

ISAN Project

You have the script, but the production team is not yet complete. And the financing is not yet signed and sealed. In this case, an ISAN Project is the right choice for you.

An ISAN Project is a fully-fledged ISAN (see above) that is not published in the ISAN database until you activate it. Only the activation of an ISAN Project leads to a publication in the ISAN database and can be made accessible to a worldwide search for your work. However, you can already use the ISAN Project for funding applications or for internal communication. As soon as you want to use the ISAN Project publicly, it is easy to activate it. An ISAN Project costs CHF 30 per number. For quantity discounts, please contact us.



You want an ISAN for a language version of your work or an edited version of your episode for a social media platform of your work? Choose a V-ISAN so that the link to the main work remains in the original language.

An ISAN identifies an audiovisual work, whatever its medium, language version, distribution method, etc. However, it is possible to identify versions of an audiovisual work and related content with a V-ISAN and link them to the ISAN of the main work: For this purpose, an additional identification system (the "V-ISAN") has been developed and standardised with ISO standard 15706-2:2007.

If an ISAN is assigned to a work, a V-ISAN can be created for each version of the work. All versions belonging to the work (TV film, abstracts, language versions, DVDs, colour version of an original black-and-white original, trailer, making-of, etc.) can thus receive their own identification and thus benefit from the unique ISO ID. The first 17 digits of the ISAN correspond to those of the corresponding V-ISAN. In this way, the number shows that the works belong together.

ISAN for episodes, series and seasons

A series is identified by a root ISAN. The root consists of the first 16 digits common to all ISANs assigned to the series (season, episodes, versions). An ISAN for a series must therefore always be created with the data for the first episode or the data for the first season.

Within the ISAN system, serial audiovisual works, seasons and episodes are defined in the broadest possible sense. Series are, for example, (television) series of all genres that are produced in episodes to be broadcast at regular intervals; they also include weekly talk shows, regular news programmes, sports events, etc.

Follow the steps below when registering a series or recording the first episode or season (group) in the ISAN Registry:

1. Perform a preliminary search to check whether the series has not yet been registered.

2. In the 2nd step of the work registration, select "A new series" or, if applicable, "A new episode or season (e.g. Season) of an existing series". 

Note: As mentioned before, please note that an ISAN for a series can only be created together with the registration of the first episode or season.

3. Fill in and submit the online first episode or season (group) form.

4. The ISAN for your series or first episode or season will be created immediately and automatically and will be available on your dashboard under "View more".