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 two 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.


Other services

ISAN offers various services such as matching services and API interfaces. Please contact us directly if you are interested.


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

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

An INDEV is a fully-fledged ISAN (see above) that is not published in the ISAN database until you activate it. Only the activation of an INDEV 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 INDEV for funding applications or for internal communication. As soon as you want to use the INDEV publicly, it is easy to activate it. An INDEV 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.


For series, the ISAN system offers an intelligent concept for numbering. With this, groups for series, seasons and the individual episodes can be put into a "numbered" relationship under a common series title. The so-called "series data record" contains a numbered master record which is supplemented by the individual episodes. In principle, when registering a series, a series data record can only be created together with one episode. The individual episodes will be charged in the same way as an ordinary ISAN.

For the purposes of the ISAN system, serial audiovisual works, groups and episodes are defined in a broad sense. Series are e.g. (television) series, whatever the genre, produced in episodes to be broadcast at intervals; weekly talk shows, regular news programmes, sports events, etc.

Serial works do not include, for example, sequels of a feature film (e.g. Rocky IV9, separate broadcasts of parts of a targeted audiovisual work, versions of individual audiovisual works or, for example, the broadcasting of annual events such as a New Year's Eve Special or the annual broadcast of the Oscars.

Registration steps for a new series

1. perform a preliminary search to check whether the series has not yet been registered
2. fill in and submit the application form for the series
3. if necessary, resolve potential duplicates in the duplicate check.
4. register a first group or episode for the issue of the ISAN for the series and the first group or episode

Registration steps for a new group

1. perform a search to find the row under which you will register your group
2. select the series and open a new group registration form
3. fill in the registration form and send it.
4. if necessary, resolve potential duplicates in the duplicate check.
5. the new ISAN will be created once you registered your first episode.

Registration steps for a new episode

Perform a search to select the series or group under which you will register your episode.
2. select the series or group and open a new episode registration form
3. fill in and send the registration form
4. dissolve any potential duplicates in the duplicate check, if necessary
5. the new ISAN has been created and is displayed

► Please note that an episode can be attached to one or more group(s) at any time. To do this, edit the episode data and select the group(s) to which the episode is to be attached.

► Note that an episode can be attached to one or more groups at any time. To do this, edit the episode data and select the group(s) to which the episode is to be attached.

► Note: A series is identified by a root ISAN, i.e. the first 16 digits shared by all ISANs assigned to the series (groups, episodes, versions). The assignment of a unique root ISAN is crucial. In order to avoid duplicates, the root ISAN for the series is only assigned after the series has been registered and the first group or episode has been registered.