ISAN (pronounced eye-san) is a global numbering system for AudioVisual content, a standard developed under the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). ISAN is a unique, permanent and universal identifier, designed by the industry to identify with a thin level of granularity, all kinds of audiovisual works with their related versions .
ISAN, as simple hexadecimal identifier, can be read by everyone and efficiently processed by digital systems worldwide. The ISAN number is registered by producers (or their representatives) and stored in the ISAN Registry with corresponding descriptive work metadata. Once registered, ISAN codes can be used freely by everyone.
ISAN is particularly helpful to automate digital transactions and workflows, but not only. Using ISAN to identify content facilitates all interactions between stakeholders, it prevents identification errors and speeds up process.
The use of ISAN by the industry improves greatly the search and discoverability of audiovisual content worldwide as well as the following of such content and their versions across countries, mediums and platforms.
Participating countries and regions have their own agencies to assign unique, permanent, and internationally recognised ISAN. All ISAN registration agencies are connected to the centralised ISAN Registry, this ensures that all ISAN identifiers are unique and resolvable by everyone.