Adding covers uploaded to youtube as a standalone recordings or singles

Adding them as standalone recordings could also work but I think that due to the nature of the Artists and the recording themselves they count as a proper release. Even in the Youtube link for the videos it says it “premiered” on a given date, as opposed to normal uploads where it only has the upload date or “streamed live …”

Person who has been removing / requesting the removal of these releases here. A couple comments:

I attempted to find your edits for adding releases which are purely based on YouTube videos and couldn’t find any @Freso. Could you please provide an example of an edit you’ve done that is comparable to the releases added by @Totosaurio3279 ?

I would agree with this sentiment, as a recording that appears on an album could appear on YouTube or Soundcloud before an actual release, and the date for the URL would then be relevant. Additionally, if CAA-74 is developed, maybe video recordings would have their “Add cover art” renamed in appearance to “Add thumbnail”, as I think the two serve slightly different purposes.

I’d be interested to know if more people hold the belief that production value matters to the validity of something being a release. There are plenty of low effort releases which I would argue disprove this idea. The level of effort put into a recording does not in my opinion determine how qualified it is for a release, rather the context in which it (in the case of digital media) is uploaded/made available for consumption. Maybe I am biased as to what I believe is the nature of YouTube as a platform, especially after the introduction of YouTube Music, but when I think of a streaming release I believe it should be in the context of streaming music. An artist could upload the highest quality one-off music video production to Vimeo, and I would have a hard time believing it belongs as a release, even if the audio does not exist elsewhere.

I absolutely believe it belongs in the MusicBrainz database. I do not believe there is support for it being a release.

1 Like

It’s a relatively new shift in the music industry, but it’s common now for an artist to release a single via Soundcloud, Spotify, Youtube, etc. There’s been various discussions around disallowing these over time but it’s a losing battle as far as I’m concerned.

One of the artists in question seems to primarily release via Youtube:
It seems weird to say that they didn’t actually release any of those tracks? Their choice of platform shouldn’t disqualify them from the DB/letting people tag the music with things such as release date.

I do hope that the UI eventually has some nifty filters and display ordering so that everyone can see what they want, because I understand that some people want to avoid seeing some releases or formats. Nonetheless, these are ‘releases’ of music as far as I’m concerned.


We need a YouTube media type. “Digital Media” is a bit restrictive now. So many self released items on YouTube that are levels up from just a dumb MP4. Something better than “single” or “standalone recording”. Something more specific than “digital media”. They need a new category.


This is one of the main reasons I chose to add it as a release, I also think that it might be different than any other single released under the label but to me it’s still music released to the public in a specific date, a specific format and a specific platform. To me it’s just the artist releasing music outside the scope of a label.

I can understand, however, that these can be different from a single released with a proper catalog number, for example. That’s why I also suggested to change the release type to Other or leave it as unknown. This way the relevant data can still be added to the release without cluttering the single tab?

I also agree with @IvanDobsky in that Digital Media ended up being a catch-all term in these kind of situations.

To be clear, my main gripe here lies with YouTube, as seen with the releases in question. The reason I’m not debating Soundcloud or Spotify is because they are clearly music platforms with musical contexts for releases. YouTube is a video streaming service, and while music recordings reside there I see issue with calling any upload (especially a video upload and not some audio with a static image/standard cover art) a release. I would agree with what has been previously discussed in this thread that this should be on a case by case basis and related to the context of the artist. When I look at the artists in question, I see a standard for how they do releases, and this does not fit the context. I’m not saying these music videos don’t belong in the database, I’m saying they contextually are not releases by these artists.

Of course, we have [no label] for a reason. A release does not need a label to be a release, and it doesn’t need a label to be official, that’s not part of the point I’m trying to make.

I don’t care how you tag your music, I care about how that information is represented in the database. I support these music videos being in the database, but I fail to see how use of the release entry is justified. And while platform shouldn’t disqualify, I believe how they use the platform should. If an artist only ever uploads demos to their YouTube why would they all be individual releases as opposed to just standalone recordings? Why aren’t music videos for existing recordings considered new releases? The theme is, there is a way an artist uses any platform which plays into deciding what is a release and what isn’t.

As has been mentioned, we can probably all agree there needs to be a new adaptation for “video only”. While this isn’t VideoBrainz, it certainly has enough to do with music to warrant the handling of. To reference previous discussion, this seems like an appropriate solution:

which is similar to a comment @aerozol once made

To be very clear and state my position/understanding once more, I don’t think that releases are the right place for YouTube music video exclusive recordings, but I encourage those recordings to be added as standalone in the database so that they exist, and I encourage the development of a different way of handling them that might offer them more “weight”, as that seems to be a common feeling for why they belong next to other releases.


I don’t believe I ever stated I added them as releases? I think I’ve always added them as stand-alone recordings myself. I merely affirmed the validity of (music) YouTube videos being in MB at all.


Sure, can you please provide some evidence re. the artist not considering these releases?

Youtube may have been created for video but nonetheless some artists use it to release music/singles.

None of my points have been on the artist not considering them releases, as that is not something that could be proven. We can argue artist intention for however long you want, there will be no conclusion unless the artists themselves specify. The burden of proof from my perspective seems to be on proving they are releases by these artists, which similarly has no explicit answer.

So on that basis we have to work with implications and the context of the releases to justify these music videos as release entities. To be clear to anyone unfamiliar, we are talking about characters produced for hololive Production under cover corp., and who employees of cover corp. are acting as in the context of YouTube content production, most commonly streaming (tl;dr: company-produced VTubers). When I think about what should be considered a release by these artists, I think that as company-owned characters, the definition of release has a reliance on their company ties, and for that reason consider anything on label for certain a release. When we look at the example of a cover recording, done only in the context of a music video, and matching no other standard for what we know for sure is a release by these artists, I have a hard time seeing any justification for it being a release over being simply a standalone recording.

I understand that YouTube can be used by artists to release off-label. I am saying that the way these artists use YouTube as a platform, and the nature of their existence, and the comparison to what we know for sure is a release from these artists leads me to believe that these music video only recordings are not appropriate for the MusicBrainz database release entity.

I have addressed this:

I would urge anyone to change my mind by providing a justification for under what conditions these specific artists (i.e. hololive VTubers) could release music through YouTube only in music video format, and how the music videos in question meet these conditions.


I do not believe that any video that only exist on YouTube should be considered a release. If we do, than every recording would have it’s own release because just about every recording that exist now has a YouTube video. Standalone recording is good enough for those types. One suggestion though is when you are on a YouTube playlist or recording, replace the with and see what you get. Sometimes, it’ll bring up the YouTube Music release that exists. Than of course that YouTube release would be the same. You can also search on YouTube music by barcode to see if they correspond to the existing Spotify/Deezer releases. Please don’t add any YouTube Music that says playlist though. Look under the name, it’ll say Album, EP, Single or Playlist.


We should keep in mind that Google has been actively promoting Youtube as a music platform in recent months, especially with the discontinuation of Google Play Music (they attempted to “migrate” Play Music users to Youtube). There’s a “Youtube Music” thing out there that Google provides; I haven’t bothered to read its wikipedia to figure out exactly what it is or if/how it’s different from “regular” Youtube.


An interesting question to consider is:
Should musicbrainz consider publishing a music-video on youtube any more/less qualified as a “release” than publishing a single music-video on a one-track DVD and selling it?


It’s just as qualified.

And since YouTube practically functions as the only platform carrying music video premieres whether we like it or not (bar for Tidal or Vimeo on an insignificant scale), there’s absolutely no reason whatsoever not to treat official music videos published on official artist’s/label’s channels as releases. These are video singles through and through.


YouTube Music is a streaming service just like Apple Music, Spotify or Deezer. It’s not YouTube. Read my previous reply.

1 Like

The reason is that they are not releases. They are promotional videos. You can add them as standalone videos. Then you can link those videos to the recording they are promoting.


This definition of release means is a music video only release of the single Take on Me by a-ha, and deserves an entry in the existing release group. But if we take into account the context of how this artist group releases music I’m sure most people would agree this is not a release.

I believe all my points still stand. I would encourage anyone to address them.


My initial feeling is that I don’t agree at all, and I would tend to think of it as a release.

On further reflection, I think this is a question of whether that YouTube video meets the definition of a release, and I don’t really know what the (Musicbrainz) definition of a release is; I suspect there really isn’t one.

I also think if somebody wants to enter info in Musicbrainz about the video that’s “release”-y than that’s a good enough reason to call it release.
Examples of “release”-y-ness are (IMO):

  • having a “release date” attribute (I don’t see the point in updating the schema/server to have release-date as an attribute type for recordings )
  • the song was only published on Youtube, and you want to answer the question “was this song ever released?” with “Yes, on youtube”.

One other random thought:
It seems plausible/reasonable to create a recording entry for things that were never “released” per se:

  • A recording that was only used at events (concerts/listening parties) could be considered unreleased
  • A band may have unreleased recordings that haven’t been released but have had press coverage (there’s probably better examples, but something like “Chinese Democracy” circa 2005); they may be worth listing in Musicbrainz.

Okay, I’ve read your previous reply, and I’ve also read the Wikipedia link that I was too lazy to read earlier. It’s still not clear to me exactly what the difference is between Youtube ( and Youtube Music. The interface is different, but it’s not clear whether they’re just different interfaces to the same collection of recordings, or are they different (possibly overlapping) collections. Are there recordings that are accessible through Youtube Music that are not available through “regular” youtube (and aren’t just repackaged-for-youtube-music versions of a recording available on regular youtube)?

1 Like

I don’t see this as being fundamentally different than a promotional CD or DVD that is given out for free to promote a related album. Calling such a CD or DVD a “release” wouldn’t be controversial, would it? (can’t immediately find an example in musicbrainz unfortunately)


If it’s the official video (i.e. the a-ha video above), I don’t see a problem as I’ve added some from iTunes before. My worry with YouTube is that some might want to add all the videos that are just the cover art picture playing the music (which usually are from the labels) but are more like tracks than they are separate releases. If we are to consider letting promotional videos, they should have to be at least be verified that they are from the label or artist directly and should be actual videos, not just audio played over a static image. But I’d still mark them as promotional.