Clarifying 'promotional' status

This comes up a lot, particularly in the metal scene, where it’s standard for bands to put out a lot of ‘demo’ tapes or releases.

These match up with the ‘demo’ type, but not really ‘promotional’ status: They are publicly available, usually for purchase (or back in the day, tape trade), and considered to be a part of the bands discography (shouldn’t be hidden from the artist page).

The description in the docs is pretty good: Release - MusicBrainz
Particularly this part seems to exclude metal demos etc:
“A give-away release or a release intended to promote an upcoming official release”

But it’s come up often enough that I wonder if we could add a line like:
A give-away release or a release intended to promote an upcoming official release (e.g. pre-release versions, releases included with a magazine, versions supplied to radio DJs for air-play). Usually not appropriate for publicly available stand-alone ‘demo’ releases.

Just checking if everyone’s on the same page re. how to use ‘promo’, and if anyone has any input finessing the text there. @reosarevok!

Related edit discussion with @IAmTheBlackMetal: Edit #84254853 - MusicBrainz


I agree with you. An early release is an official release, not a promo. It is the band giving it out officially to people. I often see them badged as demos as it is the band saying “this is what we sound like, now sign us”.

A promo covers so many other unofficial categories. Not just the radio stations, but cover CDs on magazine, five track sample discs, and lots of less official areas.

I have early releases from bands I have added and marked as “demo” as they need to be in the discography. They are an important part of history.

Yes, it is technically a “Promotional Demo”, but should be given the Official Demo status first. You could argue that ANY release is Promoting an artist if you push language hard enough.