Digital only name variation of labels - should they be merged?

HI again. I recently came across some releases where the digital store name of the label is slightly different. I’m wondering if these name variations should be considered the same entity and how to deal with it. let’s remember that according to MBs definition a label is merely an imprint on a physical cover. regarding digital stores the wiki states

Online stores/databases inconsistently use the distributor/manufacturer/label/imprint name, abbreviates names, duplicates entries, and so on. Proceed with caution and use your best judgement when using other sources as references.

let’s have a look at an example:

I tried to find some more information about the lower label (and what RED refers to) but couldn’t find anything but other database entries and digital store pages. another example would be:

okay, so maybe ACT Music is indeed a different label (as a side note: what does label even mean anymore in this digital context) but then we have this release here.

ignore for a moment the label entry (I changed it prior to this discussion.) the digital store sites for this release all list “ACT Music” as the label. yet on the digital cover and the provided digital booklet the imprint is actually “ACT”. this makes me think, that the digital label name is just a variation and not its own entity.

another example release group regarding the “Southern Lord” label:

right now I would say we should merge these labels and not allow splitting labels by online only name variations. the problem I see with this though is the usage of import scripts or online tools like atisket which extract the (supposed) wrong label information automatically from digital stores. the user then might be temped to add the variation name again as its own label. we could add some information regarding this to the disambiguation field of the actual label to hopefully avoid this.

looking forward to your inputs on this.

maybe in this case we could use the aliase feature? even though the documentation states

Labels that change names, or different imprints by the same company (for example, Sony Music Entertainment and Sony Classical), should be entered as separate labels.

another label with this “issue” I just noticed

on digital sites the label listed is in general “Blue Note Records”. there are no releases listed however under this label in the MB database. and the disambiguation field makes it clear not to use it as a label entry for releases.

It’s a distibutor:

Netlabels come to mind.


Correcting digital releases’ label from manufacturers/distributors to real imprints is not uncommon in MusicBrainz. Obviously you need some evidence before doing so, but you can apply the same pattern across the same manufacturer.

One example where it’s obvious the release label should be a real imprint rather than the manufacturer credited in the stores.


Also no idea…

For the ACT example, I would say merge. It’s clearly the same thing. Look at the links.

Blue Note Records is supposed to be the company and doesn’t contain any releases at all.

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This was already answered above: Digital only name variation of labels - should they be merged? - #2 by chaban


Read and understood :wink: … thanks

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regarding Blue Note Records, I noticed this as well. I guess the disambiguation field makes it clear not to use it as a music label entry for releases. even though the name is used by digital store sites.

regarding ACT and Southern Lord - still wondering what is the correct way to do it. If we merge the labels like in my initial post I would fear that users might add the wrongly named label again due to automated import scripts or web services like atisket. we could keep the “wrongly” named label and add an disambiguation description like with Blue Note Records. or we could add the digital only name variations as aliases to the correct label names so that they show up when searching for them.

We could add a disambiguation: “use also for ACT Music” or “for all ACT and ACT Music releases” (Southern Lord respectively)
An alias (RED) Southern Lord can be added. (ACT Music already is an alias)
But I’m not confident that this will help…

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corresponding edits

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