Legitimacy of Youtube as a source for releases

I’ve been voting on some of the recent edits, and noticed that @Senax has been removing releases due to them only being linked to Youtube videos. Normally I’d chalk this up to a new user not being familiar with our definition of “release”, but I trust @Senax and if they don’t consider that to be valid, I’m a bit less confident. (Admittedly, the second release is a less-than-perfect example since I was able to pull up more significant links elsewhere, but the first still holds.)

I get that a song uploaded to Youtube may often be better represented as a single recording rather than a release on its own, but is it really discouraged to the point of deleting releases? A quick search for “We Dominade the Club” seems to suggest that it’s only available on a couple video streaming sites, and those videos have fully-developed “cover art”. In my mind, this is not only a recording but a (non-purchasable) single, but am I wrong about that? And if I’m not, at what point would it stop being a release?


My standard for Youtube videos is to add a standalone recording, but that’s mostly because I don’t expect most artists to consider their stuff uploaded to Youtube as something that should appear as a single in their discography. That said, I’d love to have a “Videos” tab on artist pages where you can see their, er, “videography”.

There might very well be some cases though where an artist does consider a Youtube only release a release. For example, I added the first 5 tracks of this as a release, because the titles and “cover art” are made in such a way that it’s clear the artist intended it to be a mixtape of sorts. As far as I can tell, the artist’s Youtube channel is the only place this is available from (directly from the artist, at least).

In the case of this track you linked, given the “semantics” of that video, so to say, it sounds reasonable to me to keep it as a release (although it should be credited to Zayd & Corrigan, not just Zayd, as per the cover).

As an aside: this isn’t really a video other than in the most technical meaning, it’s a static image with audio, so I wouldn’t link it with “stream video for free” but just “stream for free”. To me at least, “stream video for free” suggests there’s something to watch at that link’s destination :slight_smile:


I maybe lean a bit too far in the direction of accepting Youtube singles since a good number of artists that I focus on do use Youtube as their primary distribution, even if they have Bandcamp downloads set up as well. I do see what you’re getting at, though, and that’s pretty much the same distinction I’d make on whether to create a new release out of a video. I just wanted to be sure that I’m not going to be creating entities that don’t have any reason to be created.

And I was wondering about the video attribute on stream links. I have been using it as you do, but that link got me thinking it might be dependent on the format rather than the experience. Glad to know I haven’t been missing checking that box this entire time!

If we’re accepting Spotify links (which I’ve been seeing a lot of), then we should accept artist uploaded youtube tracks.
This is one of the changes we might have to face if we want to stay relevant/useful as a music database in the future IMO

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I think the question isn’t as much “do we accept adding these songs” (I mean, of course we do, it’s published music). Rather, it is “are these singles, no-type releases, or just standalone recordings”.


In general they should be non-album tracks.

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[quote=“reosarevok, post:5, topic:257215”]
of course we do, it’s published music[/quote]

A track that doesn’t show up on an artists page and has no packaging, links, cover art or release date doesn’t sound very “published” to me.

I don’t really add this stuff though - but I’m guessing that the people who want this stuff kept out of the discography are fans of more ‘traditional’ releases as well. Correct me if I’m wrong :slight_smile:

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Yeah, that’s why I prefer adding YouTube-primary music as singles if it makes any sense to. If a song is just being uploaded to promote a (more) traditional album, then sure it might be a standalone recording instead, but many artists I’m familiar with have channels that look like this one. Even if the videos didn’t have the specially-edited covers, that looks to me like someone who releases their “discography” as singles that just happen to be distributed through YouTube. Admittedly the brony music community does tend to be toward the upper end on “release video packaging quality”, but it’s certainly not alone in that setup.

I might be a bit more generous to standalone recordings if (when, hopefully?) they’re a bit more visible, but as it is, promotional and even bootleg releases are more obvious than standalone recordings – not to mention @aerozol’s list of everything they’d be missing.

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I haven’t yet gotten into adding YouTube-released recordings, but another scenario this topic is familiar to me with is SoundCloud. Similar to YouTube, tracks uploaded there typically have their own cover art and are often found nowhere else. Even Bandcamp has single-track releases in a similar style.