Release country for digital media: What stores are international?

Some digital music stores restrict their services to certain countries. This may be regulated release-wise (iTunes will not sell certain releases outside of certain countries) or site-wise (Qobuz is only available in certain countries). This has the consequence that although a release is available online, it hasn’t been released [Worldwide]. For this reason, it is easiest to find one country where the release is available and use that as the release country, ignoring all other countries it may be available in.

What digital music stores are worldwide, and which aren’t?

I think it would be useful to compile a list of stores that don’t restrict their services, and possibly even make a wiki page. If a given release is available on such a store, it means it is available worldwide. I can only think of Bandcamp(?), but there should be more of them.

Restricted stores should also be listed to discourage editors from adding their releases as worldwide. For store with site-wide restrictions only, it would be useful to list the serviced countries so they can be added for every release. These stores may also restrict by release, so beware!

If you know any specifics about the restrictions of iTunes, Amazon, Qobuz, Klicktrack, Beatport or any other store, please post!


Here’s what I found for iTunes:


What is your proposal here?

Have multiple different country types [worldwide except north korea] [worldwide expect north Korea and Iran] etc?

Maybe [worldwide] should be “mostly” worldwide.

But soon all new releases will be digital and [worldwide] anyway …


Some people can set [worldwide] while people having confirmed a specific country will be welcome to add it to the list of release events (without removing the [worldwide]).

It reminds me of the “countryEurope (no release could possibly be Europe‐wide), which « should be considered an inferior piece of data, but acceptable until the proper release country can be determined. »
But in the end, Europe remains set together with the specific set of countries.


I hadn’t thought about this, but it seems reasonable to handle Europe and [Worldwide] this way. Of course, for unrestricted digital media releases, their release country should actually be [Worldwide]. Why did your style ticket regarding this get rejected?

I’m not proposing anything right now, but I anticipated these questions to arise. I think it would be useful to have some facts about the major stores as a basis of discussion before making any changes. If there were just one major store that didn’t restrict their services at all, this wouldn’t be a problem.

I’m inspired by scripts such as the iTunes import script setting the country of the local store as the release country, but if [Worldwide] and Europe should be considered placeholders they should probably set both the specific country and [Worldwide].


3 posts were split to a new topic: EU as release country/area

I usually add the rare SoundCloud releases as [worldwide] as well as releases from DatPiff, LiveMixtapes, etc.


Yeah, I like that extra touch. Scripts sprang to mind a couple of phrases in through your question/issue such as the one for BeatportPro which automatically sets it to [Worldwide].
We shouldn’t read into this so literally, I guess many people are aware of these lists and country-limitations anyways… and as @Rovastar said pretty soon Worldwide will be reached.

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I think [Worldwide] works for most cases of digital releases. Given the complexities of region locking for each web store, [Worldwide] should suffice in all but the most narrow cases.


After the discussion, I think I would go for this style too. Or alternatively, as @jesus2099 suggests, the placeholder approach, although I think it would generate a lot of useless data for digital media releases.

It would be nice to add a line about this somewhere in the guidelines, particularly so you have a good reason for userscript makers to change their scripts.

Along the lines of this older thread, I found this release group today:

It looks like someone put the same release date on 20+ countries (I didn’t count) for a digital release. That makes the overall page a bit harder to read. I was about to change it to [Worldwide] when I decided to check here instead. What format is preferable?

Do you think a release should be marked “Worldwide” when it doesn’t include the US, Canada, and Mexico? (I think no.)

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Regardless of them not selecting those countries, it’s digital media and I can access it via the link on the release. (I’m in the US). I’m not sure how that person came up with the list of countries, but it’s not all-inclusive.

I see you are the “them” I was talking about. Guess I should have looked at the editing history first. So, as the original poster, what was your intent of including some countries and not others? You listed Spotify as your source, but Spotify (and those recordings) are available in the US. So why not the US, Canada and Mexico?

HAIM are from the USA. It’s ridiculous to think a widespread release in all those other countries wouldn’t be available in North America.

Is the category “Country of Release” sensible/useful for digital releases?

I don’t know anywhere near enough.
But I can ask the question.

Making the page totally unreadable is enough reason to remove all those countries, but it’s also bad data.

It’s not ideal that this discussion should be split between topics, but see this (seemingly unrelated) topic for more discussion on this subject. See in particular my post below for my views. I’ll try not to repeat myself, but in short, [Worldwide] isn’t necessarily incorrect data and this release is an excellent example of why adding release countries like this is a bad idea.

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This isn’t supposed to be rocket science. was released by Columbia (a Sony Music label) in North America. It has the UPC 886443944930. was released by Polydor (a Universal Music label) elsewhere. It has the UPC 602537298372.

edit: the artist also has music released by Vertigo Berlin (another Universal Music label) in the countries not covered by Columbia and Polydor. etc.

You can’t merge these releases, and none are “worldwide”. It doesn’t matter what country the artist is from; we’re talking about release countries.


@August_Janse: I’m curious what you think the MB Release Countries should be on these 3 MB releases: