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Link Digital release policy update / 2020-10-26 14:56

Over the past few months, the staff has had another look at the site's policy in regard to what constitutes a valid digital release (specifically one needed for a band to be acceptable), attempting to further minimize the arguable special treatment of physical releases relative to digital ones. Some of you may already have noticed that certain requirements have seen some loosening again considering newly approved bands, in particular when it comes to digital singles and production quality in general. We would now like to make certain things explicitly clear in this news post, highlighting two major changes.

1) Streaming-only releases are now valid, if and only if they are available through an officially sanctioned reputable distributor. This most prominently includes Spotify, but also other big outlets such as Apple Music, Amazon Music, Tidal and Deezer. The list is not exhaustive and subject to expansion over time as we see fit. Youtube/Youtube Music is NOT acceptable, unless of course a download link is included in the video description. Additionally, streaming-only releases on music-promotional sites that normally/potentially do come with a download option are also not acceptable, i.e. SoundCloud, Bandcamp, ReverbNation, VKontakte, etc. Of course, downloadable releases from such sites are still valid; nothing has changed in that regard, but when it comes to streams, we want to stick to the more prominent, dedicated sites for now.

2) We have decided to become more inclusive concerning bands with only digital singles, as opposed to the previous, restrictive approach where only exceptional and multiple single releases would qualify for a select few cases. The basic requirements and guidelines are as follows:

  • Ideally there should be multiple singles, although in the case of only one, moderator discretion can come into play considering things such as length, genre context and other factors.
  • Unique cover art is still essentially a must. Other considerations can provide some leeway here, such as the number of singles and general presentation.
  • Advance singles/teasers/promos for upcoming albums are not acceptable, and neither are a bunch of random song downloads on a band's website. Please be sensible in distinguishing these from actual autonomous single releases (again, unique cover art goes a long way towards making a case for an acceptable single, but it also depends on the way something is presented and promoted by the artist).

Updated sections for the rules covering these issues and more are in the works. Thank you.

-Azmodes