We're here to help

    What constitutes "Explicit" in a song?


    If your track contains curse words, language, sounds or imagery that is sexual, violent or offensive in nature, it is considered explicit. Even one instance of an explicit word, sound or element in an image constitutes explicit material.

    Including explicit material in your song is your creative decision. It's good to note though, in the licensing world, explicit content can preclude you from certain opportunities e.g. a Dove soap campaign may want organic, optimistic music but if the song contains explicit language, it cannot be used.

    Buyers need to know upfront if your song contains explicit material. You may wish to consider including a clean or "radio-friendly" version to increase your chances of usage by:

    • recording the song without explicit material
    • bleeping out any explicit material
    • removing a section that contains explicit material

    In addition:

    • if a song is marked "explicit", the entire album will also be labeled "explicit" across your selected distribution platforms.
    • if your album, single or song title contains explicit language, you must mark that release "explicit".
    • if your artwork, image or logo contains explicit material, you must mark that release "explicit".
    • if your artwork contains the "Parental Advisory: Explicit Content" graphic, that release must be marked "explicit".   parental-advisory_custom-d61ea6192ebc478d3a7ff147dbbe3e884ebcb5ac-s800-c85.jpg
    • if a distribution service considers your track to contain explicit material and it has not been marked as such, your release could be removed.
    • certain outlets have the right and may censor any material they deem to be explicit. This censorship is not in our control and up to the outlet's discretion.


    How to mark a song as explicit in your catalog >

    How to mark your track as explicit for distribution >

    How to upload clean tracks and additional files >


    Was this article helpful?
    1 out of 1 found this helpful