Parental advice labels

The ERN standard enables the communication of parental advice labels for releases and resources. These are communicated in the ParentalWarningType tag which can carry the following allowed values: Explicit, ExplicitContentEdited, NotExplicit, Unknown and UserDefined. An additional value, NoAdviceAvailable, which was contained in older versions of the ERN standard has been deprecated.

These values provide guidance to consumers as to the content. For example, the value Explicit may signal that the resources or releases assigned that value contain strong language or depictions of violence, sex or substance abuse. The values in the ParentalWarningType tag are not intended to be used by the receiving DSP to determine whether to make available the relevant releases or resources to a specific audience.

What is deemed to be explicit varies between countries, cultures and even individual people. This therefore has an impact on how the values in the ParentalWarningType tag are interpreted. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), has developed a widely used Parental Advice Labels standard (see ). RIAA’s PAL defines three states:

  1. Two of these are used to denote that the actual music as either “explicit” or “edited”; and

  1. The third is used to denote that no criterion is being assigned to the music.

These three states can be represented in ERN 4.3 (and older ERN versions) by the using Explicit and ExplicitContentEdited in the first two cases and Unknown in the third.