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This section of the Knowledge Base, aimed at explaining how to implement and use the DDEX standards for Release Deliveries – typically sent from record companies to online retailers/digital service providers – to technical implementers as well as operational personnel.


Before starting an implementation, DDEX recommends to read Starting an Implementation and Licensing DDEX Standards.

Implementing Release Deliveries requires familiarity with three core concepts:

  • The Baseline XML standard


    The Electronic Release Notification Message Suite Standard (informally called the "Release Notification Message Standard", see URL) is one of several XML message formats published by DDEX. Release notifications are messages that record labels or aggregators send to distributors to inform them of new releases that are available for distribution, and the terms and conditions under which such releases can be made available.

    The Release Notification Message Standard addresses the problem of a record company or aggregator having to send its products to distribution partners in multiple formats. It can be used for everything from a single release with a single deal, to the communication of a sales campaign that includes price changes over the course of time. Its three main elements are Resources, Releases, and Deals. Resources are the primary assets such as audio or video tracks, and also secondary assets such as cover images and PDF booklets. Releases are the principal products that encompass the resources, and Deals are the descriptions that define how a Release may be used.


  • Profiles that narrow down the baseline standard for use in specific use cases


    The Release Notification Message Suite Standard is quite large to accommodate the numerous business models in use today within the digital music supply chain. In order to reduce the complexity for implementing organisations, DDEX has developed two complementary standards to assist with this process.

    The profile standard define subsets of the full standard for the most common types of Releases — thus making an implementation straightforward and comparatively simple — by differentiating different kinds of Releases (e.g. albums, singles, classical albums, ringtones, etc.). The means to communicate different types of Deals is part of the main Release Notification Message Suite Standard.

  • A choreography allowing sender and recipient to automate the exchange of information


    The Release Delivery Choreography Standards provide a rich set of capabilities developed by DDEX that allows small niche firms to large multinational companies to utilise the Release Notification Standard.

    The most basic specification — using FTP — is designed to be simple to implement, but has no additional functionality allowing customisation or visibility into the supply chain. At the other end of the scale, the more granular specification — using web services — allows considerable additional flexibility, much greater visibility and a more efficient supply chain.


    DDEX recommends using acknowledgements when using the FTP choreographies to support non-repudiation. Read more here.

The formal documents addressing these three aspects can be downloaded from the box on the right.

Release Notes

  • The main differences between ERN-3 and ERN-4 are explained here.  
  • Differences between ERN 4.1 and 4.2 are listed here.


This section of the DDEX Knowledge Base covers the following areas (note: some of these aspects pertain to ERN-3 and not the latest version):

Children Display


Download standard

Electronic Release Notification (Version 4.2)

Versions 4.1, 3.8.2, 3.7.1 and 3.4.1 (incl. Profiles and samples) can be accessed here.

Choreography Standards

A sample manifest can be found here. Versions 1.5 and 1.6 of the ERN Choreography can be accessed here.

Catalogue Transfers

ERN Conformance

To access older versions, please contact the DDEX Secretariat.

titleEssential Reading

MusicBiz and DDEX have created a "Starter Guide" for Release Notifications. You can download the guide here.

Terms used in the above standards

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    Current Data Dictionary
    Current Data Dictionary

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