Wikipedia:Promotional singles

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A promotional recording is a vinyl, 8-track, cassette, CD, MP3, VHS, DVD, or Blu-ray Disc, that is generally distributed free in order to promote a commercial recording. However, not all promotional singles are distributed free of charge. The following conditions below make a song a single:

  • Serviced to US radio with an official radio add date;
  • Distributed and sold by the label as a CD single or 7" or 12" single;
  • Promoted as a single and listed as a single in several publications;
  • Digital release that is similar to the release of previous singles.

While there are countless exceptions, most singles meet the criteria above. Typically, if a song does not meet one of the above, it can be correctly dubbed a promotional single. However, there are some things that do not make a song a single:

  • A music video;
  • An "iTunes countdown" single release;
  • Being played on the radio.

While many singles do receive some or all of these, it does not verify that a song is a single.