Preparing to upload DDEX files

The features described in this article are available only to partners who use YouTube's Content Manager to manage their copyrighted content.

To configure your account for DDEX uploads:

  1. Set up your account.

    Before YouTube can accept DDEX files from you, your partner representative needs to configure your account to accept DDEX files.

    You need to provide your partner representative with your DDEX Party ID. If you don’t have a DDEX Party ID, you can apply for one at

    If you don’t already upload batches of content to YouTube, you’ll need to contact your partner representative to set up an SFTP or Aspera dropbox for you.

    We recommend using a separate dropbox for DDEX ingestion apart from the one you may use for ContentID.

  2. Validate and upload test batches.

    To submit a test upload batch, set the <MessageControlType> in the message header to TestMessage and copy the DDEX file to your dropbox. See Uploading content for details. When you’ve uploaded all of the files for the test, create a file whose name starts with the string “BatchComplete”, followed by any other characters and the file extension .xml. The presence of this file tells YouTube that the batch is ready.

    YouTube does not upload test messages, but only validates them. You don’t need to include the media files when you upload a TestMessage for validation.

    Submit test batches for all cases that your service supports:

    Full new album

    A full product delivery of a album release including the DDEX file, audio files, art files, and deal terms.

    • Set <ReleaseType> to "Album".
    • <ReleaseResourceReferenceList> should reference all of the delivered audio and album art resources.
    Full new single

    A full product delivery of a single release including the DDEX file, audio files, art files, and deal terms.

    • Set <ReleaseType> to "Single".
    Full new multi-disc release

    A full product delivery of a multi-disc release including the DDEX file, audio files, art files, and deal terms.

    • Set <ReleaseType> to "Album".
    • The main release should contain multiple <ResourceGroup>s, each with a <SequenceNumber>, corresponding to the multiple discs.
    Full update

    A full update, with new audio or image files as well as the updated DDEX file.

    • Update both the message ID and timestamp.
    • Provide additional metadata updates as necessary.
    Update track metadata

    A metadata only update, with the media files not included and not referenced in the DDEX file.

    YouTube supports only complete metadata updates. You must include all track metadata, including values that haven’t changed.
    • Delete the <TechnicalSoundRecordingDetails> and <TechnicalImageDetails> section for each resource, since the files are not included.
      A common mistake is to remove the entire <Image> block rather than just the <TechnicalImageDetails> section within, and removing all references to it. This has the incorrect effect of removing the album art from the album entirely.
    Separate deal terms

    Two-phased delivery of a release. The first delivery includes the DDEX file, audio files, and art files, without the deal terms. The second delivery provides the deal terms.

    • The first delivery includes the media files; the second delivery does not.
    Add a new track to an album

    Send an update which contains the new track data and which adds the track to the appropriate <Release>.

    • Add new <SoundRecording>, <Release>, and <ReleaseDeal> composites for the new track.
    • Add the track to the main album <Release>, both under <ReleaseResourceReferenceList> and in the <ResourceGroup> defining the track sequence on the album.
    • Redeliver all of the tracks, not just the new track.

    When the test messages validate without errors, change their <MessageControlType> to LiveMessage, upload the associated media files, and repeat the upload process.

  3. Review the test batches.

    After uploading the test batches, work with your partner representative to review the resulting assets. If the results are not what you expected, make any necessary adjustments and repeat the test.

  4. Complete end-to-end testing.

    Once your test batches look correct, deliver around 200 releases for end-to-end testing.

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