Metadata is probably one of the least glamorous topics in the music industry. Many independent artists don’t fully understand it and most don’t realize its full potential. But however unglamorous it may be, it is very much necessary. Metadata is like the Brussel sprouts for your music career. Though it might be hard to digest at first it will help your music portfolio grow healthily and firmly.
So, What Is Metadata?
Metadata is the information attached to any given recording. It is the data which helps to differentiate your track from any other one. The most obvious pieces of metadata would be the name of the track and the artist. Nonetheless, there is much more information that can be added. You can include information about the genre, sub-genres, moods, styles, ISRC code, rights owners… You can go into an almost infinite amount of detail about your track. As you can hopefully see, this information can be very empowering. It can be a tool that makes it easier for people to work with your material.
What You’ll Gain From Your Metadata
Sorting your metadata out should be at the top of your priorities list. You should ideally have it all in order before you start approaching people with your music. By doing this you will be increasing your chances of getting favorable responses to your music and you will also gain a competitive advantage over other artists who might be pitching towards the same opportunity.
First and foremost, you want to have all your metadata sorted so that you can get adequately paid for your music! So make sure to add your ISRC and ISWC codes, and things like who owns the rights etc. These codes will allow rights collection societies to find you and compensate you for any royalties that you are due. As well, by working out the splits of the copyright ahead of time and have them embedded in the track(s), you save yourself from potential disputes with any collaborators. Really, you don’t want to end up in a long-winded legal battle over who owns what percentage, who contributed to what and so on and so forth.
Look the Most Professional in Front of the Executives
Sorting out your metadata will not only make life easier for you. It will also make the lives of those professionals that you might want to work with a lot easier. For example, if you are trying to get exposure for your music you might want to get a sync placement. For this, you would need to pitch your song to a music supervisor. In this instance, not having metadata could be a dealbreaker. If the supervisors aren’t certain that there’s not going to be any disputes, they will move on and find a song that is easier to clear.
Finally, adding metadata can help your music stick out if your music winds up in a production library catalogue. Your track will be sitting among hundreds (sometimes thousands) of other songs. Here, your best bet is to have more information attached to the file to help it stick out. In this case, adding the genre, sub-genres, length of the song, bpm, if it features explicit language… Adding all this could mean that you get chosen for a particular project as the library owner can easily check if your tune matches the criteria.
To sum it all up
Metadata is an often overlooked tool that helps you inject information into a music file. It can make your life and that of those who work with you a lot easier and could ultimately mean succeeding or not when pitching your song to a project. It can often feel like a chore, but it is a task that requires very little effort and could reap incredible benefits for the future.
This article was written by our friends over at Music Gateway. Music Gateway is a global online platform with the goal of empowering creatives and companies all over the world to be the best they can be at what they do. They also offer promotion services and sync representation, so check them out once you’ve finished reading the article.3 join the family and show some love for this!