MP3 tags and music metadata identify a selection of music by artist, album, year, genre, and more, determining how it is catalogued.
In the era of getting music on Spotify, uploading music to social media, and sharing YouTube music videos, metadata is how songs are registered on search engines and how songs get found when a user searches for a specific type of sound or artist.
Metadata also helps us identify who gets paid for a particular work. As it is played or used, that play generates automated data based on the metadata that ensures payment is tracked and registered, and provided to the right individuals.
“Will computers control the future of music?” is typically a question that refers to the way that music is composed, outlining the increasing presence of technology in sculpting studio tracks and in live performance.
It can also be posed as it relates to the context of mp3 tags and music metadata.
How Metadata & Computers Help Artists Get Paid And Their Music Heard
Musical artists are finding it more and more difficult to get paid for their work.
There are large investments being made in marketing and publicity but sometimes, with little return. As the music industry continues to grow, it is integral that the available systems of payment that we have continue to function and that, more importantly, the right people are getting paid for their hard work.
Computers are going to have a major impact on the way that the music industry functions from a payment perspective.
Today, the existing system is somewhat dated. From a legal standpoint, the music industry does not demonstrate the efficiency and reliability that one might expect when it comes to payments. The music business and the people working within it are not being supported by technology in a way that helps people get paid.
As the industry has expanded globally in so many different ways, a centralized computer-driven database will be key to the future of artists getting paid.
Why A International Centralized Database With Metadata Is Needed
To get paid as a musical artist, this relies upon ensuring that the tech data related to music is accurate.
When digital music is used, there is underlying data embedded into the file, known as metadata. Metadata contains a myriad of information, including the copyright owners of the composition, the ISRC code for the master recording, the ISWC code to identify the composition, and other information.
Currently, the problem with this style of information-keeping is that there is no system in which compositions are accurately matched to the appropriate metadata, meaning potentially rights’ holders that are not getting paid for works that they own.
If the metadata is unclear and it is not stated explicitly who to pay, sometimes the wrong people get paid and other times, no one gets paid.
Why errors are made with metadata varies from an employee incorrectly inputting data, to rights’ owners not being clear on their share of ownership in a composition, to companies who are sold or who have been disbanded without a plan in place to update metadata, to people who claim ownership of a composition when they knowingly or unknowingly do not have a right to do so.
It has been years since the argument was first made for a centralized database containing all relevant ownership information for all songs.
The Global Repertoire Database was an attempt but failed due to several companies refusing to provide data.
Many similar projects since this attempt have lacked funding and/or publicity. As it becomes more difficult to get paid in the music industry, a centralized database is going to be required in order to ensure that the right people get paid.
The Use Of Music Metadata In Discoverability & Music Marketing Is Central To Online Success
At a much more accessible level, music metadata is used in music marketing every day to optimize music for discoverability.
Music metadata is your song’s DNA written out in text for search discoverability.
- Streaming networks use metadata to build automated playlists, track what’s trending, and for search results.
- Music supervisors for film and TV use it to discover songs with the right mood, feeling, and genre.
- Everyday users that use search queries to find new music do so through the metadata.
If you aren’t using music metadata correctly, you could be missing out on connecting with fans and missing out on income. Without music metadata, an artist’s music may end up buried fairly quickly and left undiscoverable.
Fortunately, creating metadata is easy. With a metadata editor, you can enter all the metadata in manually.
How To Create Music Metadata To Ensure Accuracy And Maximum Exposure
Ensure there are no errors in your music metadata by following these key steps.
- Pay close attention to spelling and formatting. If there are errors, your metadata may not be properly read.
- If you are tagging music and metadata for a specific streaming service or use, check to see if they have a style guide for song titles and artist names. Some do and that can be helpful in ensuring you’re cataloguing correctly.
- Capitalize the first letter of every word except for words like “or”, “and”, or “it” unless they are the first or last word of the title.
- Do not use creative casing.
Do your music metadata correctly and you never know who might notice you. Spend the time to accurately document your music metadata because it matters. It really does. Metadata is something that’s easy to get right and format correctly. It just takes the knowledge of how and the time to get it done. That is how to achieve the reach you want on major streaming platforms, YouTube, social media, and online music databases.