Artists and bands do what they do because they love creating. Just about everything else seems secondary, but all the branding, marketing, and music business is now a necessary evil that artists must endure whether they like to or not. One of the most vital parts of music creation is prepping song metadata before release.
Many artists are tempted to overlook this part of the release process. DON’T. If you want to get paid, if you want your songwriter royalties, and if you want to get credit for views and streams, this is a critical step to making it all happen.
Before you even think about sending your song off to a distributor, publisher or label for uploading to a streaming service, carefully think through the following song metadata points and make sure you have answers to each (thinks to LANDR for the list).
- Track Title: the name of your song
- Genre: the primary genre of your track
- Subgenre: the secondary genre
- Primary Artist: the main artist on the track. You’ll need to enter this exactly the same way for every track in the release.
- Featured Artists: any other artists featured on the track.
- Composer: The person who wrote or contributed music for the song
- Publisher: The publisher representing the composer. Enter the composer name again if there is no publisher.
- Producers: the producer(s) credit on the track
- Additional Contributors: Anyone else that worked on that track that should be credited
- ISRC: The unique identifier that gives your track its own digital fingerprint.
- Explicit Content: indicates whether the track contains explicit content.
- Lyrics Language: the language of the sung lyrics
- Lyrics publisher: The publisher representing the lyricist/lyrics contributor
- Composition Owner: The owner of the composition rights
- Year of Composition: The year the track was composed
- Master Recording Owner: the owner of the sound recording
- Year of Recording: The year the recording took place.
- Release Language: The language of the release itself. Even if you are intending to distribute your release in a different country or territory the release language must be the language of the metadata you are entering.
Music Library Metadata
If you’re sending your song to a music library, there’s another set of metadata entries required. These include:
- Song Name
- Contact Information (email/phone)
- Composer (s) – with PRO info and splits
- Song Summary
- Key words
- Year of Copyright/year created
The point here is that all of this data is critical on so many levels, from getting credit, to getting paid, to even getting better placement or discovery. That’s why it’s important to spend some time thinking it all through before you get to the point of sending the song on its way. It’s too critical to wait until the last minute. Remember, mistakes or omissions here might cost you money down the road!