Marketing and Promotion

Music metadata

What is music metadata?

Audio and metadata have always gone hand-in-hand; you’re probably just more familiar with seeing it in a physical form. Take vinyl, cassette, or CD enthusiasts, for example. The collector can refer to the liner notes or booklets to see all relevant information from the music recording process to the art direction.

So when you see the word metadata, don’t fret. It’s just a technical term used to describe relevant information about a song, album, or artist.

Why metadata is so important

Music metadata is essential to building and growing an audience. Listeners and fans worldwide rely heavily on your metadata to discover your music on the web, Apple Music, the iTunes Store, and other digital streaming platforms.

To better understand how listeners and fans interact with your music, let’s take a closer look into the different types of metadata:

  • Descriptive metadata. Provide artist names (primary and featuring), song titles, release date, track numbers, and similar primary metadata to help listeners find your song or album to add to their library or playlist.
  • Performance rights metadata. Your music may reach significant markets with social media, TV and film, and advertisements. Crediting all personnel involved in the musical creation can aid future collaborations and ensure they are compensated and recognized for their contributions.
  • Secondary metadata. Behind every song or album are the intangibles that drive the listener experience. A common way listeners find new music is by searching for secondary metadata like mood or genre. And with curated playlists becoming increasingly popular, many listeners rely on algorithms and advanced technology like Siri and Shazam to find new music that matches the tone for momentous occasions.

Avoid common pitfalls

To avoid problems with metadata that may disrupt your release or associated promotions, review these tips:

  • Review our guidelines. Keep your music findable. As a best practice, routinely check our guidelines to stay updated on our latest formatting and style requirements before connecting with your label or distributor.
  • Make sure your metadata is accurate. Closely review song and album titles, the names of artists and other contributors, and release dates. If you find any errors, work with your label or distributor to submit corrections to Apple Music.
  • Stay true to your music. When submitting secondary metadata such as genre or mood, less is more. For example, don’t add irrelevant genres to an album in an attempt to place your music in multiple categories.