What is music metadata and why is it important?

November 1, 2021 by No Comments

It’s possible you’ve heard it before. We’ll show you exactly what it is and why it’s important.

Metadata makes your music searchable.

It contains all the information you need about a piece or music. Metadata is information embedded in audio files that can be used to identify music.

This includes the track title, artist name and writer as well as song duration and genre. These extra details are what you will see on music services such as Spotify

Why are metadata so crucial?

Correct metadata will ensure that your music is correctly credited. This is also what your royalties payments are dependent upon. You run the risk that your metadata is incorrect and you won’t get all the royalties due.

Metadata ensures that your music is mapped correctly to the correct profile for streaming platforms. You don’t want your new song to be mistaken for someone else’s after you have put so much effort into your release strategy and release strategy.

It is much easier to land major industry opportunities such as sync deals by ensuring that your music has been properly credited.

You have sent your music to a major music supervisor in the hope of a possible sync deal. Let’s assume it’s for a feature on a new Netflix movie.

In your excitement to get your song heard, you’ve left the file name the way that the sound engineer exported it, so the Netflix big-wig has received a lovely pitch email from you, a great track to boot, but a song with metadata like ‘song-1-v5-master-mix-final’.

A few days later the music supervisor decided that “yeah, that song was pretty good” and tried to find it again.

Problem is, they’ve been sent hundreds upon hundreds of songs, and when they search for your name, song title or genre, there isn’t anything in their music library. Instead, they get lots and lots generically named songs.

There’s also another problem.

Even if they find your track and decide to use it for placement, they still have to clear and license your music.

They need a particular set of information to be able to track down copyright holders, and obtain the permission they require to end the sync. This process would be easy if they had the correct metadata. All the information would be in the audio file information.

They could google you to find the correct information. But that could take days or even months. Time is money!

Your music will not get lost in the maze of new releases if your metadata is correct. Your chances of success are higher if you have better search ability. Your metadata should include contact information and copyright information. This will allow you to have your music synced.

Are you interested in learning more about sync Learn what sync deals are.

Music metadata examples – What do you need to submit?

A handy checklist of music metadata has been created that you can use in your next release.

Artist Name You want them to know you!

Include featured artists and cover artists.

Learn how you can release a cover song if you want to learn more about making money from covers.

Song Name – Duh!

Writer and/or Composer – This is to protect copyright. Even if the original artwork is already in your portfolio, you can add your name to this section. This is particularly important if the artist name you use is not your legal name.

Producer– This should again be their full legal name.

Copyright year – This usually indicates the year the song was recorded.

Genre– This is just a piece of useful information for supervisors and curators. You can even use it to help platforms such as Spottily create playlists!

ISRC code – You should know what it is, so you can include it! It’s a useful identifier that will ensure you get paid correctly if your song is used in any way.

If the track is a re release, it is especially important to use the ISRC Code to make sure that stream counts and sales are not lost.

Apple Music, for example, requires metadata consistency throughout its life span. This means that any previous release must have the same metadata (including the ISRC).

You can include BPM and song split to ensure everyone is properly credited. Song Duration and Track Number if it is an album or EP. These are the essentials.

How to submit music meta

Now that you have all of your metadata collected, what do you do?

You’re lucky, because the Ditto Music Release Builder will allow you to enter all of your metadata as you build your release.

This guide will show you how to use the release builder to create flawless metadata.

1. Make a new release. Enter the title of the release, choose your artist, and then upload the artwork.

TOP TIP: Plan artist names should only include one artist/band. Other credits and featured artists must be listed using the primary and featuring artist designations and contributor roles.

2. Upload your track. It should only contain the song title and artist name.

3. After the track is uploaded, you can click edit. Here you can add contributors and provide more information.

That’s all! The rest of the release builder allows you to select your release date and choose which territories and stores to distribute your song.


It is important that your artwork matches any metadata provided. This means that the artist name and the release title must be spelled exactly in the metadata as well as the artwork. This applies to your release title and name punctuation.

Major platforms don’t allow URLs, excessive texts or social media handles to be included on artwork. You can streamline your upload process by ensuring that your artwork contains only the artist name, release name and, if needed, a parental advisory sticker.

Release type

This might seem obvious to some but it can be difficult to tell if your release was an album or an EP.

These are Apple’s guidelines. These guidelines will help you define your release.


Single – contains one or three songs, each lasting less than 10 minutes.

EP – Contains four to six songs and lasts no more than 30 minutes.

Album – basically everything else.


Remember that the release type doesn’t have to be added to the release name. This information is provided by the stores.


Explicit Tracks

While it is fine to share music with explicit lyrics, it is important to label them properly. You must label your track explicit if it contains expletives.

Instrumental tracks

It is fine to distribute instrumental tracks, but it is important to label them as such.

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