What is music metadata, and why is it important?
March 25, 2024 Blog Details Anusha Shivaram
What is music metadata, and why is it important?

Metadata in music means the details of all data related to work and rightsholders, such as the song ID, song title, artist name, writer, release date, genre, or track duration.

There are three specific types of metadata in the music industry.

1) Descriptive metadata provides basic information about an audio recording, including the song’s title, artist, support name, and numerical data. 

2)Ownership metadata represents the full performing rights information, crucial for proper royalties’ distribution. 

3) Recommendation metadata, created by industry actors like labels or streaming platforms, provides additional information on music sound and classification. Music tags, moods, emotion labels, genres, and subgenres are increasingly used in recommendation metadata to improve search and discovery. 

Major platforms like Spotify use this data to connect musical works and offer personalized content.

Why is metadata important for music professionals:

Here are the three primary reasons to prioritize metadata and enhance your metadata management are as follows.


Music professionals need accurate metadata to collect royalties and ensure discoverability. Inaccurate information can lead to billions of dollars in unclaimed royalties in the music industry. Inaccurate metadata can affect musicians’ paychecks and their chances of receiving royalties. 


To gain visibility and discoverability, it is essential to build strong and accurate metadata, including consistent song, artist, and album titles, publishing rights, genre, mood, instrumentation, and lyrics. Adding additional information through tags like genre, mood, instrumentation, and lyrics can also help maximize artists’ chances of selection and royalties.

3) Improve royalty distribution

Processes like metadata matching can help improve efficiency and track if the matching percentage of the usage logs with the master repository is high. It helps reduce administrative costs and manual labor. Also, rightsholders can now earn better, which enhances their experience, leading to growth in customers.

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