Best Music Spotlight

Music Thought Download: Sell your Music with Metadata

Photograph of the blog post author, Mary Woodcock

Mary Woodcock


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Metadata, it’s not something that immediately comes to mind when thinking about getting your music published. However, in a post-iTunes world, where digital music is more abundant than music execs at an open bar, you can’t afford to have a single track online without the relevant metadata.

It would be like applying for a job but forgetting to put your contact details on your application. You could be the most employable industrial drill-bit consultant in the world but if people don’t know how to reach you, you’ll never get your dream job at Nothing But Drills Ltd. Music submissions are no different, the publisher needs to be able to know where the music came from.

When music schools advise their students on career progression they tell them to create an EPK (Electronic Press Kit) with everything about them as an artist in one convenient place.

When a company puts out a press release they include marketing collateral so that journalists and influencers making content around it have everything they need and don’t have to waste time chasing for this material.

This is marketing 101 if you want promotion you need to make it as easy as possible for people to shout about you. That’s what Music Gateway is all about, making good connections in the most convenient way possible.

In a post on Facebook, Music Supervisor, Michelle De Vries said:

“I can not stress enough that when you pitch a track for synch how important it is to include metadata or at the least an email address if nothing more.”

This does prompt the question ‘who pitches a track without including contact info?’ but when you think about how many tracks people like Michelle get on a daily basis there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that they’ll have the time to chase each submission down for the sender.

In Michelle’s case she’d received 19,000 tracks in a week. Now, Michelle has worked with us before so we know she’s a very patient and generous person but the world of Music Supervisors isn’t a land filled with Michelle’s.

No, the profession of Music Supervisor, like many high-level positions in the music industry, is one where time is always in short supply:

“It’s a total reality that tracks get dropped when you are on a short time schedule.”

As Michelle shows us, you need to be as time-sensitive as possible, the quicker your details are to find, the quicker you go in the consideration folder. While that might seem like a cynical way of looking at it, you have to remember that you’re coming in with a group of other artists that are just as talented as you are.

So no matter how good the quality of your track, if it’s hard to source, odds are that the placement goes to the one that has the correct metadata filled in. It would be like going into shark-infested waters with an animal carcass under your arm, hindering yourself in these kind of make-or-break situations is the last thing you want to do.

Metadata shouldn’t just act as glorified business card either. When used correctly, you can set the context for how your music is viewed. When you’re scrolling through Netflix, the text descriptions don’t read: ‘Watch this, it’s really good!’ so why would you submit your music that way? Metadata is your chance to tell people why your music is worth their time, give them some background and show them you understand what’s being asked of you. Don’t do this to Michelle:

“The number of songs I received with no title that just said ‘a track for Mich’, or ‘MDV soul tracks’ so
I didn’t even know what the song was called and if its not released I can’t Shazam – so it really is a pain when metadata isn’t included.”

This may seem like a shameless plug but Music Gateway’s file storage system is designed around metadata. The logic that someone should employ here is simple: if you’re serious about getting your music in front of the right people, why not use a platform that lets you present tracks in the best way? Yes there are other platforms out there that let you host music and send files but are there any that let you do all of that in one place with the inclusion of metadata? Heck no, believe us we’ve checked.

It’s not rocket science, it’s just good business. In the day and age of endless social media activity and connectivity, there is so much noise out there but if you present a professionally assembled portfolio on a platform that already has the right eyes and ears on it then you can cut through all that noise with your sound. That may sound like a super-power but it really does make all the difference in that 30 seconds or so when a label head or music supervisor is looking at your submission. When everyone can contact anyone, it’s not about whether you can get in front of the right people, it’s how you do it.

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What this all boils down to is the simple truth that no matter who you are, you’re best promoter is you. Yes, you could have help from an agent or PR company but no one knows you’re brand and talent like you do. Modesty is all well and good, but in media and particularly in the music business, you cannot afford to be modest about your talent. In the same way, how you present yourself to clients and publishers shouldn’t be either. That’s why the files, playlists and other features on Music Gateway are designed to look professional and be easy to use, especially when it comes to adding metadata. For a comprehensive guide on all things data that is meta, check out our Metadata Bible.

Whether you’re young blood or an old hand, no one should pass up an opportunity. However, by missing crucial steps like metadata and presentation, that’s exactly what you’re doing. Or as Michelle put it:

“I’m passionate about writers and artists and this film isn’t paying big sync fees but imagine if it were a £100K sync lost because of something like that?”

After reading this, we hope you realise how much we value our member’s success, so if you aren’t a member why not sign up for a free trial and see how our platform can benefit you?

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