Music Licensing Made Easy

What is Metadata?

The importance of accurate metadata

If you’re a rights holder, you’ve probably come across the term metadata more than a few times before.  It is at the heart of the industry, connecting music creation, discovery, technology, copyright and royalties.  It’s not just important for music licensing – getting this right is beneficial for all areas of the music industry.

Music Discovery

Metadata is everywhere, and it is how we find and filter content. Put simply, it is the information relating to each track and covers genre, style, performers, key, and tempo.


Supplying rich metadata for your music ensures that it can be found during searches. Our search bar enables buyers to search for music based on genre, mood, emotion and texture. We advise that you ensure each track has an accurate description too, as this can help when buyers are searching for music.

The key here is to "think visual". Buyers are coming to search for music with their production in mind, and are more likely to use keywords relating to the mood and feel of a track, rather than the musical qualities alone.

Yes it’s important to ensure that you describe the genre of your music, but pinpointed and pigeonholing music to an obscure sub-genre is not always actually that helpful. Unless every TV, film, advertising and game producer has a deep understanding of all the possible sub-genres and niches out there, your music is not likely to come up in searches if you only rely on describing the musical genre. This is why SoundVault has introduced a deep and precise search bar that searches across mood, motion, emotion, texture, clarity and soundscape. We also ask that music suppliers categorise the use of their music, which can help buyers locate the perfect track for their production.

However, be careful to not over do the keywords if they are not relevant. This sounds counterintuitive given what we’ve just explored, but adding hundreds of keywords to your tracks won’t necessarily make your music more discoverable. Accurate metadata is key! Describing your music in 20 clear and accurate keywords is going to be far more helpful than adding 50 vague keywords that don’t truly represent the track at hand.

Tracking music usage

Metadata goes beyond music discovery; it is also essential for accurate tracking and reporting music usage, as it contains all the important information about who should get paid including writers, performers, labels and publishers. Compiling metadata is a time-consuming and often tedious task, but if you take the time to record and monitor your song data you are more likely to receive any royalties due to you.

Are your tracks registered with a PRO? Are there co-writers, labels or publishers involved? What are the splits? Do you have ISRCs? Tunecodes? This is the important information that we need to collect to ensure that rights holders are accurately paid for their music usage.

This post has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide legal advice.


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