Music Metadata best practices when creating a release

A detailed walkthrough of all the metadata involved

When creating a new release, you need to go through and complete 4 different steps (tabs) before you can distribute your release. In order to avoid any issues with metadata, we recommend you to read the steps below carefully to meet the DSPs' criteria.

Captura de pantalla 2022-03-03 a las 12.06.29

MAIN INFO tab

  1. Cover image (Artwork)
    • File format: PNG, GIF, BMP, TIF, JPG or JPEG
    • Colour space: RGB
    • Minimum dimensions: 1400x1400 pixels, but recommend 3000x3000 pixels
    • Square image: width and height must be the same
    • Images may not contain more than 50 megapixels or be larger than 10 Mb
    • Your image cannot be stretched, upscaled, or appear to be low-resolution
    • The information on your cover art must match your album title and artist name
    • Website addresses, social media links and contact information are not permitted on the album artwork
    • Your cover art may not include sexually explicit imagery.
    • Your cover art cannot be misleading by figuring another artist's name more prominently than yours
    • You may not use a third-party logo or trademark without express written permission from the trademark holder
  2. Language
    • This field is for indicating the language of the metadata. Not the language of your song lyrics 
  3. Title ⚠️
    • Release title
    • Title Version. Typically left blank, unless it is a new version of a previously-released album e.g. Live, Remix, Unplugged etc.
    • Title Localisation. You can add your release title in different languages if relevant

  4. Artist
    • Is it a compilation of various artists? 
      • A release with tracks by DIFFERENT ARTISTS is considered a compilation
    • Artist
      • Only one in this field. The main artist. You can add more primary artists or featuring artists in the “Other key artists” section below.
    • Artist localisation
      • This is only needed if listeners might search your release using a different language
    • Artist already on Spotify/Apple Music? If this artist’s music is already on Spotify or Apple Music/iTunes, indicate their artist IDs so that their music correctly mapped to the right artist profile page. If the artist doesn’t already have a profile, select “No” in order to create a new profile for the artist.

      If the artist already has an artist ID, here’s how to retrieve it: 
      • Open the web version of Spotify and/or Apple Music
      • Search for the artist and click on their name to go to their page
      • Look at the music on the page to make sure you are on the right artist profile page
      • Look at the URL in the browser’s bar at the top. The profile ID is the last part (in red below). Copy-paste this part into the artist ID field.

      Example for Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/22bE4uQ6baNwSHPVcDxLCe

      Example for Apple Music/iTunes: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/the-rolling-stones/1249595

  5. Other key artists
    • Only add artists who should be given top-level credit; do not add individual band member names or supporting musicians
    • ❗️ Please note that credited key artists will only be linked on the DSPs to the following roles:
      • Primary artist
      • Featured artist
      • Spotify is an exception in that they also link based on Remixer
  6. Info
    • Genre. The first genre listed will be the primary genre and must be the best description for the content. A second genre is not required, but it should be used when applicable. Primary and secondary genres must not be egregiously misclassified (for example, Hip Hop/Rap in place of Children’s Music).
    • Ⓟ Line: Applies to the sound recording itself. The purpose of this symbol is to indicate that legal rights are held for a sound recording and to identify the owner of those rights.
    • © Line: In the context of music, the © Line is used to denote rights protection for the cover art or written material included within an album, like liner notes.
      • Both & © lines must be filled with the name of the person or entity that owns the exclusive rights, preceded by the year the rights were obtained.
    • Previously released?
      • If it has been previously released you will need to provide the official release date from BEFORE this distribution
    • On a record label?
      • If you are releasing this asset through a record label, please indicate the name of such and the catalogue ID number if available.
    • UPC/EAN is the unique identifier code that every release must have. If you don’t have one we will generate one for you once your release has been approved for delivery.

TRACKS tab

  1. Drag the audio file to the grey area to upload the audio
  2. Language of the lyrics
    • Select instrumental if has no lyrics
  3. Track Title ⚠️
    • Do not include any additional information like “remix” or “live”. Use the field “title version for that purpose”
  4. Title version ⚠️
    • Typically left blank, unless it is a new version of a previously-released album e.g. Live, Remix, Unplugged etc.
  5. Track title localisation
    • This is only needed if listeners might search your release using a different language.
  6. Artist
    • Only one in this field. The main artist. You can add more primary artists or featuring artists in the “Other key artists” section below.
    • Artist localisation. This is only needed if listeners might search your release using a different language.
  7. Artist already on Spotify/Apple Music? If this artist’s music is already on Spotify or Apple Music/iTunes, indicate their artist ID so that their music is associated with the right artist profile page. If the artist doesn’t already have a profile, select “No” in order to create a new profile for the artist.

    If the artist already has an artist ID, here’s how to retrieve it:
    • Open the web version of Spotify and/or Apple Music.
    • Search for the artist and click on their name to go to their page.
    • Look at the music on the page to make sure you are on the right artist profile page.
    • Look at the URL in the browser’s bar at the top. The profile ID is the last part (in red below). Copy-paste this part into the artist ID field.

    Example for Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/22bE4uQ6baNwSHPVcDxLCe

    Example for Apple Music/iTunes: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/the-rolling-stones/1249595

  8. Other artists and contributors 

    Only add artists who should be given top-level credit; do not add individual band member names or supporting musicians

    If this artist’s music is already on Spotify or Apple Music/iTunes, indicate their artist ID so that their music is associated with the right artist profile page. If the artist doesn’t already have a profile, select “No” in order to create a new profile for the artist. 

    ❗️ Please note that credited key artists will only be linked on the DSPs to the following roles:

        • Primary artist 
        • Featured artist
        • Spotify is an exception in that they also link based on Remixer
  9. ISRC Code
    This is the International Standard Recording Code. This is a unique identifier code that every track must have. If you don’t have one we will generate one for you once your release has passed the inspection.
  10. Explicit lyrics
    Select "yes" if your song contains one or more of the following:
    1. Anything unsuitable for children
    2. Strong language
    3. References to violence or abuse
    4. Sexual content
    5. Anything that might be regarded as racist, homophobic, discriminatory or misogynistic
  11. Select whether your track is an original composition or not 
    An original composition is a track to which you've contributed lyrics and/or music but which does not borrow elements from previously created works.
  12. Advanced info (optional)
    1. Genre
    2. Phonogram copyright
    3. Preview start time (eg.: for TikTok) → must be given in seconds
    4. Label name and ID (if any)
  1. Lyrics (optional)

⚠️ Please, refer to standard casing guidelines for music metadata in order to meet the different stores' criteria. https://help.apple.com/itc/musicstyleguide/en.lproj/static.html https://www.musicbiz.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/MusicMetadataStyleGuide_V2.1.pdf

PUBLISHING INFO tab

  1. Add contributors
    1. Name
    2. Role
    3. Share
    4. Publishing control (Copyright control / Public domain / managed by a publisher)

  ❗️The total share amount must sum to 100%

REVIEW AND SAVE tab

Double-check the asset metadata and ensure all the information is correct. Then click on Approve and a pop-up window with 3 options will appear:

  • Distribute your release
  • Create another release
  • View your catalogue