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 3 different steps before you can distribute your release. To avoid any issues with metadata, we recommend you to read the steps below carefully to meet the DSPs' criteria.

  1. Add tracks
  2. Upload cover art
  3. Add release details 

1. Add tracks

Captura de pantalla 2022-07-13 a las 12.02.53Select existing tracks in your assets or upload audio files.

If you are uploading a new audio file, you will need to fill in all the track metadata before you can distribute the release. Do so by clicking on the track and completing the mandatory fields:

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Title ⚠️


    1. Track title
    2. Title Version. Typically left blank, unless it is a new version of a previously-released album e.g. Live, Remix, Unplugged etc
    3. Track title localisation. You can add your release title in different languages if relevant

Artist

You can choose either to retrieve artist(s) info from the Release info or add the artists performing in this concrete track manually. 

❗️  Artist already on Spotify/Apple Music? If the 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” 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


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❗️ 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

 

Genres
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).

Label
If you are releasing this asset through a record label, please indicate the name of such and the catalogue ID number if available.
Note: The label value of a track on a release has to be the release’s label.

Preview Start Time
Indicate where your clip should start when people preview your track. If no value is entered, your clip will start at the 15th second.

ISRC
An ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) is a unique code that every track must have. If you don't already have one, we will generate one for you (free). Note: an ISRC is unique to each song; you should never create a new ISRC for a song that already has an ISRC.

Catalogue ID
Best to leave blank unless you really need these. Must be unique for each track. 3 characters minimum. Must start with 2 or more letters followed by any mix of letters and numbers (no spaces, dashes, etc.). Maximum of 20 characters.

Copyright
  • Original Song: 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.
  • Public Domain: Public domain compositions are ones in which the intellectual property rights have expired or been forfeited. This generally applies to songs written before 1923.

FIll the Phonogram Copyright. 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.

Language of Lyrics
Select instrumental if has no lyrics.

Explicit 
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

Lyrics

Publishing info

Add contributors

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

  ❗️The total share amount must sum to 100%


2. Upload cover art

Please, ensure your cover art meets the following specs:

  • File format: JPG, JPEG, PNG, JFIF
  • Colour space: RGB
  • Minimum dimensions: 1400x1400 pixels, but recommend 3000x3000 pixels
  • Square image: width and height must be the same
  • Images may not 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

Your cover art cannot contain:

  •  Any text other than the release title and/or artist name
  •  Web URLs, social media handles/icons, or contact information
  •  Sexually explicit imagery
  •  Third-party logos or trademarks without express written consent from the trademark holder

3. Add release details

Prefill details

You have the option to prefill the release information from track metadata. 

Metadata Language

This field is for indicating the language of the metadata. Not the language of your song lyrics 

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

Artists

Please specify whether there are 4 or more Primary Artists on this release. According to Spotify's Style Guide, if there are four or more primary artists credited on the release, Spotify will list "Various Artists” in place of the individual artist names.

❗️Artist already on Spotify/Apple Music? If the 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” 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

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❗️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

Genres

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).

Label

If you are releasing this asset through a record label, please indicate the name of such and the catalogue ID number if available.

Release History

Choose whether you need a UPC (Universal Product Code) or not. A UPC/EAN/JAN is a unique code that every release must have. If you don't already have one, we will generate one for you (free).

UPC/EAN/JAN

Fill this in only if applicable

Catalogue ID

Best to leave blank unless you really need these. 3 characters minimum. Must start with 2 or more letters followed by any mix of letters and numbers (no spaces, dashes, etc.). Maximum of 20 characters.

Copyright

  • Ⓟ 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.

 


⚠️ Please, refer to standard casing guidelines for music metadata to meet the different stores' criteria.


⤴️ Back to:

1. Add tracks

2. Upload cover art

3. Add release details