Importance of Metadata
Everything a modern day creator must know about Metadata
As music consumption goes Digital, there has emerged a situation whereby songwriters, music composers, and publishers are in a position to generate additional royalty income over time. With IPRS in sync with music playing platforms, much to the benefit of creators and publishers, royalty collections, unlike earlier, has seen unprecedented growth. It is a given fact that the most critical part for claiming, collecting, and distributing royalties for the creation is accurate Metadata ingestion on these platforms and IPRS. Metadata includes details of the song that allows the platforms to discover the creator easily, who can then accurately credit and remunerate the rightful owner. This further helps the IPRS in calculating and disbursing the Royalties accrued to every IPRS member involved in the song.
IPRS’ Amit Dubey, Sr. Manager Documentation, in a detailed conversation with Ms. Rumpa Banerjee, Head Corporate Communication and Member Relation IPRS, throws light on the significance of Metadata in a lucid manner highlighting the correct way of Metadata submission for all those creating music.
How do you define Metadata?
Metadata in music is the set of information corresponding to a song file, such as song title, performer name, author (lyricist), composer, publisher name, release date, and more.
Simply put, metadata is the key to an author (lyricist), music composer, and publisher’s earnings in the music industry.
What is the importance of Metadata in Music?
The importance of Metadata in music cannot be overstated. Simply put, Metadata is the magic wand for discovering and crediting the rightful owner of a musical work, and the lifeline for royalty and income generation for the Music Composer/ Songwriter/Publisher of the song. It is critical as it involves the all-important detailed information about a song.
Wrong Metadata ingestion can lead to a crippling loss in finance and credit for the creators. It is like providing erroneous details about yourself to your bank, which would eventually end up with your money being funneled into another person’s account. For any creator, like a Music Composer or a Songwriter and Publisher in the music industry, it has become mandatory that they provide accurate Metadata of their creation, as Royalties have emerged as a significant pie of their earnings.
Can you state with relevant examples the need for providing accurate Metadata?
In a country like India, especially, with its linguistic heritage, it often happens that a song gets produced in multiple languages. A case in point is the mega-hit Jabra Fan from Shahrukh Khan’s film Fan. The song, a smash hit, was also recorded in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bhojpuri, Gujarati, and other languages, such was its appeal. Now, apart from being a potential money-spinner, the track, given its multiple language versions, needed the correct name of the songwriter for each language.
It is essential that the current spelling of the song name/ songwriter/ music composer/ or publisher is ingested. This also goes the extra mile in helping the creator generate better revenues as they are easily discovered and credited by the streaming platforms. A trending song is most likely to be spotted by a film producer or an ad filmmaker, who may then use the song according to the content requirement. Only recently the song Dum Maro Dum was used in the iPhone ad helping the creators earn additional revenue.
What is the significance of metadata in the digital world?
The digital world is the predominant source of music consumption today. Music is consumed through various music streaming platforms like Spotify, Gaana, Saavan, etc. Proper metadata will ensure the creator’s presence on the App or the Service provider. It is also important that consistency in Metadata is maintained across all platforms. This scenario though can come to fruition if and only if the Metadata provided is accurate.
To repeat: Erroneous Metadata ingestion can lead to a loss of credit and a dip in revenue for the creator.
How to get your metadata right?
The procedure involves the music creator and publisher filling in the right data in the format prescribed by the music platforms and even copyright societies like IPRS. This involves details like –
Track Title: Name of the song
Name of the Composer (should include the name of the Music Composer and not just the studio name)
Name of the author/songwriter: Name of the lyricist
Artist/Performer: Singer name/s
Publisher: Name of the publisher of the song.
Release year: The year the song was released.
Language: The language in which the song was written
ISRC: International Sound Recording Code. This is usually provided by the Publisher or the record label.
What is the ideal time to register the work/songs with IPRS?
Do it as soon as the work/song is released, which could be in the form of a Single, Album, or Film song. The procedure involves visiting iprs.org and filling in the accurate details on the work registration forms.
Given the fact that a song can become an instant hit, registering the song with IPRS as soon as it is released ensures better royalty payments accruing to the creator.
The process has been made uncomplicated and self-explanatory for the convenience of the creators. In case additional help is required, assistance is available in the form of an online training session every Tuesday and Friday (excluding Holidays) readied for over a year.
Also, before ingesting any details, every member can visit the member portal to check if the song is already registered with IPRS. You need to identify those songs and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
You would have already received mail from IPRS about your login credentials for the member portal. In case you don’t have the login details, you can write to us and we will be happy to provide you with your login credentials. If the Publisher has already provided the metadata for the song, then you as the songwriter or music composer can avoid going through the process. But you have to identify the songs in our database so that the same can be linked to your repertoire as well.
What exactly are the Metadata checkpoints before submitting the work to IPRS?
You are the best guide to your work. So, it would only be prudent that every Composer/ Author or Publisher should first search for their song on the IPRS portal. Then they should look for any anomalies in terms of spelling errors or erroneous credits. Do communicate with us about what needs to be corrected. Remember to ingest the full names of the creators to avoid any possible discrepancies.
Further, ensure that you submit the alias names with us. Also, always mention the IPI Name number of the members, which is available in the members’ tab in the Bulk Upload Format. The IPI number is a unique number allotted to all IPRS members when they join us. The Publisher of the song must also provide the ISRC code for the track.
What is the share of the distribution of royalty?
Out of the share of 100%, the following is the distribution pattern:
50% goes to the Publisher
25% each goes to the Author/Songwriter and the Music Composer.
With the modified/recreated/remixed versions of songs getting trendy the Metadata must mention the name of the original composer and lyricist.
Can you explain your new forays into simplifying the process of Metadata ingestion for IPRS members?
The welcome news is that IPRS will soon let you ingest the songs in the member portal directly.
In case you have not yet checked the portal then please log in and check the same. The video of viewing the IPRS portal is already available on the IPRS YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/@IPRSmusic). The user manuals are also available in the IPRS portal.
Further please feel free to join our weekly training sessions, which we conduct every Tuesday and Friday (excluding Holidays)
Also please feel free to write to us firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com for any kind of query about Metadata, and we will help clear all your doubts.