TAGGING: Recording the information embedded in an audio file that is used to identify the content.
If you want your songs to be included and embedded into scenes of movies, television shows, or commercials, then you have to make sure all your tags are available and correct; dot all your I’s and cross all your T’s.
These records can be the difference between getting a placement or hearing someone else’s songs on the big screen.
Supervisors who are selecting songs for sync content need to have all pertinent information before they pitch it to directors of projects. If they play a song and the director loves it, but the data for licensing isn’t available... oh child, the director will not be happy.
This is a list of the information you will need to provide:
1. Name of artist
2. Name of songwriter
3. Song title
5. Album title
8. Year the song was released
9. The track number of the song on the album
10. The musical genre that the song falls into
12. Contact (either yours or management)
13. Performing rights organization you’re affiliated with (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC)
14. Mood of the song
15. BPM of the song
And, of course, since we live in a digital world, there are dozens of metadata editor apps that will format your tags for you, for example, MP3 Tag Editor.
But, app schmapps, YOU still have to gather the information. After every co-write, you need to have a system in place to record this data for each new song. Record all of your information plus your co-writers information (before they leave), as well as the lyrics and audio.
When I was at Warner Chappell, I gave all my writers a “Co-writer Information Sheet” that they were required to fill out with each song they turned in. If they didn’t have the information, the song was not counted as “turned in” and, therefore, would not be pitched or counted toward their delivery commitment. They kept a stack of these sheets by their studio doors as a reminder!
Some screamed and shouted about having to do all that “work”. They all thank me now, when, 20 years later, they have all of the tagged information and a TV show wants to use their song. Why? Because they’re getting paid!
That is the whole point of tagging!
For more on this topic, here are 2 articles; one from BMI and one from Socan (Canada’s PRO) on tagging and more!
The more you know about how to protect your material, the better. Half of getting a placement has nothing to do with the song. It has everything to do with how you take care of yourself and your business.