In addition to the music product itself, 101 Music creates and delivers extensive metadata in an Excel spreadsheet, which forms a part of the audio files and deliveries.
The metadata consists of creative ‘wordsmithing’, i.e. appropriate album and track titles that coincide with the music feel, album and track keywords, album and track descriptions, name of instruments used on each track version, tempo / beats per minute, musical key as well as data relating to the identity of the music composer and music publisher such as their affiliation to a PRO (performing right organization), and their membership IPI number, an international standard number that every composer and music publisher receives as it identifies them globally to ensure income is attributed correctly. It is also essential to assign and digitally stamp an ISRC code to every audio file.
The metadata is critical and needs to be meticulously created as this data is how music is searched and ultimately found. The keywords and point of sale descriptions associated with the metadata are also the launching pad for marketing.
Creating the excel spreadsheet file of metadata for each release, some 75 or so columns and some 84 rows of data, can take up to a couple weeks to produce effectively. It is a requirement for my sub-publishing deals and is essential in order to successfully obtain music copyright licenses, e.g. usages of that music. And of course, the copyright details and IPI identifying numbers are essential for royalty distributions to be attributed to the correct copyright holders.
I have a metadata assistant working from South Carolina in the USA who is brilliant at helping to devise interesting and creative metadata.
101 delivers all its product to its sub-publishers via two delivery methods which are very efficient, Harvest Media Distribution and also SourceAudio. This means that once I load a new release into the Harvest Media and SourceAudio systems, which include all audio files, the metadata file, the album artwork and all the marketing material, that each of my 24 sub-publisher agents across the globe are immediately informed of its release and can download straight into their online distribution site ready for their clients to see and license, and most do this generally within 48 hours of a release. I treasure this as I have always believed there is no time-wasting allowed in business if you are a serious player.
Marketing is essential for the brand and for each specific album release. Once an album is released into the marketplace it usually takes 18 to 24 months to realize the data available to analyze results.
For 101 Music, it all begins with an album title once the music is set in place. The album release title is critical as it drives the packaging and then gives rise to the marketing concepts. The album title needs to supply an emotional feel and a hint to a description and imagery.
The album artwork design then begins to be considered. The image should identify the emotional genre, style and feel of the music. Even though albums are not physically released in CD form, the digital image artwork is essential as a focal point to help define the album project release. I work with an Australian art director who has had a renowned background in advertising and marketing.
Here’s a link to a recent release entitled Turning Corners 101M041, composed by Gareth James Hudson for 101 Music Pty Ltd,
with the album description: Upbeat, urban, confident, corporate. Catchy, feel-good, positive and radio-friendly rhythmic pop instrumental tunes for business, banking, stock reports, advertising, well-being and contemporary fashion, and using these album keywords: uplifting, positive, confident, assuring, optimistic, joyful, happy, upbeat, feel-good, anthemic, rousing, moving, achieving, excellence, success, winning, well-being, business, fashion, community, lifestyle, teamwork, urban, advertising, corporate.
In addition to the importance of the music, it’s all about catchy adjectives and a hook style description.
Other 101 Music releases can be found at https://101.audio/releases
Another example of a release for 101 was a travelogue, food and lifestyle project, entitled Italian Holiday,
Once the album artwork is chosen, the 101 Music Pty Ltd design format is to utilize four keywords placed at the very bottom of the album cover as an aid for emotional identity. Every album release also includes a catalogue number in its company branded format.
In the metadata spreadsheet, the album description column always begins with the four chosen ‘magic’ keywords, then a descriptive sentence about the album itself, such as: 101M032 ITALIAN HOLIDAY – Travel, lifestyle, food, landscapes. Heartfelt, soulful and festive themes featuring beautiful mandolins and guitars of Italy.
Then, there’s a column in the spreadsheet notating the album keywords: Warm, beautiful, positive, upbeat, happy, jovial, loving, sincere, passionate, soulful, cheerful, heartfelt, delightful, friendly, joyful, festive, mandolins, guitars.
There is also a column notating the style and genre of the album: instrumental, Italian, Mediterranean, acoustic, folk, organic, travel, holiday, food, cooking, vacation, cultural, lifestyle, documentaries.
Further, for each track title the same applies: name of track title, version of track, description for track, keywords of track, genre, instruments used, tempo, key, track number on album release, composer name, affiliation to PRO, IPI number and finally an ISRC audio ID code.
Most of the above information is then embedded and resides alongside the actual digital audio file.
Here is a complete link to the 101 Music Pty Ltd music catalogue at the SourceAudio delivery site: https://101.audio/101-music-catalogue
‘Metadata and marketing is as important as the assets of exceptional quality music product – they both go hand in hand as one cannot work effectively or efficiently without the other’ (Phillips 2018).
101 Music Pty Ltd creates marketing concepts for its sub-publishers, but in a simplistic and cost effective form. The company provides small marketing morsels to utilize as tools to help promote the 101 Music catalogue in their respective territories, such as album advertising banners, a montage music sampler audio file highlighting roughly 30 seconds of each track contained on the album (roughly a 6-minute duration audio mp3 file teaser, which includes an excerpt of each track from the album in the precise running order), and ‘about the project’ highlights in a word document format for the sub-publishing agents to send to their clients. Everyone likes a story!
Here’s the advertising banner for ‘ITALIAN HOLIDAY’ (101M032),
I was honoured last year with a nomination by the prestigious Production Music Association ‘Mark Awards’ for ‘Italian Holiday’ for best jazz artist – as artist, guitarist, composer and producer.
Also in 2018, I was honoured by the Global Music Awards / USA with a silver medal award win for the same album release, ‘Italian Holiday’.
And lastly, survival as a company is dependent upon financial returns, the money which hopefully is a result of the well-directed energy that the owner(s) of the company put into the business. Income vs out-goings can be challenging, especially if you wish to keep the standard of quality highly consistent.
It’s also very important to have good relationships with the best suited representative sub-publisher agent in each territory. Sometimes, depending on various circumstances, small independent agent sub-publishers may be better suited than the larger global companies to represent a small boutique library, especially in certain territories.
Generally, music that is organic and does not date will do best over time, as the long-tail effect kicks in. An example of this is the Chappell Recorded Music Library production music track mentioned earlier, ‘Puffin’ Billy’, composed by Edward White, that was used for the theme to Captain Kangaroo, an American children’s television series that ran from October 3, 1955 until December 8, 1984 – at the time making it the longest running nationally broadcast television program of its day.
Yes, there’s a saturation of music out there, but ‘Entrepreneurs should recognize and treat problems as opportunities. Entrepreneurs must create solutions to hurdles and road blocks that arise. They must think and operate in an unorthodox fashion – a little outside the box, with their shapes changing regularly’ (Phillips 2019).
In that, I lean toward the concept of diversity and creating music that has a strong cross section of style and possible usage, such as Lanza quotes, ‘the deWolfe (music library) has one Mozartian piano and orchestra number called Blue Porcelain that has played behind commercials for both a fancy European car and a feminine hygiene spray’ (Lanza 1995, p. 65).
‘The key to success is knowing and understanding your business as an ever-changing model’ (Phillips 2019).
Engaging the long-tail effect is an important business approach for me, by keeping organic as much as possible – this is the key I believe to a sustainable future within this industry.
deWolfe Music 2019, (online) available at: https://www.dewolfemusic.com/rolloredirect.php?slug=Nitrate_To_Bitrate##1909
(Assessed 10 March 2019).
Johnson B 2019, ‘Think You Have A Hit? Make Sure It’s the First Song on Your Album’, by Lewis E 2019, Rolling Stone Magazine, USA, March 7, 2019, https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/why-the-first-song-on-the-album-is-the-best-803283 (Accessed March 13, 2019).
Lanza J 1994, Elevator Music, p. 64 & 65, St. Martin’s Press, New York.
Lewis E 2019, ‘Think You Have A Hit? Make Sure It’s the First Song on Your Album’, Rolling Stone Magazine, USA, March 7, 2019, https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/why-the-first-song-on-the-album-is-the-best-803283, (Accessed March 13, 2019).
Phillips A D 2018, Music & Media, Excelsia College, textbook for Masters of Music & Media subject, Sydney Australia.
Phillips A D 2018, ‘Music, Metadata, Marketing & Money’ (case study), Universal Business School Sydney (UBSS) – Centre for Entrepreneurship, Sydney Australia.
Phillips A D 2019, Guest speaker – Graduate Studies in Leadership, Graduate Certificate, Universal Business School of Sydney, Sydney Australia.
Production Music Association, 2019, online, https://pmamusic.com/retitling (Assessed March 11, 2019)
Rapee, E 1924, Motion Picture Moods for Pianists and Organists, the forward, G. Schirmer Inc., New York.
Saba, J 2017, (online) http://www.newscaststudio.com/2017/09/20/production-music-now-billion-dollar-industry, NewscastleStudio (trade publication for broadcast production), HD Media Ventures LLC company, September 20, 2017, USA (Assessed March 2, 2019).
Taylor, A 2017, (online) http://www.newscaststudio.com/2017/09/20/production-music-now-billion-dollar-industry, NewscastleStudio (trade publication for broadcast production), HD Media Ventures LLC company, September 20, 2017, USA (Assessed March 1, 2019).
The Media Management Group, 2015, The History of Production Music, (online) http://www.classicthemes.com/50sTVThemes/prodMusHistory.html (Assessed 4 March 2019).
Trunk, J 2005, The Music Library (Graphic Art and Sound), page 6, Fuel Publishing, London.
Yegezu H 2019, ‘Think You Have A Hit? Make Sure It’s the First Song on Your Album’, by Lewis E 2019, Rolling Stone Magazine, USA, March 7, 2019, https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/why-the-first-song-on-the-album-is-the-best-803283 (Accessed March 13, 2019).
Information about the author, Art Phillips of 101 Music Pty Ltd and Art Phillips Music Design (online) http://www.101.audio http://www.artphillips.com
© 2019, Art Phillips, 101 Music Pty Ltd & Art Phillips Music Design, all rights reserved.
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