Congratulations SoundCloud, this is exciting news!…although not the focal point of this entry…
I think the real news lies with what SoundCloud really does, which is, in my opinion, similar to what we, at G&E Music do with Producer’s ToolBox (minus the licensing deals).
They make their content available to the public and users are able to search through the catalog from various artists through typing in key search words. This is a key component to music licensing. Film and TV Producers, Ad agencies etc… need a quick and efficient way of finding music for their visuals and the only way that can occur is if artists are meta-tagging their music correctly and well (not overly specific and not too broad).
SoundCloud offers you a free platform to get your music out there and with the power of creating your metadata in your own hands, marketing and getting your music out there is really in your control.
With these features, it’s no wonder why SoundCloud is growing so well!
So, how can you best tag your music?
Well, the best advice I can give you as a music supervisor is to picture yourself in the producer’s or content-seeker’s shoes and not as a musician. As musicians, we can often get too specific on genre and end up tagging our songs with made up words or not fully see from an outsiders perspective who we necessarily sound like and it can get a bit messy.
Film and TV producers, Ad agencies etc…have visuals and the words most frequently used in search bars describe the scene (action, drama, sappy/ love story), mood (happy, sad, tense) and feel, which really depicts what emotion they want their audience members to experience (scared, inspired), which is a bit different than mood.
Those are the basics, now if the producer knows music well, they may get specific on instrumentation which you should briefly mention as well, especially, I feel, if it is something unique or popular at the moment (i.e. ukeleles, mandolins).
So tag away musicians! But don’t overtag, it’s about the quality, not quantity of words. After all, if your constant tagging gets you impressions but never fits what they’re looking for, your ratings can go down which would make your music end up at the bottom of the pile :(