30 Seconds to Mars Has the Second Worst Metadata In the World…

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Why are some of the biggest artists in the world stumbling over the most basic metadata issues?

Last week, Rod Stewart’s label Universal Music Group distributed an embarrassingly-bad album title error, which took more than a week to correct.

But Thirty Seconds to Mars, which is now releasing a new album, is dealing with a problem that’s much harder to see.  It isn’t of the glaringly embarrassing variety, but it’s potentially more insidious.

Here’s the latest album.

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And, here’s the seminal, 2002 release that put the band on the map.

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And, here’s what a Google search for the band looks like…

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23 Responses

  1. Rob H

    Not so much a metadata issue, so much as just inconsistent branding

    • Dive Clavis

      If you don’t think this is a metadata issue then you’ve never dealt with metadata.
      This is the biggest part of the metadata!!
      What, you think SoundExchange is gonna figure this one out much less on a much smaller band that did the same thing??

  2. Makaveli

    Paulie, Paulie, Paulie: step out of your little arrogant tech-hype bubble for just one second and you’ll realize this is about the artistry and the music. You think Jared Leto cares about any of this?
    “For us, the name 30 Seconds To Mars has little to do with space, the universe or anything like that. It is a name that works on several different levels. Most importantly, it is a good representation of our sound. It’s a phrase that is lyrical, suggestive, cinematic, and filled with immediacy. It has some sense of otherness to it. The concept of space is so overwhelming and all encompassing I doubt there is a song written that doesn’t fall within it.”

    • jw

      I don’t think it’s necessarily about that… it’s more like… are Thirty Seconds to Mars albums going to show up on the 30 Seconds to Mars artist page on Spotify? Are they going to be scrobbled as 30 Seconds to Mars “listens” on last.fm? Are all of the band’s albums going to be grouped together in my iTunes library?
      In plenty of instances, the new album is likely to get lost, as if it was created by an entirely new band. That’s something that Jared Leto ought to care about.

      • Antoinette

        I agree in one aspect that when I am in the store I have a hard time finding the band. If the album is 30 then its in front of the A’s if its Thirty then its in the “T”‘s so all the albums are mixed up on the rack.
        Also No on ever fixed the misspelling of Provehito on This is War. I found that way repulsive.
        All of it is a megadata death if you ask me and someone perhaps needs to relearn his/her job description or be replaced by the countless people who are qualified to do the work and will pay attention to the small details that mean everything.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      The point of the article is that metadata is becoming not only more important, but increasingly critical to the success of a band online (and, in this sort of scenario, even offline at the few record stores left). I wonder, if Jared (who was not contacted for this article) and the group would have moved from “30” to “Thirty” if they realized that little ‘non-artistic details’ like ‘sales’ and ‘new fans’ and ‘search results’ would be compromised by such a name change.
      There are many younger, potentially new fans that might miss a piece of content and slip off to something else. What’s old to you is completely new to them.
      SoundExchange, as mentioned above, could miss a payment.
      A radio playlist, critical to the metadata and payment pipeline, could enter the name alternatively as 30 and Thirty, with various endpoints not properly equipped to handle both (because they didn’t realize it, or haven’t gotten around to it).
      Spotify, at a recent NARM panel, explained that they had to go through extra effort to drive fans searching for “30” to “Thirty,” and vice versa.
      Helienne said it best: you think that the name of the drummer (or sound engineer, or contributing writer) is going to be right in these circumstances? There’s a good chance there are problems there, as well (without checking.)
      So is it all about the music? That’s naive: it’s like saying it’s “all about the football” for a football player. The player also needs a good agent, and couch.
      Thanks for reading, ‘Makaveli’

      • Smartass

        Football players definitely need good couches. And so do fans.

        • Paul Resnikoff

          At least you read the entire comment 😉

    • Megan

      As a software engineer, I have to agree with Paul! And yes I am an Echelon, a super fan if you will. This would cause issue in many apps in this day and age of technology, unless it has been addressed before hand, regardless of whether the band care for the name or not. It is also more about marketing issue and reaching the audiences who are not as familiar as we are with the band. So Paul has a good point!

  3. Jeff Robinson

    Here’s a great guide as to what needs to be in a release:

    Time to bring the kids up-to-speed.

  4. pukfaze

    Looks to me to be a album cover design issue – not a metadata issue.

  5. LC

    It’s because record labels are making young interns (who work for free) do their metadeta instead of someone who has a little work experience and understands the importance of consistency. Very simple – you get what you pay for.

    • Jeff Robinson

      Which is why this should be imperative reading for those interns…

  6. MusicFan

    Arists are creative entities. Sometimes they decide they want to change their “look”. This is not a mistake. It is a artistic decision. This metadata is correct.

    • Visitor

      You’ve never worked with metadata, have you?

  7. drumandkeys

    Unfortunately, I dont think google is a good example to demonstrate metadata quality. As with this example, Google’s indexing algorithm is smart enough to provide the best quality links for subject content written in numeric form or as text.

  8. Visitor

    This makes me think of Blink 182 as Blink One Eighty Two.

  9. Visitor

    Not one illegal link on page one!
    I just did a search too and got the same result (metrolyrics was the only exception, and I suppose it could be discussed if that’s illegal or not).
    So what’s going on?
    This is way more interesting than metadata!