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

30secondsalbumcover

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.

thirtysecondsalbum

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

30secondsalbumcover

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

thirtysecondsgoogle

23 Responses

  1. Avatar
    Rob H

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

    • Avatar
      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. Avatar
    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.”

    • Avatar
      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.

      • Avatar
        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.

    • Avatar
      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’

      • Avatar
        Smartass

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

        • Avatar
          Paul Resnikoff

          At least you read the entire comment 😉

    • Avatar
      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. Avatar
    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. Avatar
    pukfaze

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

  5. Avatar
    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.

    • Avatar
      Jeff Robinson

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

  6. Avatar
    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.

    • Avatar
      Visitor

      You’ve never worked with metadata, have you?

  7. Avatar
    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. Avatar
    Visitor

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

  9. Avatar
    Visitor

    OT:
    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!