Video Metadata Starter Kit: What You Need to Know

Blog 7 min read | Feb 6, 2024 | Martina Georgievska


When it comes to video files, there’s more to the content than meets the eye. Behind the visual element, a hidden layer of information known as video metadata is responsible for organizing, managing, and optimizing the vast array of video content available online.

What is video metadata?

Video metadata represents the descriptive information embedded within a video file, providing insights into various aspects of the content. Going beyond the visual and auditory elements, the video metadata provides details about a video’s creation, video format, and other essential attributes. Search engines and video management systems use metadata to organize video content.

Types of video metadata

Although many different types of video metadata contribute to the comprehensive understanding of video content, the following three are the most common.

1. Descriptive video metadata

Descriptive video metadata serves as the narrative backbone, including key details such as the media file name, video title, descriptive keywords, video tags, and annotations. Furthermore, this type of metadata encompasses technical information such as the date and time of creation, runtime, as well as file size and type.

These descriptors aid in the efficient organization and categorization of videos, making it easier for users to search and discover content that aligns with their preferences.

2. Administrative video metadata

This category of metadata includes information crucial for the efficient organization, rights management, and maintenance of video assets. Namely, administrative metadata may encompass details such as copyright information, licensing terms, and usage rights, providing a comprehensive record of legal and contractual obligations associated with the video.

Additionally, it often includes technical specifications like video codecs, bitrates, and resolutions, aiding in the compatibility and optimization of video distribution across various platforms.

This metadata layer serves as a backbone for video asset management systems, contributing to the streamlined administration of video libraries and the enforcement of copyright protections.

3. Structural video metadata

Structural video metadata offers a framework for understanding and navigating the internal structure of video content. Its elements outline the organization, sequence, and relationships between different components within the video file.

Usually, structural metadata includes information about chapters, segments, scenes, and timelines, providing a roadmap for viewers to navigate through the video’s narrative or informational structure.

Overall, it facilitates efficient video playback, enabling users to skip between sections, bookmark key moments, or access supplementary content seamlessly.

All of the mentioned video metadata types play a major role in content organization. However, the descriptive video metadata is key when it comes to optimizing video content for search engines.

Where to find a video’s metadata

The location of a video’s metadata can vary depending on the operating system, platform, file format, and the software used to create or edit the video.

  • On Windows: Right-click on the video file, select “Properties,” and navigate to the “Details” tab. Here, you’ll find general information like title, author, date taken, and other metadata such as previews or security.
  • On macOS: Right-click on the video file, choose “Get Info,” and go to the “More Info” section. You can view metadata such as file type (for example MOV, AVI, MKV, or MP4), resolution, codec, and duration will be available.

How to edit video metadata

Editing video metadata can be done using various tools and software, depending on your specific needs and the platform where the video is hosted.

In VLC, for example, you can right-click on the video, choose “Tools,” and select “Media Information.” Here, you can edit certain metadata fields.

Moreover, you can use the open-source software FFmpeg to add metadata to a video using a command line to encode it.

Enter the following command line to modify your video file’s metadata:

“ffmpeg – i inputfile -metadata title=”[Title]” -metadata year=”[year]” outputfile

These are just a couple of options for editing video metadata information.

How to edit video metadata with JWP

To change the metadata for a video file from your library, follow these steps:

1. Click on the name of the video from your JWP dashboard to see the details page of the video.

2. Click on the video title to change it.

3. Navigate to the Basic Information or Advanced Settings tab to edit your desired metadata fields.

4. Click Save to save your changes.

In the Advanced Settings tab, you’ll find fields like content protection, scheduling, and expiration date.

How to increase video discoverability using video metadata

Increasing video discoverability using video metadata involves optimizing the descriptive elements associated with your videos to make them more visible and relevant to potential viewers. Here are several strategies to enhance video discoverability through metadata:

  • Use descriptive titles and tags: Craft descriptive, keyword-rich titles and tags that accurately reflect the content of your videos that potential viewers might use when searching for content similar to yours.
  • Optimize descriptions: Write informative and compelling video descriptions that provide additional context about your videos. For best engine visibility, include relevant keywords naturally within the description.
  • Use custom metadata fields: Take advantage of custom metadata fields provided by video hosting platforms to add additional context and information about your videos. This could include categorization tags, location data, or other relevant details.
  • Create engaging thumbnails: Thumbnails are often the first thing viewers see when browsing videos. Create visually appealing and relevant thumbnails that accurately represent the content of your videos and entice viewers to click.
  • Include closed captions and subtitles: Adding closed captions and subtitles not only improves accessibility but also enhances the discoverability of your videos. Search engines can index the text from captions, making your videos more likely to appear in search results for relevant queries.
  • Encourage user engagement: Encourage viewers to engage with your videos by liking, commenting, and sharing them. User engagement signals to search algorithms that your videos are valuable and relevant, potentially boosting their visibility in search results.
  • Promote cross-platform sharing: Share your videos across various social media platforms, forums, and online communities to expand their reach and increase the likelihood of discovery by new audiences.
  • Monitor and analyze performance: Regularly monitor the performance of your videos and analyze metrics such as views, watch time, and engagement rates. Use this data to identify trends, understand audience behavior, and refine your metadata optimization strategies accordingly.

By implementing these strategies and optimizing your video metadata effectively, you can attract a larger audience to your content.

How to index your videos with structured data

Structured data provides search engines with additional information about your content in a format they can easily interpret. For videos, structured data helps search engines understand details such as the title, description, duration, and thumbnail of your videos.

Search engines like Google need structured data to create rich snippets of your video content. Rich snippets are enhanced search results that provide additional information directly in the search engine results pages (SERPs). They are achieved through structured data markup and offer users a quick preview of webpage content, such as ratings, reviews, prices, and more.

There are several markup formats you can use for structured data, but JSON-LD (JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data) is often recommended due to its simplicity and compatibility with most web development frameworks.

If you’re a JWP customer, enabling the Google Search Optimized feature will add the necessary structured data to your video player automatically.

The importance of video metadata

Metadata is a valuable asset for both users and search engines, especially in the context of video content that lacks textual information within the file itself. This becomes particularly significant for search engine optimization (SEO), where video metadata is essential for achieving higher rankings for web page content.

The inclusion of rich and accurate metadata is essential for facilitating the crawling process undertaken by search engine bots when attempting to comprehend and index video content. Without such descriptive metadata, videos may struggle to align with user search queries, impacting their discoverability in search engine results.

When users initiate searches on platforms like Google, relevant keywords should seamlessly match the metadata of videos to ensure optimal visibility. In the absence of comprehensive metadata, understanding the content of these video files becomes challenging without playing them in a media player first.

Overall, video metadata serves as a critical component not only for user comprehension but also for the search engine algorithms that determine content rankings.


Understanding the importance of video metadata is crucial in the online video industry. It serves as the backbone that organizes video content, makes it searchable, and tailors video experiences. Whether you’re a content creator or simply a viewer, recognizing its role opens up new possibilities for engagement and discovery.