Metadata for Video

Metadata for videos can serve different purposes. You can use selected metadata in different places to achieve different goals.

Technical – information about the equipment, technical settings, often auto-generated by the equipment being used

Discoverability – descriptive content to allow search engines and human readers to match content with search intent

Administrative – internal, can be human-generated or auto-generated, can include information about project, finance, relationship to other content

Attribution – give people credit for their contributions

For Discoverability

  • Descriptive file name
  • Descriptive title
  • Accurate tags
  • Video description
  • List of contributors for attribution
  • Licensing/permissions information
  • Categories
  • Additional content: end screen file, subtitles file, still image(s) for thumbnail

For Internal Files

  • Which project
  • Which people (for attribution)
  • Which production files
  • What accompanying files – contextual material
  • What administrative information – finance, HR, supplies, planning documents

For Archives (not active use)

  • Video in preservation format (different than active use format)
  • Management/conversion plan
  • Relevant accompanying material (project files, contextual material)

Vimeo metadata for videos

In this example we’ll demonstrate adding metadata to videos hosted on Vimeo, but if you use another platform it should have similar options.

Vimeo allows you to add standard metadata to your videos either at the time of upload, or you can go back and do this later. You can do this from the Videos page. Select the video you want to add metadata to from the list, then work your way through the menu on the left filling in as much information as is relevant for your video.


In the general section you will enter the title and description, as well as set the privacy settings (if you want to restrict the use of the video) and collection and channel settings that will determine how your videos are organized at a high level.


This section tracks versions and changes to your video and settings, and allows you to work with collaborators. There are no metadata settings here.


In this section you can change the settings that will determine how your embedded video appears on other websites.

Interaction Tools

The Interaction Tools section is where you can add custom end screens and mark navigation to specific points in your video.


The Distribution section is where most of your SEO for discoverability options are, as well as where you name your contributors for attribution purposes, and include your creative commons license if appropriate.

To get organized before uploading use a checklist:

Vimeo Checklist Download

For detailed instructions on adding or updating your video metadata see Vimeo’s help documentation here:

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts

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