Selling Royalty Free Music: Are You Giving Up Too Soon?

The following is a real life email from a real life customer on Productiontrax.com:

Hi Dave,

Last week I found some great music tracks on your website. The track ID numbers were 1234 and 5432. I tried out the free low-res demos and they worked perfectly in my film, and now I’m ready to license them and download the hi-res versions. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find them anymore on Productiontrax. Can you help?

Sincerely,

Joe Customer

It never fails. A composer puts some music up on PT looking to make a quick sale, and then hides or removes the track completely after only a couple of days, disappointed and frustrated that it hasn’t licensed yet.

Granted, there are many good reasons to pull tracks from your account: you signed a deal with an “old skool” library, you’re changing careers, you just licensed the same track to another customer on an exclusive basis. But what we tend to see are composers who get impatient, expecting customers to immediately buy tracks within minutes.

So what should you do? What is a reasonable amount of time to give a track to sell before considering other options? I suggest these following rules of thumb for selling royalty free music, sound effects, stock footage, and photos on Productiontrax:

1. Know your audience, and their buying habits. This is true for any business. Multimedia producers are just as finicky as you are, and they’re more of a perfectionist than you are. They want the music they buy to be perfect, and every hit, pulse, and beep should line up perfectly with all their edit points. They want free comps to test out for days, weeks, months, until they get the rough draft just right. Then they buy.

2. Diversify and build your library. It’s true, the more you have on PT, the more you sell. But you don’t need as many as you think. Don’t upload 37,000 garbage files, because then no one will buy your stuff, and you’ll just be flooding the marketplace with useless media. Focus on quality, and create media in a wide variety of styles and genres. Challenge yourself in new areas, maybe weekly, or even daily. Take each track you write, and make a :15, :30, and:60 cut. Make a stinger. If you write one song a week, you can make it into 5 useful tracks. That’s 20 tracks a month. That’s 240 tracks a year.

3. Be patient. Building sales consistency takes time. Consider leaving your files up indefinitely – you will see the return. What is it to you anyway? It’s not like you have to sit there and stare at the screen. Just upload and forget about it. The most successful contributors have racked up tens of thousands of dollars in sales over the course of just 2 to 3 years. They simply upload a lot of good useful music, describe and keyword their files well, and then they leave it up there whether it sells or not.

4. Be aware of seasonal dips and quiet production months.Many of Productiontrax.com’s clients tend to be professional media creators, or work for businesses. This means they go on vacations. They take holidays. Think of the times of year when you’re not working, and expect those few weeks to be slow for you – but don’t think it’s a sign that you need to move on. All good things take time.

Add Comment Register



Leave a Reply