Tag Archives: music downloads

Bridging the Gap With Stock Music

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it’s true, paying for music and adhering to copyright laws does create jobs, like in this post.

And yet, the “free music economy” persists, as more and more internet surfers demand cheap or free content to use as they please. But I think there is a happy medium between the “free music economy” and prohibitively expensive licensing, and that happy medium is stock music. As computer and mobile devices become increasingly more capable, and barriers to entry in creative tasks fall, more and more people want that soundtrack for their slideshow, presentation, home movie, or viral YouTube hit. I would say most infringers steal because they simply can’t afford to play the music industry’s game, nor is their project worthy of that kind of scrutiny.

Instead of stealing, though, which I think we can all agree stifles creativity and hurts content creators, keeping food off their tables and forcing otherwise talented artists to find work elsewhere, stock music is a reasonable, affordable alternative. Artists should look at ways they can bring their products to market in ways such as this as a more desirable alternative to giving away all their stuff for free. Doing so would counteract the pirate culture. I see stock music as bridging the gap, either to bring out an unknown’s work to the public, or to lengthen the revenue tail of a song that has fallen by the wayside amidst constant musical innovation.

Similarly, multimedia authors need to step back and do things the right way. Afterall, they probably wouldn’t like it if we broke into their home and took their family photos and plastered them online… unless they already do that on Facebook. There are options for affordable projects — and stock media is one of them, which effectively keeps musicians and artists employed and the economy running so that there will be new music for the next project.

Editors Picks – New Media at Productiontrax.com

We recently launched our new weekly email, which hopefully makes it easier for you to find more relevant tracks for your projects. Here are our picks for Sept. 13, 2011.

Intro (47 sec) – To The Last Breath
by Karol Sabat
Track ID: 260453 | Action & Adventure

This short intro track, which also has a full version here, reminds us of Avatar. Fuses orchestra and choirs to create an epic world music inspired orchestration common to many current action and adventure films.

tags: world, orchestra, action, adventure, epic, choirs, avatar

Happy Whistle
by Vess Ray
Track ID: 257685 | Pop

This track is just so happy. Reminds me of a pet food commercial, baby wipes, or anything family or kid related. Lively and fun, this track is the perfect mood-setter.

tags: bouncy, lively, fun, whistle, recess, comic, cartoon, sitcom, commercial

Ditto Darling
by Richard Brown, Soundsculptor
Track ID: 258085 | Easy Listening

This easy listening love song combines smooth jazz flavors with adult contemporary influences and a rather peculiar semi-sung vocal that will either woo you to tears or totally freak you out. Add a bit of mystery to your next romantic endeavor.

tags: easy listening, pop, vocal, romantic, piano, smooth jazz

Spooksville us with fx
by Alec Makinson
Track ID: 258307 | Horror

With Halloween around the corner, this track reminds us of ghosts and goblins. A bit Addams Family meets the Joker, this track is an easy way to get the sound of Danny Elfman on your project without the huge payroll expense.

tags: spooky, harpsichord, evil, witches, scoobydoo, tongueincheek, cartoon, Halloween

by Ian Hubbal
Track ID: 247038 | Bluegrass

Multiple banjos and strings sing of americana and the country. Whether you’re sitting on the porch whittling away, or stealing your cousin’s pick up truck, this is the soundtrack for your summer days out in the dust bowl. Constant build makes this track perfect for comedies or art pieces about Oklahoma.

tags: determined, marching, banjos, bluegrass, playful, escalating, americana

Getting Your Fair Share of the Pie – A Stock Media Survival Guide for Artists

With the growing popularity of library music and royalty free music sites, especially the sudden development of user-content driven stock media libraries, it has become more important than ever for artists to be wary of the deals that they are getting themselves into. I’ve compiled some tips and advice from a business standpoint that I hope is helpful to composers and media producers looking to distribute their media online.

So you’ve found another stock media site to join. What should you look for?

Royalty Splits, Commissions & The Quantity of Sales Myth
Take a close look at how the site prices their media and much the site is offering you per sale. Some sites greatly undervalue their artists media, looking to make a quick sale.

Do the math:
Site xyz.com offers you a 50% split (which is about the de-facto industry standard), and they sell your media 50 times a month. But they also use the credit system, and they’re pricing your music at a whopping $1 per clip. It’s no wonder they are able to move your music so often. They are offering sync rights to the public, for which signed artists get thousands of dollars a track for plus royalties, for less than a cup of coffee! They rationalize to you that you will get your BMI/ASCAP/PRS/whatever royalties through cue sheets. But think about it. Joe Smith, online discount bargain music hunter, your average stock media consumer – do you really think he is going to 1) understand a cue sheet, and 2) take the time to fill it out and send it in? Furthermore, they justify the low price by saying that they have to sell at that price because you are basically an unknown, and that’s all people will pay for your music (which is a lie). Your total cut per month under this plan: $25, if you’re lucky.

On Productiontrax.com, we value your time and commitment to your art and production as an independent artist. Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned pro, we give you complete control over your pricing. You set your clip price to what you think it is worth. We also give you 65% of your total sale – the highest royalty split in the business. Sure, you might not sell 50 times a month (though many of our contributors do), but, on a clip that you price at our average commercial license price of $35, you make $22.75 per sale. Sell just twice a month, and you’ve already made more with Productiontrax.com than you have anywhere else.

Exclusive or Non-Exclusive
Some sites and libraries have what they call “Exclusive” deals, meaning, you can only sell your content on one site. Usually, when a stock site offers you an exclusive deal, they also offer it with a bigger chunk of the royalty split. When considering an exclusive deal, make sure you realize that they pretty much own you for the duration of the contract. They might up your split to 60% (notice it is still below Productiontrax.com’s standard 65% cut for everyone), but you are limited to the sales you get through that one site. You can’t sell or market your stuff anywhere else! Combine that with some of the “discount” pricing schemes offered on many sites, and you have a recipe for certain failure. From a long-term business perspective, artists need the ability to diversify their offerings across the online music landscape. Think of distribution channels as an investment. Do you really want your portfolio of offerings to be limited to one site?

Productiontrax.com gives you freedom with your media. We don’t use fancy, confusing contractual gimmicks by trying to lock you in to just one place. It is hard enough to survive as an artist in today’s economic climate. We believe that you, and only you, own the rights to your media, whether it’s music, sound effects, stock footage, or photos. You should be able to sell it and market it as you see fit.

License Terms
How a library lets its users use your media is a big part of what factors into sales. Take a close look at what a stock media site lets their customers do with your files. Are there restrictions? Are there copyright issues? What about mechanical rights, derivative works, sync, and publishing? What about reporting to PROs and cue sheets? What options do they give you as an artist? All of these are factors in the sale and promotion of your music.

Productiontrax.com is unique in how it licenses your music. We have taken great strides to protect your rights as an artist while giving our customers the creative freedom they need to succeed in today’s marketplace. Productiontrax.com allows you to set two prices – one for independent non-commercial use, and one for commercial and for-profit use. We’ve also taken it one step further, allowing you, the artist, to opt in to special license options and opportunities, such as sampling and DJ use, CD distribution, and bulk blanket licensing. This gives you ultimate control over who uses your media, and how they media, without confusing the customer with all sorts of legal mumbo-jumbo and difficult to navigate sites.

Finally, you’ll want to make sure that the image portrayed by a site meets your expectations for your own personal and professional image and reputation. Once you have joined a site, your music and reputation are associated with the brand and image of the site that it is on. If that site is constantly sending spam emails, offering your tracks at a discount, or low-balling you from a commissions standpoint, you can probably guess what the general public thinks of your music. On the other hand, if the site is clean, user friendly, offers comprehensive customer support, and promotes your music in a professional manner, respectful of your rights as an artist and the needs of the general public, your reputation has been brought up to that level.

To sum up, when you are selling your music online through a royalty free music site, or selling your sound effects library, stock footage, or stock photos, pay close attention to the deals you are creating for yourself, and the overall brand image that the library. Your artistry and professional survival depend on it.

Will The State of New York Kill The Music Industry?

“Gov. David Paterson has proposed a so-called ‘iPod tax’ on downloaded music and entertainment services to help his state close a $15.4 billion budget deficit.

However, Apple Inc.’s products aren’t Paterson’s only targets. He has proposed 88 new fees and taxes that go far beyond, including on movie tickets, taxi rides, soda, beer, wine, cigars, massages, cable and satellite TV.

That’s just one aspect of Paterson’s proposed $121.1 billion budget released yesterday. The budget attempts to make state government leaner while relying on a wave of new taxes and fees that will be passed down to businesses.

The proposed budget is balanced and holds state spending just under the inflation rate. The budget also erases a combined $15.4 billion in budget gaps over the next 15 months.

Paterson revealed his budget amid the unrelenting shake-up on Wall Street that has already depleted state tax revenue and triggered tens of thousands of layoffs. Before this recession, the state’s financial services sector had produced 20 percent of state tax revenue through income taxes, year-end bonuses, real estate deals and initial public offerings on the stock markets.”

I hope all people in the internet and music industry will speak out against unfair, unrealistic, and economically damaging taxes such as this one. While we’re not located in New York, their recent taxation policies have been a source of concern for not only businesses in the music industry, but every business that has a website and sells online (see their sales tax law currently being fought by major online retailers: http://www.newrules.org/retail/efairny.html)

How Amazon and Overstock responded to New York: