When it comes to making royalty free music that sells one of the important factors is track length. Much of the music that is sold on the royalty free libraries is used for advertising and commercials.
Most producers who buy from libraries like Productiontrax and RevoStock will not have a big budget. They will therefore most likely be needing music for a 30 sec or a 60 sec spot. They simply cant afford longer spots on TV and want to fit the standard time frame.
Why is 30 or 60 seconds the track length I should aim for?
The 30 sec and 60 sec spots is like an industry standard. Most commercials are either 30 seconds or 60 seconds long. If you take a look at some of the music libraries you will also see that best selling tracks are often 30 or 60 seconds long.
Now it’s not like music longer than this never gets used, but if you were an video editor would you not pick the track that already fits in length for you commercial? No editing to be done and a prober ending and start to the music.
Recent studies has shown that more advertisers are using 30 seconds for commercials. A 30 second commercial is almost as easy to remember as one thats 60 seconds long
You just don’t have to pay for as much air time. Worth taking into consideration.
Trailers will typically be 30 seconds, 60 seconds or longer
Movie trailers will typically be longer than TV commercials. More time is simply needed for showing the story, the characters and what to expect. You will however often see teaser trailers that are 30-60 seconds long. The typical trailer is 60 to 1:30 and the theatrical trailer is 1:30 – 2:30.
As the music from the libraries I’m listed at is very unlikely to be used in theatrical trailers, it makes sense to focus on the 30 and 60 sec mark. Longer trailers also often mixes different tracks and track length is thereby not as important.
Should I make multiple versions of my tracks?
Yes. In some of my future compositions I will be uploading a 30, 60 and full length version of my tracks. This way the bases will be covered and it wont take too long make two cut down versions of a track. Some composers also upload 15 sec versions, loops and stingers, but I think the time is best spent on the 30 and 60 second versions.
We would all like to see our music be used in films. But the fact is that most music sold on the royalty free libraries will be used for commercials and small scale video productions.
It’s therefore a good idea to have this in mind when creating tracks, at least if you’re in it for the money. But most important have fun composing, that’s what makes great music.
I was wondering… what would happen if you gave the people a 2:00-3:00 standard song, but also included in the download package a 30 second, 60 second and 90 second version along with the main sing itself? Do libraries let you do this? What if you also offered 32bit float and 96KHZ sample rates along with the package too? If you can see where I’m going with this…..
Most libraries let’s you upload different versions of you tracks. Some libraries you have to write after uploading and ask them to link the different versions together. Other lets you do it yourself. Most libraries only allows you to upload in specific file formats. Track length is most important.
The more versions you have of each track the better chance of a sale, but as mentioned in the post, I think time is best spent on 30 and 60 sec versions. 🙂
That sounds good… but it also sounds all too easy. 30-60 seconds for a song is not hard to do – the competition would be unbearable. It would become a matter of how we get OUR songs to be heard as opposed to the 1 million+ other songs in the same format right there competing with us.
On the other hand, I completely can’t figure out what makes people go for one song and not the others that sound just like it. Remember this link I showed you guys on composers.ning?
He’s now up to 3822 sales as I type this message. This song has only been on audiojungle for almost 3 years and that’s it. What is it in this song that enthralls everyone so much but makes them ignore the other songs that are almost identical? It’s not that the song is bad or anything like that, but I reiterate, I cannot understand this scenario and it’s driving me up a wall !!
Speaking of audiojungle.com, the other big shot on that site named Tim McMorris has some suggestion on what to sell:
But again… what makes your song stand out from the crowd where everyone can actually hear your stuff and forget everyone else’s? Maybe I’m anaylizing this wrong, but we’re going to need about 3000 songs on about 100 different libraries to make any decent living – America or Europe. You and a number of other composers here are quite talented… but unfortunately, talent doesn’t seem to be what the public wants. They want monotony and they want it at only $5 a song……. why is that? Sorry if I’m sounding like a pessimist… I’m trying to keep my head up in confidence and good humor – whilst I examine reality at the same time.
My take on why the track is selling so well…
1) I think one reason is that when you become popular more people wants to buy your music.
2) It was uploaded before there were a lot of music on audio jungle competing for the positions in search.
3) If I were choosing music I would sort by the best selling. So being successful becomes self-perpetuating
4) In this case track length does not matter as the producer can fade out as he / she pleases
5) Its corporate music, which is one of the best selling categories
3000 songs is way over the top, at least for the kind of music I compose. I get an average of $30 per sold track and are increasing my prices as I improve my skills as a composer. Also I’m only at the small time libraries some libraries sells tracks for much more.
Another option is to open your own web-shop. If you can get the traffic your profit per sale would instantly be doubled. But a web-shop do of cause require more than a few tracks to make sense. Then there’s the back end from PROs which can throw some extra cash in the pile.
I think I could make a living from royalty free music with 600-1000 tracks, perhaps less if I promote the music the right way.
And thanks for the link to the article, interesting read.
I know of quite a few who makes a living selling royalty free music. Is it easy? – no like anything worthwhile in life we have to fight for it. 🙂
Well I know that YOU certainly do well, and yes you do strive for perfection in music as I’ve heard in your songs. I would just hate to think all that talent of yours would go to waste if people didn’t know you even existed. There must be a way to advertise this sort of thing… like you were syaing with that webshop. But there are too many people who specialize in SEO… if everyone has their services, then no one gets noticed since “everyone is getting noticed” from their SEO strategies. What makes one stand out from the crowd?
Oh sorry… one last thing… what would happen if you had 300 songs on 100 different libraries? Is there a ratio that could average out how much you can expect for each library? In other words, you had 500 downloads this month – on average, each library gets you 5 downloads this month. If you get $15 per download, that’s $7500 in one month. Is this a realistic outlook?
I was curious what is “making a living” for all of you. Personally, I would be content with an income stream of $5000 monthly.
What income could you anticipate from the 600-1000 track figure?
When I say “making a living” I’m thinking of something around $3500 a month. That would be just enough to pay the bills and have a little left over.
Now if you asked me about a comfortable living I would agree with you that the $5000 mark is more reasonable. Personally I’m shooting for something higher, but that will be a combination of royalty free music, affiliate marketing and perhaps a nice part time job – to actually get out and meet people in the real word 🙂
i am unemployed but have other income so $1500-$2000/mo would be great!
$5000 a month is CERTAINLY doable! ….Well, if you ask ME that is. On the other hand, you have to take into consideration what taxes you’d owe on that come every April 15th here in America – I’m not sure what the dates are throughout other countries in Europe and Asia. I could be wrong about this, but I always divide whatever I assume I’ll make by 1.45 to see what would be owed in taxes. Now if I took $5000 and divided that by 1.45, I’d have a net cash flow of $3448. $1500 a month goes towards medical, dental and prescription. Hey, that’s $1948 a month I keep for mortgage, food, gasoline, etc.! I’m making that with my job right now!
By the way, guys… I think I forgot to post this link the last time I spoke to you all:
He has an estimate of what kind of sales you can expect based on how many views per song you have on this link for his blog:
Now obviously, these numbers are not something you can take at face value – and I think he admits to that. In my experience, it’s not how good your song is, it’s whether the people are willing to pay for it. So revamp those numbers based on what people want to buy rather than the “quality of your song”.
I can recommend reading the “day in the life of a commercial musician” blog. Some interesting stuff there. The name of blog though, damn thats a long url 😉
He writes that he needs around 400-500 views at the libraries to make a sale. I know I’m just starting out, but I’m below 100 views for a sale. Guess focusing on track title, description, tags, genre and quality of the music pays off. Only time will tell when I have more numbers to crunch.
haha yeah it is pretty long url, should’ve thought of that when I registered that domain. Maybe I’ll change it in the future to something shorter.
good advice and insight. i’ve been on pond5 and productiontrax for about a year and i have over 100 full length songs there. i’ve only sold 34 songs in the past year. nice spending money but nothing to retire on! 🙂 so just this week i decided to sit down and start composing a bunch of 30 and 60 sec pieces and see how they do on these sites.
btw, what are some other places to do this? i emailed several but they weren’t taking any new submissions.
Thanks for the numbers.
You can find the music libraries I’m listed at under Production Music Libraies
Musiclibraryreport.com could also be worth a visit. I’m thinking of doing something similar here on EagleCinematics. That is making a list of Music libraries and giving people the option to rate and comment on each library..
this little 2 min piece with a classical/jewish feel has sold the most of all my songs. i just wish i knew how it was being used!
also, thanks for the info on other places to sell music. i just joined revostock and will check out some of the others. i know soundcloud is now joined with getty music… has anyone had any sales this way?
i’ve decided to compose 25-50 30/60 second pieces and see how they do. i just sold a simple 30 sec piano/flute piece on productiontrax for $10. took me maybe 30 mins to compose and mix…. so now i’m $6.50 richer!! lol
Then you just need to sell it 10 times and you have a decent hourly rate 🙂
lol…right. i would truly be happy to make at least $500/mo…. if possible, more, of course. audiojungle doesn’t pay much but i did have 3 sales during my very first week. we’ll see…..