Make A Living Selling Stock MuiscA question that every new composer in the stock music industry struggles with is how many tracks do I need to make a living from stock music?

Instead of all the speculations I thought I would to a little research by looking at some of the best selling artists at the stock music libraries.

Don’t let your hopes of making some decent money from selling stock music wither away – you do not necessarily need to compose hundreds of tracks.

Can these sales numbers really be used to anything?

I have looked at some of many factors that plays a role (when it comes to making music that can sell) in the article Make Money Selling Stock Music. The difference from that article and this one is that I will be looking at actual stock music composers and their sales numbers.

In other words this article is dealing with facts and real numbers. Looking at the best selling tracks is something I find very useful. It’s the best way of learning how the successful composers are making sales happen.

How the stock music sales numbers are to be understood

The sales and track numbers below are from RevoStock and Pond5. The numbers therefore only represent a small part of what these composers make in total pr. year.

The back end royalties and their many listing at other libraries are factors I wont look at in this article. As a bonus I do however list where they have their music listed besides RevoStock and Pond5. Thought this could give you an idea of where to upload your music.

I will not be mentioning the composers by name as I’m not sure they want some of their music business dissected and posted on a public blog. They are therefore all anonymous, but all the sales numbers are real.

Stock music composer number one

  • Primary styles: Corporate / Happy / TV-News
  • Started selling stock music: 2011
  • Number of tracks: 51
  • Sales numbers taken from: RevoStock / Pond5
  • Number of track sales: 195 / 3867
  • Estimated average earnings pr. track sale: $17 / $10
  • Estimated earnings pr. year: $20992
  • Also listed at: zukkio, youlicense
  • Can be found on YouTube and Soundcloud.

Stock music composer number two

  • Primary styles: Rock  & Pop / Music in many different genres
  • Started selling stock music: 2008
  • Number of tracks: 91
  • Sales numbers taken from: RevoStock / Pond5
  • Number of track sales: 767 / 1407
  • Estimated average earnings pr. track sale: $20 / $20
  • Estimated earnings pr. year: $8696
  • Also listed at: premiumbeat, shockwave-sound, music loops, youlicense, yookamusic, themusicase, proudmusiclibrary, productiontrax, partnersinrhyme, customlabelmusic, triplescoopmusic, luckstock
  • Can be found on YouTube, Soundcloud, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, linkedin and lots of other places.

Stock music composer number three

  • Primary styles: Corporate / TV-news / Music in many different genres
  • Started selling stock music: 2009
  • Number of tracks: 87
  • Sales numbers taken from: RevoStock / Pond5
  • Number of track sales: 373 / 3441
  • Estimated average earnings pr. track sale: $17 / $15
  • Estimated earnings pr. year: $14114
  • Also listed at: audiojungle, istockphoto, tunefruit, audiosparx, musicloops, productiontrax, yookamusic, gettyimages, luckstock, royaltyfreeheaven, buystocksound, musicdealers, stockmusicsite, youlicense, coolstockmusic
  • Can be found on YouTube, Soundcloud, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, allmusic and lots of other places.

What can be concluded from these sales numbers?

I was quite surprised after looking at the numbers that you can make so much money from under 100 tracks at two music libraries.

Another thing that strikes me is that the quality of the stock music from these three composers are very high. It seems that quality is indeed better than quantity.

The tracks that “composer one” has created are very well made and good rock tracks cant be found in many places. He can of cause have sent traffic directly to RevoStock and pond5, but this seems unlikely as he has only uploaded his music in very few places and for example are not to be found on Twitter.

I think it’s obvious that the number of tracks is far from the most important factor when it comes to selling stock music. Every best selling artist at the music libraries has quality music.

Another thing that should not be overlooked is that the three composers best selling tracks all are in the corporate genre or related. So again this is another indicator that corporate music could be the holy grail of making it in stock music business.

That is of cause if you’re not pitching your music for films, documentaries and so on. Then you need a different approach as corporate music obviously will not be what the producers are looking for.

Don’t try to create 1000 tracks – Make quality music instead

It does not seem like you need 500 tracks or more to make a living from stock music. You could probably do it with less than 100 tracks  if they were in the right genre and of very high quality.

It’s of cause a balance as you cant be spending months on a single track, then you wont get anywhere. I do however think quality should win over quantity.

It can be very hard to keep making new music with selling in mind, when you don’t see any noticeable income,  but I urge you to not give up. Everybody started with zero tracks and worked their way up.

Many have succeed making a living selling their music and skills as a composer – so why should you not be able to do it?