Selling Music Online – The Stock Audio Market

Posted by Emmett Cooke on January 6, 2009 in Guides

Movie 128 Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio MarketIf you like this article, check out:

The Business of Music Licensing – Generating Revenue Through Your Music“.

 

My beginnings in the “music industry” were when a friend recommended a site to me called Audiojungle. I had just finished college, and wasn’t any good at music technology (ie. recording music), but could compose quite well. So I decided to try and make some tracks and upload them to the site – if they were any way good, someone might buy them and it would give me some reassurance that I was on the right track.

Of course I only expected to maybe sell one or two tracks. In my first month on Audiojungle, I think I uploaded about 3 tracks – all short piano loops. For reasons which I couldn’t understand at the time, my tracks started to sell.

In July I had 9 sales – amounting to a whopping $8.75. I couldn’t believe it – people actually liked my music enough to buy it. When I started to see the sales very very slowly trickle in, I started to think…hmmm this could work out to be quite a nice money maker in my spare time.

So next I joined Revostock. A better payout rather (50/50), and they sell your tracks for more, I thought it looked good. I joined up, and started uploading my tracks. Then my tracks started to sell on there too, and I had another revenue stream coming in. So next I spoke with Mark Lewis (owner of PartnersinRhyme.com) and he liked my music, so let me join up to Musicloops.com and if I did well on there, I could join PartnersinRhyme.com and make a CD collection for the site.

Money 128x128 Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio Market
Naturally enough, my music sold well on musicloops.com and after a few weeks, Mark asked me to create a CD of emotional piano tracks to be sold on PartnersinRhyme.com for $100 a pop! I got cracking, and used what limited knowledge I had to make a few piano tracks using Reason. I kept the idea of KISS – Keep it Simple Stupid! I just used piano and strings – I didn’t master the tracks, didn’t use any EQ – nothing – just piano and strings in Reason. I didn’t do any mastering simply because I didn’t know much about it at the time. So far since it went on sale I’ve sold it 5 times and made $250 last month from it. You can view it here

It just goes to show – theres money to be made in the stock audio market if you have some spare time, and have a bit of talent.

There are also plenty of other sites out there to sell your music on. Heres a list of sites which I have come across in my last year of music making – some good, some bad, some pay well, some don’t. Make up your own mind though – each person’s music is individual and will sell better some sites, compared to others, so try them all out!

view page Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio MarketAudioJungle

Does the site allow uploads? Yes
Are you able to price your own tracks? No
Can you just open an account or do you have to submit a demo to be reviewed and be accepted? Open an account – uploads are reviewed
Are they accepting submission from outside composers? Yes
What is the size of their catalog? 2853 music tracks and 1377 sounds
What is the payout or split? 25/75 non exclusive, 30/70 exclusive (increases are you sell more)
Are there any backend royalties? No
Non-exclusive? Yes

office2 48 Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio MarketMy personal opinion: Only one type of licensing available, which limits your income and allows people to use your music for any sized project. Don’t mail you when a track is sold, which other sites do. Great community, and nice feedback on each track everytime you upload

view page Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio MarketRevostock

Does the site allow uploads? Yes
Are you able to price your own tracks? No
Can you just open an account or do you have to submit a demo to be reviewed and be accepted? You have to submit a demo and be accepted
Are they accepting submission from outside composers? Yes
What is the size of their catalog? 45,679 Files (music, sounds, video, FX)
What is the payout or split? Payment split is 45/55 for non-exclusive, 60/40 for exclusive.
Are there any backend royalties? No
Non-exclusive? Yes
3 types of licenses, which increase your sales income:

1. Corporate, Non-Profit, Trade Shows, Web*, Not-For-Broadcast Re-Production to 5,000 copies. Project and Student Films.
2. Includes Standard License plus local/cable broadcast up to 300 miles and reproduction from 5,000 to 50,000.
3. Unlimited Reproduction.

office2 48 Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio MarketMy personal opinion: Really easy upload process – upload via ftp, then put description on each track. Have a weekly newsletter which sends out the top tracks of the week to all subscibers, getting your music more views if its on it. Good track pricing – ie. $10- $15 and nice payout out 45% per track. Mail you when a track is sold which is nice to see in your inbox.

view page Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio MarketProductiontrax

Does the site allow uploads? Yes
Are you able to price your own tracks? Yes
Can you just open an account or do you have to submit a demo to be reviewed and be accepted? “You do not have to send a demo to become a composer, anyone can just sign-up for an account. ”
Are they accepting submission from outside composers? Yes
What is the size of their catalog? “50,000 files. We also have Stock Footage and Stock Photography files for sale”
What is the payout or split? 65% of the sales go to the composers, whether a track is exclusive or not.
Are there any backend royalties? No
Non-exclusive? Yes

office2 48 Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio MarketMy Personal opinion: Never sold anything on here ever. I know a few composers who have had some sales on it, for commercial licenses and made a nice amount of money from it, but I myself haven’t had any luck with it. Some parts of the site don’t work and havent worked since I started which puts me off it slightly, but as I said some composers I know have sold a number of tracks on it, so I’m sure its worthwhile to join.

view page Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio MarketAudiosparx

Is it free to register? Yes
Does the site allow uploads? Yes
Are you able to price your own tracks? Yes
Can you just open an account or do you have to submit a demo to be reviewed and be accepted? Any music uploaded has to be reviewed first
Are they accepting submission from outside composers? Yes
What is the size of their catalog? 275,000+ Sound Effects, Loops, Ringtones and Production Music Tracks
What is the payout or split? 50/50
Are there any backend royalties? “For musicians, we help and guide you in the process end-to-end to help you earn performance royalties for the broadcast production use of your music”
Non-exclusive? Yes

office2 48 Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio MarketMy Personal Opinion: Only ever sold one track on it. I think their library is far to big for anyone to find your music on it, hence why I have had less sales, but try it out yourself and see what you think. Lots of options in your control panel to view such as batch upload, advertising campaigns etc.

view page Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio MarketeStockmusic

Does the site allow uploads? Yes
Are you able to price your own tracks? No
Can you just open an account or do you have to submit a demo to be reviewed and be accepted? Open account
Are they accepting submission from outside composers? Yes
What is the size of their catalog? Small
What is the payout or split? Payment split is 40/60 for non-exlcusive, 50/50 for exclusive tracks
Are there any backend royalties?
Non-exclusive? Yes

office2 48 Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio MarketMy Personal opinion: Quite a small price to sell your music for, so choose what you sell on here. I don’t have all my music on this site – just one or two tracks to have my name on there.

view page Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio MarketMusicloops

Does the site allow uploads? Yes
Are you able to price your own tracks? Yes
Can you just open an account or do you have to submit a demo to be reviewed and be accepted? Submit a demo
Are they accepting submission from outside composers? Yes
What is the size of their catalog? Currently 3000 full length tracks, 20,000 including edits and loops.
What is the payout or split? 50/50
Are there any backend royalties? Yes, but we do not require that the customer report the use to performing rights agencies
Non-exclusive? Yes

office2 48 Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio MarketMy Personal opinion: Great site – easy to upload. Mark Lewis the owner is a great guy, easy to get hold of. Payments are always on time – one of my favourite stock music sites!

view page Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio MarketPartnersinrhyme

Does the site allow uploads? No
Are you able to price your own tracks? No (composers have input on what prices might be though)
Can you just open an account or do you have to submit a demo to be reviewed and be accepted? No
Are they accepting submission from outside composers? Yes via demo online or CD
What is the size of their catalog? 125 Music Collections
What is the payout or split? 50/50
Are there any backend royalties? Yes, but they do not require that the customer report the use to performing rights agencies
Non-exclusive? Yes
Composer also gets a ‘Partners In Rhyme Composer Account’ where he can track all sales from all distribution channels in realtime.

office2 48 Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio MarketMy Personal Opinion: Brilliant site. Sells music collections, so if your music is good enough, and a unique genre, you may be able to sell a collection of your music on here. Well worth having your tracks on. I’ve made the most money out of this site, and its a great site to be on if you get the opportunity.

view page Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio MarketYoulicense

“YouLicense is an online music licensing marketplace. We have developed a platform which enables artists and those seeking musical content to conduct business directly with one another in a safe and secure environment… YouLicense is non-exclusive and welcomes anyone with musical content to upload music and offer licenses for sale. This allows for a large range of musical content; from ringtones to sheet music to songs and beats; and is combined with a unique search engine to increase the chances of finding the much needed musical content.

Does the site allow uploads? Yes
Are you able to price your own tracks? Yes you get to choose each price for each license
Can you just open an account or do you have to submit a demo to be reviewed and be accepted? You can just open an account and start uploading
Are they accepting submission from outside composers? Yes
What is the size of their catalog? Growing quickly
What is the payout or split? Free Account – Pay 10 cents per track sold and you set the prices
Pro Musician and Business accounts – Pay NOTHING on MP3 sales
Are there any backend royalties? Depends on each project
Non-exclusive? Yes

office2 48 Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio MarketMy personal opinion: I’ve uploaded stuff to their site, but haven’t sold anything yet. They have a fresh approach, and are exactly what a lot of composers I know, are looking for. You get to choose what licenses you can offer on your tracks, and theres a cool opportunites page, with listings of people that are looking for you to submit your tracks to them for projects. Another brilliant thing which they have is the youlicense widget which you can add to your site – you can check out mine here – it lets you sell your music via your own website, without having to embed an mp3 store on your site. Great ideas from this site.

view page Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio MarketSoundreef

“SoundReef.com is based on the idea that music can enhance images and images are a great way to promote music. SoundReef.com’s approach is unique: it is possible to pay for music licensing not only through monetary compensation, but also by fulfilling promotional activities for the musician. The idea is to find an ideal, “automatic” meeting point between a fair compensation for the musicians and many multimedia productions’ low music budgets.”

Does the site allow uploads? Yes
Are you able to price your own tracks? Yes in that you get to agree on a price per project
Can you just open an account or do you have to submit a demo to be reviewed and be accepted? Currently in private beta, but you can get numerous invitations online if you search
Are they accepting submission from outside composers? Yes
What is the size of their catalog? Only just starting off so most likely small
What is the payout or split? Composer – 75%/ Site – 25%
Are there any backend royalties? Depends on each project
Non-exclusive? Yes

office2 48 Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio MarketMy personal opinion: Cool idea – swapping music for promotion. I’ve never seen it done before, and I think it could work well. I think the site is currently in its early stages (its currently in Beta) – but definitively worth checking out.

view page Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio MarketPumpaudio

Does the site allow uploads? Yes
Are you able to price your own tracks? Yes
Can you just open an account or do you have to submit a demo to be reviewed and be accepted?
Are they accepting submission from outside composers? Yes
What is the size of their catalog? 270,000
What is the payout or split? 50% of money earned per track
Are there any backend royalties? Yes
Non-exclusive? Yes

office2 48 Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio MarketMy personal opinion: Large site owned by Ghetty Images. Have some huge clients, and you could have your music being viewed by some big names out there. I know some people who have had great experience and sales from it. I submitted my music to them, and they still haven’t reviewed it – they take a very long time to review your music once you have submitted it, so expect to wait quite a while. However, they seem very worthwhile to join.

view page Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio MarketAudiomicro

Does the site allow uploads? Yes
Are you able to price your own tracks? No
Can you just open an account or do you have to submit a demo to be reviewed and be accepted? Open an account and start uploading
Are they accepting submission from outside composers? Yes
What is the size of their catalog? Small
What is the payout or split? 50/50
Are there any backend royalties? No
Non-exclusive? Yes

office2 48 Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio MarketMy personal opinion: I’ve had no sales, some people say they are good. They sell your tracks for quite a small amount, but maybe worth having your music on there to have your name out there. Depends what you sell on there – if you have stuff you think is worth selling for the small price they sell it for, go for it. We all have musical bits and bobs lying about that we could sell.

You can contact the majority of the stock audio websites mentioned above via the forum here, as there are a number of them representing themselves on the forum.

info 128x128 Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio Market Something I also want to add however is that you should never sell your music, or yourself, short. You’ve most likely spent years practising, learning and training your skills, so don’t go and sell those skills for a small amount or even worse – for free. We’ve all done it – hell I’m guilty of it too. When I first started off selling music online, I would have given it away for free, as I was just so happy that people liked it enough to buy it. But overtime, you start to realise that you are worth more. There are some sites out there which will happily sell your music for $10 and only give you 25% of the money – thats $2.50 per sale, for something that has cost you how many hours of your time to create? I don’t agree with this, and any seasoned professional will tell you NOT to sell your music so cheap, or take such a small cut. I myself, do still have my music on some of those particular sites, and will keep some of my music on them as I think its good to have your music in as many places on the net as possible.

Some things which I have learnt, that you may or may not want to bare in mind:

office2 48 Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio MarketKISS – my music seems to sell well, as some of it is not in a particular genre – it can be used in numerous genres so appeals to more people. I think if you try do this, you music is going to be more useful to more people – obviously this is only applicable to the stock music industry, where your main aim is just to sell music, so the more genres it is suitable for, the more producers, developers etc. are going to think about using it for their project.

office2 48 Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio MarketMost stock audio websites give you the option of being exclusive or non-exclusive. Exclusive means you will only sell those particular tracks on their particular site and no others – non-exclusive means you can sell them on any site including their. Exclusive deals give you more of a payout per sale, but means that you don’t have as many income streams coming in, and it limits the amount of places you can have your music for sale on – also limiting how far reaching your music can be on the internet. In my opinion, I would never go “exclusive” with any website, as I feel you are just limiting yourself and your music. Make your own mind up though – look into it and see what you think!

office2 48 Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio MarketJoin a PRO (Performing Rights Organisation). Being registered with one of these means that if your music gets played commercially on tv or film, you are entitled to a royalty fee each time this happens. PRO companies look for this money for you so don’t have to – all you have to do is usually pay a tiny fee to join the one in your country. Well worth doing especially if your music is bought by a tv show, and is played one a week!

I think the stock music industry is a great way to break into the music industry in general. It has benefited me as a composer as I have got some great feedback on some of my music, I have made great contacts from it, and its given me a bit of extra cash – a great entry into the music industry as a whole, and indeed the film music industry, from a beginners point of view – at least in my opinion – I’m sure not everyone will agree – but try it out for yourself and see icon smile Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio Market

NB – I’m sure I’ve missed out a number of stock audio websites – the ones above are just the ones I have tried, or heard of – a google search will show you theres hundreds more icon smile Selling Music Online   The Stock Audio Market

UPDATE: If you’re interested in learning more about the music licensing industry and how to make money with your tracks, I’ve written an eBook called “The Business of Music Licensing – Generating Revenue Through Your Music“. Check it out and see what you think!

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