A place to offer feedback and suggestions for improving Music Library Report.
This thread is now closed. Please see the new forum for Feedback http://musiclibraryreport.com/forums/forum/feedback/.
Something that I think could be a useful addition to the site would be a glossary for those of us who are new to this.
For example, I would like to see definitions of sting, sting out, and needle drop. (I once tried to google “sting out”, but all I got were articles about treating mosquito bites.) Someone else recently asked for a definition of trailer music.
Perhaps terms could be added as people request them and more experienced members respond.
While I’m here, let me add my voice to those thanking Art for providing this site. It would difficult to overstate how useful it is.
Thanks for the kind words TimV.
I think that’s a great idea about a glossary. I will start a post with that subject in mind.
Sorry if this one has come up before and I’m just too lazy to find out – but I just wanted to make a suggestion regarding the rating system.
No doubt there are many good criteria to judge a potential distribution partner on (from a composer’s perspective) – but I think all but one are relatively obvious from the content of this site (and if you don’t know – you can always ask). Surely the thing that is most important for any of us to know (to make the best use of our non-composing time)is whether they’re actually selling anything.
I’m not sure what the exact calculation needs to be (maybe that would be worth a member vote?) but really, any kind of ranking criteria would be useful. In theory, we pay them their cut because they have contacts we don’t (hopefully no-one still believes you can just build a website, fill it with tunes and they’ll sell any more?). But we have no idea (in many cases) whether they have skills at selling our music.
I do realise that just because they can sell rock doesn’t mean they can sell orchestral etc. – and maybe that would be an interesting way of setting up the criteria (each member gets one vote per pop/rock/world/dance/orchestral etc.) per library to say ‘yes, they’ve sold a track(s) for me of that genre’. I’m not sure percentage of income or number of sales is meaningful due to the wide spread of experience levels among the membership – but if a library has sold World music for 100 members then – if that’s a genre I write in – that library can a) sell my stuff and b) might be interested if I send them some.
If we want to know whether they’re nice people or pay on time then I’m sure the truth will out in the postings!
Just my 2 cents.
From the “Ratings” page: “I have tried implementing a multi-criteria system in the past but never could get one to work. It’s not a perfect system and very subjective but all we have for now.”
I do understand, but as you’d created the Strings Library comparison poll – I figured I was proposing exactly the same functionality; but with members using polling functionality to relate their experiences rather than state their preferences. Essentially one poll module per library page.
I guess my concern is that where you have libraries where no-one has reported selling anything outranking those where many have said they derive much of their income (due to ill feeling / warm and fuzzy feelings due to communication styles or percentage splits) then the current rating is potentially misleading. Do you believe there is a common understanding between all members who cast a vote as to what they are ‘marking’ the library in question on?
With over 400 libraries it would be quite a task (I’m not even sure the polling plug-in would handle it) and once again there is no way to “vette” the voters. People could game the poll as easily as the ratings.
I don’t think there is an easy answer for this. I’ll think on it though.
There are certainly polling plug ins that only allow 1 set of votes per member (per poll) and though I guess library owners could set up ghost accounts – maybe members would be prepared to sacrifice a little anonymity (voters list shows names & websites = legitimate composer) to get more meaningful rankings. (maybe you could set up a poll to ask them? ;-). This is a serious business concerning the livelihoods both of composers and the libraries – I’m not sure that there is any legitimate reason for a member to maintain an anonymous status.
I can imagine the PITA effort it would take to do it – but it would represent a real value-add in cost benefit terms once you get to the point of charging fees for membership. Knowing that we are dedicating our time to supplying libraries who are able to make money for us would be worthy of investment from any composer.
Hi Art, It’s great to have joined the site, there is a lot of really helpful info and advice. I have only begun to upload music to libraries this year and have only joined a couple so far but have found Audiosparx very helpful and have had a couple of placements through them. The information on MLR is so useful to somebody like myself who is relatively new to the whole process. Many thanks.
Thanks Ross, best of luck!
Hi Art, I wantted to thank you for this site and the wealth of information available, especially the interesting discussions among the experienced and talented composers here! I have gotten a lot of great feedback from this site and I appreciate it. I’m very new and feel fortunate to have my tracks with several libraries that I first heard about here! I’m in it for the long haul and think what you have here is very helpful to us all.
Thanks and have a great night (day?),
Thanks Cari, glad you are finding MLR useful.
Yeah, I agree with everything Cari says. Great site and thanks a million for providing it.
I have a suggestion, if I may be so bold, I notice that some libraries/licensing companies require a minimum number of songs in your catalog in order to be considered for acceptance. For example, Audiosparx requires I think 30 original tracks before you can even submit. Is there a way we could add that information in their profile? So in addition to knowing whether a library is exclusive, nonexclusive, takes submissions via upload or what have you you know how many minimum songs they require for inclusion into their library.
Just a thought.
@sonicsysops. Anything is possible. It’s all about time and culling that info would take a lot of it! I’d rather be writing and promoting my music:-)
Hey, Art: I just wanted to let you know how grateful I am for your work here. The comments and suggestions of you and the others have been invaluable to me. bren
Yes, I 100% agree with that comment.
Thanks guys, happy to help!
I believe I saw reviews of the the sites Taxi and Broadjam here before, possibliy classified as “submission sites” or something like that.
Where did those review-pages go? Or do I confuse this site with another one?
Best Regards /Christian
I removed all “Pay To Play” sites when the company with the most complaints threatened a lawsuit. I believe I would have won but I really didn’t have the time, money or energy to deal it.
Ok, I understand. It’s too bad that those sites can threaten with law suits, but I totally understand your case. You’re doing some great work with this site, and it’s better that you focus your energy on keeping it up than dealing with those kind of sites.
I guess it’s more or less common sense to be very careful with the kind of sites that don’t make money on the actual sales, but instead make money on the artists on their monthly fees. It’s a business model with a pretty weak incentive for the hosting site to be successful with artist placements – they get their money anyway.
Hey ladies and gents,
I’m doing a production music podcast, any suggestions for show topics or guests would be appreciated. I hope to have Mr. Art Munson on as one of the first guests. Link below..
Nice podcast on Metadata – keep em coming!
Hey John, great podcast, really interesting information in it! Well done 🙂
Great information. Thank you for sharing your expertise.
Yes John, great job and I look forward to the interview!
Nice one, keep us posted for the next one.
anyone care to share how much income they are making per quarter off of music licensing ?
Hey Beat Machine, quit asking people how much they make. The poor composers don’t want to admit they’re poor, and the rich ones don’t want people jocking them for work.
And I don’t want the I.R.S. on my tail. 😀
so i take it your a poor one ….calm down it’s website with whatever name you want to put…people should be talking income on here cause if you are licensing your music it is business and business is when one party pays another party for a service or product composers should be giving insight on what actually goes down i have this many placements with such such in this genre and i am making this much per quarter from the us ? international ? is pretty much to the point this in return gives an insight as to what composers are actually making off of there music and what styles of there music is working for them .
I guess that you are trying to predict how much you can make and when. No one can tell you how much you will make, and you cannot estimate what you will make based upon what someone else is making per quarter, per year. There are too many variables. I’ve been in this business, probably since before you were born. Styles come and styles go. What’s hot today can be stone cold tomorrow.
With respect to genre, again, knowing what styles people are writing in won’t necessarily help. Ten people can write in the same genre/style and nine of them might suck. Maybe half of them are using high-end gear, and the rest are pumping crap out with a Casio.
To have meaningful answers to your questions, you need to know the level at which the successful composers are writing, what equipment they are using, and figure out where you are on the scale.
The two consistent things that I can tell you are that you need to write in a number of genres and you need to write many, as in hundreds, of tracks.
I will be honest. I do NOT make very much money from my music. I do not think most of us here make any good money from licensing music. Many of us are still learning the ropes and are not well connected yet.
I have had some songs licensed, but those few licenses do not equal success yet. If and when I become successful, I will reveal myself and I will speak about what I have learned so far. I have already shared tidbits here and there. But I still have to make steady income in order to call myself a successful musician.
Most of my friends and family do not even know that I do music. Why not? Because I do not have a track record of success yet. I want to be able to show off my PRO statements and tell people all of the shows, ads, and movies that my music has been used in. Once I can do that, I will feel good.
Success to me would be an income of at least $12,500 U.S.D. per quarter for 12 consecutive quarters. I could technically stop working my day job at that point. It may be more or less for other composers.
I guess the reason that people do not want to talk about money because it is such a taboo subject in society outside of the usual “economy” and “retirement” bits we hear in the news. Those of us who are struggling do not want others to know. Those of us who are successful really do not want others to know. Those of us just getting by share just enough info to pat one another on the back.
That, my friends, is the truth.
Best of luck!!!
Beat Machine…why would you think I’m a poor composer? Your grammar may suggest that English is not your first language, so if i misunderstood something I apologize.
NAMELESS….$12,500 a quarter is definitely attainable. You’re serious about your goal, so I’ll volunteer a simple suggestion…
You may already be doing this, but you HAVE TO open your own accounts with some of these reality show music supervisors. By placing music with licensing companies who take 50% of the PRO monies, you automatically put yourself behind your goal, since you’ll have to double your cue output to make up for the monies you lose to the licensing companies….
Also, tracks with vocals pay about 6x more than instrumental cues. Why make $1 when you can make $6 right?
Oontz, I see that you get it!
Submitting music to a library is a gamble because so many factors work against you. Other than rejection, the main reasons why music libraries fail composers are a lack of salesmanship and mismanagement of paperwork on the behalf of the library. It is disheartening to have a library mismanage songs that composers have worked hard to create and send out. Realistically, all music libraries, whether non-exclusive or exclusive are middlemen. In that regard, working with music libraries is a disadvantage in the end.
It is ultimately best for composers to license their songs directly. Composers can register with their PRO as a writer and publisher. This allows the composers to collect all royalties for a song. If composers are savvy enough, they can get their songs placed without going through the hassles of working with others. But it does take time to build a list of music supervisors to work with. That list constantly changes as well.
I definitely see the advantages for some composers to work with libraries. Some just do not have the heart, brains, or stomach to deal with the business side of music. Music libraries benefit from those who do not desire to put themselves out there and get their own deals.
But, working with libraries doesn’t make composers weak or incompetent. Many composers actually come out ahead by submitting music to libraries and having them to place the songs. This is why I do not see the problem with libraries taking 50% of earnings (publisher’s share) from songs that they have worked to place. In the end, composers should do what works best for them.
I am working with libraries right now and I am contacting networks and companies directly. It does take time away from composing, but I think that getting the music that I already have out there is almost more important than constantly composing. Seeking out music supervisors and A&Rs and companies that need music is sort of fun!
I just hope that it all pays off in the end. I have contacted so many people over email and telephone. I have some things cooking up that I hope will help me to prosper.
There is nothing wrong with contacting music sups directly as opposed to going through libraries. However, keep in mind that you are one of a zillion composers trying to do that and the sups have existing long established relationships with libraries as ‘trusted sources’.
To make $50K, $75K a year or more you probably need 500-1000 quality tracks out there working for you. A great many composers who earn real money in this game have found they are better off generating 50% more tracks than trying to earn 100% on the tracks they have.
Again, not discouraging going the direct route if you can make it work… or a combination. But a dose of reality is required. What about putting the time into acquiring and learning better home studio tools? Someone here mentioned a composer we know who earns six figures a year- he quit his day job when he got to around 800 tracks working for him. The majority of his tracks do not use live instruments. He invested his time in THE MUSIC and THE TECHNOLOGY and, to the best of my knowledge, he works almost exclusively through libraries.
I agree that contacting music supervisors directly is probably the best way to place music. I for one don’t have that in my DNA. I’d rather spend the time writing and aligning myself with libraries that are effective. Just my 2 cents worth.
I think before people worry too much about the business model of libraries, whether they should start their own library, or market direct instead of through libraries, they should take a good, honest look at their musical product. There is too much tendency to look at the outside instead of within.
Here’s a test I recommend… It’s not perfect (yes, you can pick it apart) but you might learn a lot.
Take 5-10 of your best tracks and pitch them to:
10 “low bar” libraries, ones that are not all that selective.
10 “middle bar” libraries, ones that are somewhat selective.
10 “high bar” libraries, ones that are HIGHLY selective.
See if you can get a handle on where your product stands in this marketplace.
Sometimes I feel like I’m reading about a single guy who can’t get a date for s**t… 🙂 He wonders… If he could only change they way all females think…. If he could only start his own dating service… Maybe he should be marketing to their parents… Ah, but he really needs to start brushing his teeth in the morning… (Being facetious but you get what I’m saying)…
Advice wrote: “Sometimes I feel like I’m reading about a single guy who can’t get a date for s**t… He wonders… If he could only change they way all females think…. If he could only start his own dating service… Maybe he should be marketing to their parents… Ah, but he really needs to start brushing his teeth in the morning… (Being facetious but you get what I’m saying)…”
Hehehe! Well analogised. I agree if people can go direct, good for them! I already run my own unrelated business so I know what it takes to succeed *as* a business. In this field I want to be a composer, so I’d rather let those with the experience and the contacts do the marketing. And I want to get to the top floor (or as close as possible) in the particular genres I do. Hence, I’d rather spend my time improving my craft and accessing those top libraries and earn 50% of *rubbing hands together in glee* than cut down music work-time and earn 100% of *diddly-squat*.
That’s just my personal choice. If I can’t get into the top libraries, all it means is I have more work to do on my craft. I must be doing something right because in the 6mths since I started as a total noob in this industry, I’ve developed my craft to a point where previously locked doors are starting to open and I just finised my first collection for a library album that I was invited to write for. I would actually like to work directly with supes and shows but I honestly don’t feel I would have the time to do that plus put in the hard yards producing music. So again, good on those who can do it, but it’s not for me and I’m discovering I don’t need to.
Wishing everyone all the best for a successful 2011!
Hey “Advice”…composers would have to write 100% more tracks, not 50% more tracks. They have to DOUBLE their output of quality tracks to make up for the loss of revenue that’s taken (earned) from the libraries that represent their material.
You are right oontz, but the point is the same. If someone is making oodles of money going direct and not working with libraries, more power to them. My suspicion is the comments like that (e.g. go direct and not have to share 50%) come more from folks who are “theorizing” and not really doing it.
If I didn’t have people selling my music on my behalf I would be making about 1% of what I currently make. For me, libraries and middle men are critical to me earning an income. Without them I’d have to spend huge amounts of time being a businessman.
>>>>>>>> Anon: If I didn’t have people selling my music on my behalf I would be making about 1% of what I currently make. For me, libraries and middle men are critical to me earning an income. Without them I’d have to spend huge amounts of time being a businessman. <<<<<<<<<<<<
Stop confusing people with reality!! 🙂
I think that direct licensing AND working with libraries is beneficial. Some tracks can be placed easier by being licensed directly. Popular music can probably find a home much quicker than other genres. But using a library to have those less popular songs placed is smart. Not everyone can market a CD of Acid Jazz, Gregorian chants, or Celtic Music to Pump Audio and hope to make thousands of dollars. I see no reason for a composer to scoff at alternative avenues to get their music out there.
I think all options should be on the table. They are to me. I am willing to work with any non-exclusive, exclusive, or royalty-free company as long as I think that my music can be successfully placed. I also am contacting music supervisors directly. Since I am not making at least $50,000 a year strictly from music, I need to keep all options open.
I am not really a niche-oriented person and I hear people talk all the time about “finding your niche” in order to be successful. But what if your niche doesn’t pan out? For every Bill Gates or Steve Jobs in the world, there are thousands of other computer geeks who have went bankrupt or toil in obscurity trying to “find a niche”. Sometimes it is easier to go with the flow until a brilliant idea emerges.
Focusing on getting my music into the marketplace through all avenues is the best thing for me until I find one road that leads to success. I can be more selective after I find a few companies or supervisors to work with on a regular basis. In a perfect world, I would just be producing songs for Beyonce, Rihanna, and Usher and collecting a six-figure advance. But even big shot producers started out at the bottom. I just want to put in the work to gain success. Nothing is off-limits.
@ oontz im not saying your poor lol i was just busting your balls ….but yeah i try to get as many direct placements as i can
I made $5500 this year (Jan – Dec) from upfront fees. Haven’t a clue how much in backend yet. I have about 45 tracks and am with about 20 libraries.
There you go 🙂 Oh and I use no live players.
Hey, tried to post this before but it seems to have gone missing.. —
Thanks for being honest and open. Here are my stats…
I have 30 tracks with 1 library and make about $1,200 a month in upfront fees. Not really holding out on any backend because this isn’t where it’s at. I’ll start work on that next and join some other libraries.
My current goal is to have 75 tracks out by June, which I’m estimating should bring in around $2,000 a month. At this point I would quit my job, since my expenses are very low anyway. In fact, I could quit now but don’t want to risk it…because I’m a wimp. Or maybe sensible.
My goal following that is to consistently make 75 tracks a year for 10 years…
In response to the comments about contacting supervisors etc, in my view I prefer making music to talking to businessmen. In the end I figure I’ll end up in roughly the same place anyway. Each to their own.
P.S I should add that I don’t do vocal tracks, that I use live instruments occasionally and that a lot of my income comes from 6-7 tracks out of the 30.
which library are you with ?
I’m really sorry but that’s one thing I don’t feel comfortable publicizing on here..
One of MLR’s commenters (Matt), has mentioned here before that it took him about 7 years to quit his day job, has about 800 tracks, uses both exclusive and non-exclusive and is doing six figures per year. Matt is not his real name but I know who he is, have heard his music and it is excellent! I don’t believe he uses that many live players. Maybe he will chime in.
Took me a similar amount of time to build up enough of a catalogue and quit the day job.
This year’s been a good one for me – about $50K in license fees (a big boost from some high profile trailer licenses), more than $100K in performance royalties, somewhere around $15K in upfront fees from work for hire library deals. It’s taken close to a decade for me to work up to this level of income – getting better at production, speed and developing a solid client base (i.e. dropping the needy and low paying ones!).
Congrats Matt, that is awesome and something to aspire to!
thats cool,,,,how many tracks do you have in your library…and are you with any good non exclusives
I’ve got about 1500 tracks scattered amongst a variety of libraries. Quite a few exclusives, but also some non-exclusives as well. At present I make more from the non-exclusives.
Hi Matt, does that 1500 include alts or is that 1500 separate pieces of music, plus alts?
Thanks again for sharing!
That’s approx. 1500 separate pieces of music. I’ve got over 2000 tracks registered with my PRO because of re-titling. Some tracks aren’t listed because they were part of a score specifically written for a TV show or film. After nearly a decade I’ve lost count, so I don’t really know exactly how many tracks are out there!
Thanks Matt, I’m exhausted thinking about that!
Just curious – how exactly do you keep track of that many tracks? Do you have a spreadsheet lol?
Hey Emmett, I don’t keep track of the tracks I’ve given libraries exclusively, which is most of the music I have out in the world.
I limit the non-exclusive tracks to a handful of libraries (pretty much just one RF library, two or three license fee based libraries, and just one TV based library). I’ve got a spreadsheet that keeps a record of the re-titling for those libraries, so when the libraries contact me regarding a track, I can figure out what track they’re talking about!
I suppose I could do a better job of keeping track of all the music, analyzing the results of each library. But it’s usually pretty clear which ones make the most money, and I try to spend less time doing busy work like that, and more time writing, or not working all together!
Matt, don’t really post on here but seeing that has added flame to the desire I already have for making a successful living from music. Knowing that my particular goal has been achieved. Thank you for providing that info.
Art, please ‘unflip’ the comments! This is confusing.
I’ll wait to see what the overall response is.
Hello, I was wondering if a suggestion has been brought forward to allow a search of the libraries that would filter by genres that a library is seeking or specializing in. Libraries may like this as well as music providers to help save time and target the right music to the right library.
From personal experience, I’d say it’s more often the case that Libraries have a pretty clear idea of what they don’t want, but no so much what they do want 😉
That would take a lot of work. Contacting the individual libraries (over 400 on this site) and they may change over time (Hey I’m only one guy!).
Art, have you thought of showing how many posts a person has posted to their ID?
Like “Stew (1 post)”.
For example, when someone posts “This library is the bestest library in the whole world and has made me millions of dollars” — sounds dubious, but when you can see the person who posted it has only posted one or two posts, you can at least take the comment with more of a grain of salt.
I see too many posts with VERY similar diction (and spelling mistakes) claiming how great a library is — and I bet most of those posts are the company assuming different user names.
Just an idea to help people sort out the crap from reality. 🙂
Otherwise, a great, useful site for those getting started in the industry!
I have checked this on a number of occasions by IP address and it doesn’t appear that way. There have been a few using anonymizers but no more than a few. Interesting idea for a plug-in so I will look and see if there is one that will do that.
Thanks, Art. These days, though, I don’t know if tracing IP addresses is convincing enough for my suspicious miind. I mean, I have access to over 10,002 IPs between my connections at work, home and the 10,000 Starbuck’s that NYC is infested with. Plus, I KNOW I could get my friends/distributors/etc to post stuff from their countries, etc.
Maybe I’m just getting more curmudgeonly/itinerant as I age. But the amount of manipulation by some libraries trying to lure people into going with their service is just frustrating.
AND — this is not self-serving, as my library is pretty much closed to most outside composers and I wouldn’t really benefit from the change as much as some of the composers that use MLR.
But your vigilance is appreciated — and again — this site is a great resource.
>>>> Maybe I’m just getting more curmudgeonly/itinerant as I age. But the amount of manipulation by some libraries trying to lure people into going with their service is just frustrating. <<<<
I really don't see that. Most true music library folks have far better things to do than come on a site like this and leave fake posts. More often I see a library owner come on to counter what someone said about them & given some of the ridiculous things some folks say about libraries, I'm glad they do.
Libraries (not talking pitching services) don't make money because more people sign tracks. They really have no motivation to "lure" people. If a library wants to build their catalog, a simple ad on FMN or other industry place will get them tracks by the boatload.
It’d be cool if when you get an email notification of a response to a selected subject, you click the link and it takes you to that specific post so if you wanted to respond, you didn’t have to search through so many posts on that page in order to respond to it. Is that at all possible?
Yep, it would be cool. I’ve been searching a long time for a plug in to do just that but have yet to find it. Maybe someday!
Not sure if you know Pat, but if you click on the name under Recent Comments on the top left column, it will take you directly to that post. That’s how I find them.
Thanks Steve. I guess that’ll work at least until it gets bumped off the page.
I just noticed that an email address is now required to enter a post. Wondering what the reasoning is, since posting still works by using a bogus email address.
For at least a couple months now, whenever I come to this site a box pops up titled “Adobe PDF Document”. Inside it says “There is a problem With Adobe Acrobat/Reader. Please exit Adobe Acrobat’Reader and try again.” I click OK and the page finishes opening. Whenever I click on any link on the site the same thing happens before I can view the page.
Does this happen for anyone else? This is the only site where this happens for me.
Hi Tim, Have you tried a different browser? Something in your configuration might need adjusting. What does the URL say when the box pops up?
Thanks for responding. I’m using IE, which is the only browser on my computer. The url that shows is http://musiclibraryreport.com. It worked fine until recently, and this doesn’t happen on any other site.
Apparently I’m the only one experiencing this. I guess something went goofy somewhere. At least I can still access the site, so it’s not a big deal, just a minor inconvenience.
While I’m here, let me express my gratitude for your providing this site. It’s extremely useful and I really appreciate all the work you put into it.
These are not all issues that should be included in a ratings. Basically, you are asking people to compare things that may not be the same mechanics on each site for various purposes.
Example- Ease Of Metadata Input (This is totally misleading as something to vote on since some companies do not want artists to upload their own metadata and prefer to do the heavy lifting for them. Why would this be a quality for voting, since many people here don´t understand the difference.
Asking artists to vote on specific like how much money they make is like asking the canvas painters which gallery they sold the most art at. Much will depend on the artist first and their quality. But then a good gallery and sales person with connections to art buyers can have a major impact on success, much like a music licensing company. However, a good gallery spends a long time cultivating those connections and has the rollodex of buyers that trust them. If they try to make sales for artists that don´t fit the buyer´s interests, eventually the buyers lose trust. However, if the artist is patient and stores the art in the galleries warehouse and the sales person, knows it is there… then when a new buyer comes in and the sales person suspects it is a good match, then the sale may be completed. No gallery has enough money_space, to have all their´painters displayed every week, so some have to be patient. Meanwhile, though even the painter artist should be spending time meeting new people and doing things to get new followers, so when the painter says to the gallery, I have a large following of potential buyers, please hold a party and I will invite them all, then the gallery may display the paintings again and during the party, the artist´s followers, may get to buy the art from the gallery.
in the music business, many of the artists spend a couple years making some music, upload it to a bunch of places and then blame the licensing company for not giving them free money back for all their free or cheap committment. Artists that are most successful are touring and gigging and spending a lot of time improving their music. Here, I read a lot about artists who uploaded hundreds of pieces over a year ago and can´t believe that they are not getting much back.
Perhaps the people here need to think more about partnering with their favorite sites and help promote the site to potential buyers. Perhaps they need to ask what they can do to help get more recognition and attention and try to learn what is wrong or realize that they need to improve their quality or unique sound.
Intentions of the new system are good, but I think it is now more difficult, not less to compare apples to apples with the new voting criteria. Thanks, Jay
Thanks for keeping the older system ratings available. The old ratings are valuable to those of us who are new. We won’t have to wait till the new ratings fill up again just to get an idea of what people think of the various libraries. I hope you leave the old rating up until you the new ratings catch up a bit. The old ratings aren’t old to those of us who are new here and much better than blank ratings for sure.
Sure Pat, the old system will stay up for awhile. At least until the new system is meaningful.
Just curious – is there any way to show a list/widget of the latest submitted libraries? Maybe I’m being stupid, but I actually just don’t see a list of them anywhere?
Cheers Art 🙂
Hi Emmett, In the right hand column, under “Newsletter Sign up” is a section titled “Recent Posts”. Every listing is a “post” so that’s where you will find it. Of course if I make a post, that’s not a library listing, that will show up also.
Ah I see it now thanks Art 🙂
In a similar vein, I would find it useful if a library’s listing would show the date that it was added.
When I discovered this site a few months ago, I methodically went through most of the listings to see which might be worth pursuing. I would like to go back and catch up with what has been added since then, but there are so many listings, it’s hard to remember which ones I’ve already examined and passed on. Seeing when a library was added would help streamline such periodic searches.
The only problem with that is I don’t like seeing “stale” dates on web sites. Best thing to do is use a spreadsheet or database to keep track of everything.
Ok, cool thanks! Appreciate the hard work you do to make this place available to us.
Got the erroneous moderation fixed. One of the banned words was too small and was triggering a larger word that contained the smaller word. Yikes! Now to fix the darned comment tweeter.
It tweeted once after you fixed it (Latin Pulse Media) and not again since then. It sure is easier to keep current on Twitter. Hope it is an easy fix.
It seems to tweet from a post (that plug in uses an API) but not from a comment (that plug in doesn’t use an API). I did try another plug in but that didn’t work either. I was checking Twitter’s support page and people are having similar problems so I think it’s on Twitter.
Ps. I have a sneaking suspicion it’s not post length but a censored word list where posts that contain ‘offending’ words require moderation… 😉
In the last few days a couple of things have gone awry. One is that the automatic tweeting of comments has stopped and some comments are going to moderation that should not be. Theoretically they only comments that would be “moderated” would be those containing profanity and those with more than 2 links but that is not the case recently. Probably an updated plug in that’s playing havoc. Trying to chase it down.
Just curious…is there a word limit after which posts automatically get submitted for moderation? I wrote two longer ones that showed as “awaiting moderation”, then a short ‘test post’ which went straight up.
No tweets since Sept. 1. I thought things must be slow because of the holiday weekend, but when I came here there were lots of posts since the 1st.
Thanks Steve, looking into. Not sure what’s going on.
I would like to see a separate blog for newcomers (like myself) where we can ask questions (maybe even stupit ones) to save us time and money, and have the veterans of the library wars give us answers and advice as they have learned through their experience. Is this possible.?
A good idea. Let me think about the best way to implement it.
Yes, great idea Ev. Too bad it’s more work for poor Art ;~), but a welcome to MLR page with an FAQ and suggestions/etiquette list may help curb some rants etc. And for the millionth time, Thanks Art
Actually shouldn’t be too hard. Just a separate post dedicated to newbie questions.
As far as etiquette goes, most people behave themselves. I always have the option to ban those that do not.
Ok Ev, done. Check the menu bar at the top.
Just found this site and so far it’ amazing. Be great though if you could search by rating.
Just donated Art, Keep up the good work.
Would multiple categories of ratings be difficult to implement? For example, when I buy something on ebay, I can rate the seller on accuracy of description reasonable shipping cost response to inquiries speed of delivery etc…
If you could swing that I’m sure you’d get lots of opinions on what categories to include. I’m thinking a 1-5 rating or actual numbers on: Ease of submission Time before accept/reject notification Response to inquiries Percentage of submissions licensed Actual Income generated etc etc. Thanks again for this site Art
Your not the first person to ask this and I didn’t think it would be very easy. Your donation spurred me to take another look and I think I’m getting a handle on it. Check out http://musiclibraryreport.com/music-libraries-1/1000-tracks/ and let me know what you think. I’m still learning it so it’s not locked in stone.
Donated now aswell – the new layout there looks great and I think it would be really beneficial 🙂
Thanks so much for the donation Emmett!
Just need to lock in the categories as once I do that they can’t be changed
All you need to know about the ratings…
Yooka = 7.1
…must be on a par with Extreme because the ratings say so…
Extreme = 7.8 (That’s the same Extreme that Hans Zimmer writes for)
Yooka (7.1) therefore must be quite a bit better than…
KPM = 5 (who can earn their composers 6 figs a year easy and who have the world’s best composers writing for them and some very famous theme tunes in their catalogue)
Yooka (7.1) are apparently also better than…
De Wolfe = 4.7 (the very first music library. Whose composers are first class and seem to do very well. De Wolfe gets used everywhere)
Yooka (7.1) are also much better than…
Audio Network = 5.4 (Who have cornered a considerable chunk of the market and whose prestigious roster of composers seem to be doing very nicely).
I pick Yooka just to prove the point. You are always going to get a majority wanting the ratings because people by nature just like looking a ratings! But if they are misleading and provide no accurate reflection on the true state of the game (I know a bit because I am writing te for KPM and De Wolfe amongst others and library is my full time job).
Please, dump the ratings! Apart from that the site is great!
Hey Jello, they’re not being judged by a pro critic here. These ratings reflect a few composers with personal experiences. As you should be aware of by now, every composer gets a separate roll of the dice from each library, Some lucky seven, some crap-out. Jeez…
Write me a nice, succinct caveat and I will post it on the ratings page!
I have to agree with Jello, on this.
Without being indelicate – it’s really not hard to get stuff onto Y**k* or other similar sites. Making any money from them though is a whole other issue, which has been discussed at length already.
However working with the kind of Libraries Jello mentions, is a whole other ball game, and much much harder to get into than the self upload libraries.
No idea how you’d reflect that in a rating system though………..
Yeah, well I just speak as I find really. I know I do come on here and criticise libraries like y***a alot but that’s simply because I’m writing libray full time and involved in the biz. I spend most of the day composing or chatting with composers of library music. And what I notice on Art’s great site is that with the non-exclusive libraries, people seem to be struggling to get just ONE placement (Of course, there are a few excepetions, and in this case the exceptions certainly prove the rule).
Seems if people just one placement that’s a real big thing. That is not a criticism of them so please don’t take it as such. But life on the other side – with the big exclusives – is totally different. There is a universe of difference in fact. I guess this year I’ve had probably over 5,000 unique placements all over the world and in some films too.
I just couldn’t survive wondering if I was ever gonna get A placement. I think a much better approach – and again I am gonna get criticised for this – is to forget the Y****a type of libraries. It will earn nothing. If it’s easy to submit music to a site, it’s worthless IMO. That’s the problem I have with the ratings – I want a library to be difficult/impossible to submit stuff to! I want to know they listen and care and have quality control – and that they’re not concerned with creating a dense catalogue of eminently unusable tracks that will never be found and that will ultimately wither away under an avalanche of stylus-samples-symphobia-sub-mediocrity.
The bigger, moe lucrative picture would be to speculate to accumulate – to create something really special, with real instruments, great session players, no samples, totally beautiful and unique and then place it with an exclusive library that will nurture and cherish the product as if it’s a member of their family and so be despeate to exploit its potential in the marketplace.
1 amazing track with a big exclusive can earn more than 6,000 immediately OK’d and uploaded cues to a site who are just concerned with quantity.
This is the last time I will post on here because my anti -non-ex stance doesn’t seem to go down well judging by recent replies to my comments.
Jello said: “I think a much better approach – and again I am gonna get criticised for this – is to forget the Y****a type of libraries. It will earn nothing. If it’s easy to submit music to a site, it’s worthless IMO.”
If this is the case, then most of us composers here do not stand a chance of having any success in the music library world.
I for one think that your advice is spot on. I have many tracks on a bunch of non-exclusive libraries. But I have only made money from two sites so far. I just believe that we are chasing a dream by thinking that the multitude of non-exclusive libraries and royalty-free sites are going to generate success for us.
But I also think that many composers will not be more successful by going the exclusive route either. It is just too difficult to make enough songs to be accepted by these highly selective libraries, unless we form a group and submit music. The average composer here works alone with a DAW and probably has a day job. Most of us would need to quit our day jobs and focus solely on making breath-taking music. I just do not think most of us here could stop working just to focus on music.
None of us want to waste time or money sending songs to companies that do not do anything for us. There are some awesome and dynamic companies that really work hard and have done their homework. But there are far too many that just do not have a handle on how to properly sell music. I think that going through a list of companies and finding ones with a good fit is just as important as making great songs.
P.S.: I have visited over 150 royalty-free sites and music libraries. I have seen and heard music from many people who post here on musiclibraryreport.com. My advice to most of you is to not give up, but to stay with the sites that provide results and delete accounts from the sites that do not provide results. There is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON for you to help improve a library if you are not an employee. Your job as a composer is to send in material. Anything more than that (adding a pile of metadata, providing multiple versions of the same song, blogging on the message board of a library, etc.) is NOT going to give you an advantage. Trust me!!!
I agree with most of what you and Jello say. I think that in many cases, if there is any big money to be made on the royalty free sites, it will be made by the companies NOT the composer. It’s just a source of some extra dollars for the composer. I will disagree with you about alts. Adding alts to my existing tracks added extra sales at the RF sites I am on.
On the other hand I think non-exclusive libraries, working to place music on shows has much more potential. I for one see my BMI statements going up each quarter, so I have hope. Getting into exclusive libraries is difficult (though I must admit I haven’t tried very hard). Despite Jello’s claim that you need live players and create “special” music (BTW who gets to define “special”) I think you can still create unique music without going that route and get into those exclusives. I for one remember the Roland TR-808 drum machine back in the 80s when you couldn’t give them away after the Linn drum machine came out. The rappers took up the 808 and the rest is history. Jello appears to have been involved in the library music scene for a long time so his vantage point will be different than those of us who are fairly new at it. We all need to have faith and we will find our own path.
Guys, I have a foot in both camps.
I’ll b perfectly honest with you :
I make my living from exlcusive libraries. It’s seriously hard to compete in the exlcusive end, you have to go that extra mile just to move an inch. It is *that* hard, it is *very* competative.
“I strongly disagree that live instruments are needed in most cases. Many composers have spent years perfecting their use of VI’s and are very successful. ”
I can ony disagree with that : my best perfrorming tracks with exclusives, have “real” players. Not just Spectrasonics and VSL.
But likewise this site hasa given me some very useful leads and contacts that are doing pretty well 😉
@Jello: I’m sure many here are still waiting for a link to all of this amazing music you are making (with live players no less). It’s been requested a few times, I believe, but we have yet to see it. You must be incredibly successful (or incredibly wealthy) to book live players for all of your music. It would certainly give more validity to your claims.
“I guess this year I’ve had probably over 5,000 unique placements all over the world and in some films too” – Jello
You must be a millionaire by now Jello. Please, let me hear one of your gems.
Oh, BTW, I’ve had over 6,000 unique placements this year. Or was it 15 run-of-the-mill placements? I can’t remember. 😀
“@Jello: I’m sure many here are still waiting for a link to all of this amazing music you are making (with live players no less). It’s been requested a few times, I believe, but we have yet to see it. You must be incredibly successful (or incredibly wealthy) to book live players for all of your music. It would certainly give more validity to your claims.”
Oh come on Art, isn’t sarcasm a bit lazy? Have I done something to offend you?
What have I to prove? I’m just posting anonymously on a forum. If you guys want to think I’m BS-ing that’s perfectly fine with me! 🙂 I don’t have to give validity to any claims. In fact, I haven’t claimed my music is the best thing on earth as far as I can recall. Merely posted a few stats on usage and income and mentioned I use live instruments and good players! So sue me for doing that! 🙂
In the end, it matters not one bit either way. Nor is it any consequence whether anyone believes what I say about RF music or not!
I am simply offering a view. Take from it what you will. I’m certainly not going to go posting my music. What would be the purpose? The libraries I write for seem happy enough and really, that’s all that matters Art.
Good luck guys with whichever way you decide to go!
(drum roll……)….(voiceover in deep voice…..)Royalty-Free??? …….Exclusive??? (Sharp intake of breath….) ….you decide….(cue dramatic non-valid Jello music with midi strings and symphobia patch…)
Now, I really am outta here guys. I got music to compose and I’ve just got Stylus RMX just arrived.
Sorry Jello, didn’t mean to sound sarcastic and I’m not offended. You do have a tendency to go on about this so I (and others) are curious.
It’s not about exclusive vs. non-exclusive as much as making the best music possible for the market. One trap it’s easy to fall into is think the end all and be all is find SOME library that will sign your tunes and lose sight that it may not mean anything as far as placements. Clearly lots of money is made by composers off non-exclusive libraries. But among non-exclusives there is a lot of variety. You can’t compare the website based or RF model to that of, let’s say, Crucial Music.
I strongly disagree that live instruments are needed in most cases. Many composers have spent years perfecting their use of VI’s and are very successful. My understanding is that getting VI’s to sound natural is quite a skill and art to itself but a big part of our biz today. To make significant money in this biz you have to have hundreds of tracks out there. Hiring live players on that many tracks would be awfully expensive… unless you are a one man rock guy who plays all the instruments.
One thing to keep in mind is while here on this site, the focus is on rating the libraries, it’s still about the music. Just go out and make the best music you can and keep getting better.
If only the lowest bar libraries will sign your tracks, find out how to get to the next level. Make a goal of learning what it will take to get to mid-bar and then high-bar.
I spent many, many years with live players both on stage and in the studio, from small ensembles to symphonies. I LOVE the challenge of trying to make cues sound as live and natural as I can with VIs, when needed. One thing I learned early on was: “There Are No Rules!”.
I like the idea of registration and a user name, most of the regular users know each other anyway and I certainly attach more credibikity to the comments by the regular guys who use either an alias or their real name
Hey Art, I’m sure you’ve probably toyed with the idea already, but would you consider setting up a forum for this website, so people can open other kind of topics that are indirectly related to here, but that don’t fit into any of the categories? Its really simple to do – I did it with my own forum: http://www.filmandgamecomposers.com/forum and it takes no time really.
I think it would be really helpful as threads really start to trail off after a few comments at times once people get going 🙂
Thanks Emmett, yes I have toyed with the idea. I think the ideal would be to convert the existing WordPress database to a forum format and have looked at some plug-ins to do this. I think adding a forum alongside of what already exists would get confusing and require more work on my part to manage. Usually when threads wander too much I start a new post and move the thread to it. That’s how this current thread got started. It sprouted under the Yooka Music listing.
I like this site the way it is. I think making people register or taking away the ratings would take away the uniqueness and quirkiness of this site. There are more than enough sites out there where people can register to talk about music. But music libraries are really a niche industry. We need sites like this one to help guide new musicians.
The issue with ratings is similar to what others have complained about when they see good, solid libraries and services get public negative press they don’t deserve. At least with posts, others generally come back and counter innaccurate statements such as “Library X not worth dealing with” or “Library Y knows nothing about music”.
You really can’t rate music libraries on any one scale anyway. They have different pluses and minuses, target different markets, have different approaches, etc. One might be very difficult to get a track into but have a great track record with the songs they do accept (e.g. Crucial). Another may be a new, non-exclusive website based library whose main goal is to build a catalog and therefore is super-friendly regarding submissions. A library like Pump might get a large number of placements per year but then again their catalog size is probably in the millions. A library might get a few placements a year but only work a small, select catalog of 1000 tracks. There are way too many variables.
In the long run what matters is how your music may or may not get placed, not “feel good” factors.
Agreed. You can’t rate libraries in the same way that you can rate a tangible object like a Belkin bluetooth adaptor on Amazon. It’s just ridiculous.
If you look at the Yooka comments, there’s very few placements but alot of excitement expressed about trax being accepted. I venture that high ratings will result from your succesful track submission. When starting out this is many a composer’s raison d’etre. Your tracks don’t get responded to by KPM or De Wolfe? Well go and give them a bad rating because they didn’t get back to you. It’s plainly obvious that this is going on here just by reading through a few comments.
Ergo, it’s totally flawed and not represetative of the business (which I make a living in) in the least bit.
Yooka (no usage) gets almost the same rating as Extreme and higher than De Wolfe and KPM – whose music earns millions and gets used everywhere.
I think this site is excellent. However, the ratings are a joke so can we just dispense with them? What possible use are they apart from them being a way for the disgruntled to get some payback? I rather suspect people are rating certain libraries on whether someone or other responded to their demo rather than on the overall quality of the library.
Please dump the ratings!
>>>> I rather suspect people are rating certain libraries on whether someone or other responded to their demo rather than on the overall quality of the library.
Yes, that’s the majority of the problem. Many posters judge by how responsive libraries are to demos, how easy they are to submit to, how readily they sign tracks, etc. I agree that the ratings should be dumped.
Bit of an over reaction do you not think ? First of all I dont know what the motive of anyone giving a rating is and neither do you. Secondly, on this site a lot writers/posters/raters are in the non exclusive side of the business, hence if you look at the main ratings section it reflects this.
If there were a significant number of writers for De Wolfe and KPM who post and rate here, their ratings would go up.There obviously isn’t, or if there is they dont think much of them. Simple maths really. This site can only cater for the people that post on it and it reflects their experiences wether you like it, or agree with it.
Now if the question is does Yooka deserve the rating it has? I dont think it does, but to scrap the whole ratings system because I dont agree with one of them is fairly nonsensical IMHO
Also I think for transparency people should post with their real name, hence I have just done so. I used to use Denis W.
“Also I think for transparency people should post with their real name, hence I have just done so. I used to use Denis W”
Though that would defeat the intent of Art’s website. Posters may not want to share their thoughts about companies they’re associated with.
Art has a unique outlet for a wide variety of opinions that couldn’t exist on other websites. Better not to flush the baby out with the bath water.
Fair point John, I am just suspicious about “anon” sigs in general posting things like “dump the ratings system” or ranting in general. I think it also has to be remembered that this site is funded and maintained by one person, Art. I dont think enough posters realize this, they seem to think it is funded and operated by some bigger entity. It is his prerogative to do what he wants ultimately. If there is a vote I say dont change anything.
Thanks for the input guys. There is now a poll to vote on keeping the ratings page or dumping it. Check the right hand column under the library listings and cast your vote!
Just an idea…
It may be a good idea if everyone had a user name (real or fictitious) that can’t be changed. At least we’ll know that the same person isn’t double dipping to add more credibility to his/her opinions.
I always use “john (the other John)”, though sometimes the name in the box is missing and gets posted as anonymous.
I could set it up so all commenters would have to register in order to comment. You could still use a fictitious name but it might keep everything a bit credible.
I think thats a good idea Art.
Sounds good Art.
Thanks guys, let me think on that some more.
I like the idea of requiring a login / fixed username too.
As for the ratings, what about this: instead of getting rid of it altogether, maybe the ratings could be broken down into:
1) composer feedback and communication 2) ease of uploading / submitting 3) fairness of deal 4) financial return
Right now people give high marks to companies like Audiosparx, who, from my experience are amazing at feedback and communication, but low on the sales and have a (comparably) tedious uploading process. Other companies get slammed because perhaps the owner was short with a few people, but the sales might be good.
Breaking it down into those categories might the ratings more useful, more accurate.
What do you guys think?
I like this idea. Great solution in my opinion!
No one benefits from LESS info, esp. not the composers here. Even skewed information can be informative, even if it is just to glean insight into people’s motivations, like many have done above. It’s all educational.
Only the libraries with low ratings, justified or not, should want the ratings removed. If low ratings make a library improve, great. If high ratings give a library a higher profile and we all benefit, great. I say more info, not less.
Yeah but the devil is in the details. I’ll have to delve into the ratings plugin and see if there is a way to implement that. Thanks for the feedback everyone.
BTW I think I may move all these to a new thread.
The inherent problem of non-registration is spamming. Art may pick up most of them but he’s human, one person and surely has better things to do than moderate for posters using multiple aliases and/or having conversations with themselves in order to bolster a single point of view.
I’ve been a moderator on a number of forums and the benefits of requiring registration have always outweighed the few disadvantages.
At minimum, registration raises the basic level of credibility as people will tend to stop and think before posting comments which are then linked to a single user ID. Yes, of course, serial spammers will attempt to register multiple accounts and even IP checking is not perfect due to proxy servers, but those factors, while not eliminated, are significantly mitigated by requiring registration.
Thanks Rob, leaning in that direction.
Ratings are opinions translated to a scale of 1 to 10. People do it all the time. Not useless to me. Why dispense with it if some of us find them useful? How about keeping them for those who find them useful and you just don’t look and we’ll all be happy. Take what you can use and ignore the rest. It’s really that simple.