Audiosparx and Pay Per Click (PPC)

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    Art Munson

    I decided to post this in an open forum so as many people as possible could participate in the discussion. No bashing, no inflammatory remarks and please keep the discussion on topic or they will be deleted.

    I read with disappointment axiomdreams recent post on Audiosparx’s decision to return to PPC. I’ve enjoyed my relationship with Audiosparx over the years but I feel strongly about this issue and feel compelled to comment on it.

    I believe that PPC skews results and diminishes sales from those composers who do not wish to “Pay To Play”. By returning to PPC composers who might have been exposed to new clients and clients who might have been exposed to new composers (and new music) will be severely curtailed.

    IMHO this decision does not serve Audiosparx well. Composers are already paying a hefty 60% commission on sales and are asked to pay even more in PPC monies if they want to be more visible in the search results. Ultimately it’s AS’s business and they have the right to do whatever they want but I don’t think this decision leaves a good impression on the composer community.

    In general, I believe a level playing field where all composers have an equal chance of being heard is much fairer and would benefit AS in the long term. After all isn’t a meritocracy better than a plutocracy?


    I agree Art and was unhappy to hear that it’s back…my listens have been WAY down @ AS for awhile now and have heard the same from others and not sure why?

    PPC is only going to give me even less listens….I just gave up my publishing there for Musiccult and was hoping for great things but not so sure anymore…I became a featured artist there a few years ago and for a short time was on the AS’ front page…I IMMEDIATELY got a placement in an indie but once I was tucked in the back pages of the site my listens dropped off a bit and now they’re almost nonexistent…the way the search engine works is crucial to getting listens/placements..i’ve spent tons of hours tagging and doing metadata there…it’s disheartening to see my tracks that do well with other libraries go month after month with few or even NO listens…I won’t pay to be higher in the search rankings either…I did the WORK tagging my tracks properly and because of that feel I should get an equal shot in the search engine…as you said it’s their right to operate in any way they see fit but I can’t help but wonder if I should stop uploading new material..what’s the point if no one’s listening to it there?

    Barbie and Lee are without a doubt very nice and extremely helpful but I think they dropped the ball on this one..they already put PPC to bed once..why bring it back now?



    I can see both sides to this one. I have used PPC, since its removal I have not seen a drop in sales. BUT I am very lucky to have a few top sellers in popular categories, so they would come out on top of searches anyway. I used PPC to give visibility to new tracks I upload and rotate them out over time.


    I recently became a featured artist which was shortly before the ppc was discontinued.   Time will tell if re-introducing it will impact the amount of traffic I get now which has been increasing lately.


    BTW I really enjoyed listening to your tracks, very nice:)


    I agree with Art on all counts. I was really pleased to learn that AS dropped the pay per click, a nice touch to go along with the launch of Music Cult. I myself spend a tremendous amount of time tagging, descriptions, editing, etc. on AS. You know the 60% AS gets on sales is very hefty, among the highest in the market so considering the amount of work the composer must put in for AS a level playing field should at least be put in place. Yes, AS did drop the ball on this one. My renewed enthusiasm for AS as of late took a hit with this issue, time to rethink my position with AS, may have to put them further down the priority list and focus more on the other avenues. AS, be fair to your composers, never forget that the reason why someone licenses a track is because they like the track, except for the administration their decision on that doesn’t have anything to do with the host site ……. just be fair to your composers !


    I think Pay Per Click is worth it. If it helps to bring in more sales, then more composers should use it. Sites cost money to run. The PPC option probably helps Audiosparx to pay for upgrades and changes to the site. It also probably helps Audiosparx to buy more srver space to store more music. It may sound like a bogus deal for the composers, but it does more benefit overall.

    Read up on it here:


    No Anonymous. Pay per click is definitely “not” worth it. AS gets already 60% but they are to poor to run their site and the composer  has to get involved to buy this poor company more server space for more music that lies in the deep cellar of a production music company ???

    Pay per click helps a composer to raise popularity ?

    That`s a NO Go. Never ever work with companies who charge money for such services or for reviewing or any other weird service!

    [removed and edited by moderator]

    A Merry Christmas to all of you 🙂



    I am a full time working composer and I am quite excited that PPC is back.  I have had quite a bit of success on AS and have successfully participated in the PPC program.

    As a professional I am willing to invest time and money in gear, libraries and my craft – Why would I not be willing to invest in my catalog to get it in front of potential purchasers.   Advertising is part of any business.

    I would like to see AS add some pretty stringent criteria to their PPC program.  I wish they had a strict screening process to make sure only quality tracks and composers could participate in the PPC program.

    Thanks Barbie and Lee for bringing back the program.


    Absolute correct, advertising is part of any business ! That`s why AS, as a seller, gets  a 60%  share from a non-exclusive composer and 40% from an exclusiv composer and with that share they have to economize.

    In return I, as a composer, expect that they advertise and sell my product. Or why else should I give them a share ?

    There are plenty of good ways to advertise each composers music fair but ppc is simply not a fair way.

    I am also a professional musician/composer. We have to learn to value our catalogue.


    I’m just about to go on a family X’Mas vacation, so probably won’t have internet access for the next few days but, before I go, just wanna say I totally agree with House. I am deeply grateful to Barbie and Lee for bringing back PPC.

    It has allowed me to do very well every single month at AudioSparx for the last 2 years up until it was removed. I am very relieved that it’s coming back. It works for me, maybe not for everyone but I can tell the day & night difference for my case.

    Thank You AudioSparx for giving Us this extra option (& no one is being forced to use it if they don’t like it).

    Have a Blessed and Merry X’Mas Everyone!



    I too am a full time composer , I’ve been involved in the music biz full time for 40 plus years. I have and still am investing money , time and effort , needless to say the many life sacrifices I made throughout those years, as have many others on here have. Just because I refuse to pay for PPC doesn’t make me any less of a professional or my music any less quality. The basis of my argument is between right and wrong , without pointing fingers it may not be that important for some but for others like myself it is. From all the years I’ve been on this earth I come to value what is ” right ” as much as anything. Sorry about laying something on you all that is very personal but it’s a very sensitive issue for me. AS is already getting 60% , that is quite an investment from the composer, plus all the time consuming administration it takes to be involved with AS  which is just fine with me if fairness to the composer is returned , PPC is not fair ! Some may say to start paying for PPC too ……. what would that achieve if everyone does that ? Why invest more money into AS to have a level playing field ? The only winners would be the library. If a library values their composers like they claim then be fair to your composers, PPC is not fair. As for the drop in sales for some … that could very well mean that a level and fair playing field has opened up giving other quality music and composers an opportunity for their music to be found, heard and licensed. Now, that’s fair !!  Quote ….. ”  I would like to see AS add some pretty stringent criteria to their PPC program.  I wish they had a strict screening process to make sure only quality tracks and composers could participate in the PPC program ” end quote. ….. Without getting into details that is another double edged sword that can be very unfair. I say to that with a wink and innocent humor …. sometimes it’s not good to get what one may wish for …. it just may work against you ! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂


    I guess all of the music libraries should give their files away for free and every hardware and instrument manufacturer should give their products away for free or at least price them on a sliding scale so if you are not earning very much their products should be cheaper – that would be fair wouldn’t it.  If I suggested this you would think I am crazy.

    Why is being glad and willing to pay for advertising unfair?  I really don’t understand the reasoning.  Most royalty free sites including AS are just a clearing house.  To expect them to be responsible to promote your work based on the size of their catalog and business model is unreasonable.

    I disagree that it has anything to do with what is right and wrong or fair and unfair.  I think it is just a common sense business decision for AS and it is an opportunity that composers can choose to participate in.  If a composer doesn’t like the split or the PPC there are plenty of other royalty free libraries to be a part of.


    I personally will not use the ppc because  I was told by a successful friend of mine when I started to never pay to submit my music.   PPC falls into the same category in my opinion.  I am grateful to AS for treating me very well thus far and I have no ill feelings toward them whatsoever. But I have to agree with the thought that PPC will have a negative effect on many composers.  For myself it remains to be seen since as I mentioned, traffic just began to happen recently.  As far as advertising, doing this on my own, outside of AS makes more sense IMO since it will have no effect on the internal search results.


    Most royalty free sites including AS are just a clearing house.  To expect them to be responsible to promote your work based on the size of their catalog and business model is unreasonable.

    Among of the biggest mistakes that writers make is thinking 1) that all “libraries” are actually libraries, and 2) that they are, or should be, more or less the same in their relationships with composers.

    The library business has a number of tiers. Even the tiers have tiers. I have discussed this time and time again. There are several library business consultants that writers  can pay to be told the same thing.

    Traditional libraries are like record labels. In fact, Sony, is in the library business. They pay composers for their music and/or the cost of production. You have a relationship.

    The non-exclusive retitling libraries are a bit of a hybrid. They don’t pay you upfront, and you can have a quasi-relationship where you get on their “list.”

    But, with respect to Royalty Free libraries (with the excpetion of a few), House is absolutely correct. They are, for the most, part “stores” where composers sell their music. Like Walmart and Best Buy, what they offer you is virtual shelf space. It is the composer’s responsibility to promote their music.

    I had a record label back in the 90’s. One of our artists was an excellent fingerstyle guitarist from Germany. His music was a perfect fit for Barnes & Noble, and Borders. If you wanted them to “feature” your artist and play the CD in store, or place it near the register, you had to pay for that. It was considered advertising. The same thing applied to listening stations at Best buy. You had to pay X amount of dollars for every store location. We only did it in cities where our CDs were getting a lot of airplay. AND in those days, CDs were $18.00, for which Best Buy paid about $8.00, wholesale. SO, Best Buy made money from selling CDs and from advertising revenue.

    If Megatrax, or Extreme said, “we’re going to pay you $1,000 per cut upfront, bet then we’re going to deduct 20% to advertise and promote your music, after you’ve already signed over your copyright, you’d have a gripe.

    But, with mega RF companies, like AudioSparx (despite how warm friendly and attentive they are) your music is product…a commodity (which you continue to own). Walmart has no obligation to provide Campbell’s and Progresso a level playing field for their soup. Which one sells the best depends on the effort each company puts into promoting its product…through advertising, which may include subsidized in store promotions.

    Each of you is the owner of the business of you. One of the most common reasons businesses fail is because they are undercapitalized….they don’t have enough money to operate and compete. Unfortunately, the library business is no different. There is a certain egalitarian quality to the business in that everybody seems to have a shot. But, just showing up at the game isn’t enough.

    The ultimate question is not whether PPC is fair, it is whether the results justify the expense. We sold more copies of our fingerstyle guitarist’s CD in stores where we paid to be featured.

    Happy Holidays to All,





    I personally will not use the ppc because  I was told by a successful friend of mine when I started to never pay to submit my music.

    , that is very old and very good advice. But it doesn’t apply here. That adage came out of the record business where unethical agents would ask for an upfront fee, rather than take a percentage to get labels to “listen” to your music. You are not paying AudioSparx to listen to your music and decide whether or not to promote it. That is more like the Taxi model.

    Paying to submit and paying to promote are two different things. Paying $5 to FMN or Taxi to “submit” to a single specific job posting vs. paying per click to promote your music to 250,000 potential customers is not the same thing. Conceptually it’s different, and the cost benefit analysis is light years apart.



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