Changing Trends in Micro/Major Sales

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  • #37913 Reply

    Maybe there are some geniuses out there that can write, record VOCALS, mix, and master hit songs in 4 to 8 hours, but even if you CAN work that well, that fast, is $650 really enough?

    This kind of production would cost $10,000 just this one song. Check this out, it’s pretty amazing what these Russian folks did. This is an incredible song, and mix, executed with a room filled with virtuosity and excellence.

    #37916 Reply

    In my opinion, $650 for a complete buyout of all sync fees is nowhere near enough and is totally crazy. At least $10,000 would be fair.

    #37917 Reply

    Hey Music1234 & LAWriter thanks for the responses. I’d say time all in it takes me around 8-10 hours (usually spread over 2 days). That song you sent is cool and obviously would be a lot more expensive. I’m doing more top 40 pop style so it’s for the most part in the box other than instruments I can track easily myself at studio. I come from a pop songwriting background and would never accept 650 as a production fee (for major labels I ask for 10-15 but obviously landing them is a lot more rare and i spend a lot more time on those songs vs library songs). I guess my question then is what avenues can i take if i wanted to attempt to keep ownership and license songs myself? In another thread I learned that most of the unscripted shows that my songs get used in (the library i write for has had a rly great success rate w using my songs) don’t even pay a sync fee anyways and just have blanket deals w the library. So I assume it would be hard to just pitch them songs directly. On top of that, the royalties thus far haven’t been anything crazy whatsoever anyways so without an upfront fee it seems like i’d be getting peanuts.

    #37918 Reply

    Tbone – I do still keep writers share of publishing on the song (just not master). Are people really getting 10k for one song?!

    #37919 Reply

    justamusicgui1990, If you are doing “in the box” 4 chords only pop songs with no live instrumentation in 8 hours of time, you should still earn at least $1500 because you are also writing lyrics, and recording vocals.

    I’d be willing to bet that most TV show placements you are securing are the instrumental versions, but I could be wrong. The opportunity cost and your risk is “what will my track earn on stock sites in youtube micro stock sync fees as well as broadcast license sync fees in the $250 to $3000 range?”

    These tunes you are writing may go on and sell every week, but they may sell once a month or even once a quarter. We never know. What I know is that I am willing to wait and see what happens before I run and grab that quick, short term $650 advance fee and give up ownership and control.

    BTW: Does this publisher share sync with you 50/50? or are you forfeiting future sync fees in exchange for the $650 advance? and are you transferring ownership of the masters to this company in perpetuity?

    #37920 Reply

    Music1234 – I keep my writers share on publishing but give them the master rights. Are their libraries that are paying 1500+ for these types of songs? I’d say about 75% of the placemenets thus far that i’m seeing or catching on royalty statements are with the vocal (like i said these are a lot of unscripted shows like ninja warrior, love island, etc).

    When you say the stock sites is that like the Pond5’s and those type of “royalty free” upload your own content type stuff? I really like the company i work with and appreciate how quickly the music goes on tv… but this was all great when i was doing it to supplement income and bringing in like 4k a month on the fees but now that i’m looking to go at it full time i’m looking for how to move past this cap i’ve seem to reach on income with them especially since thus far the royalties have been barely anything.

    #37921 Reply

    if you need $650 today and they pay quick – maybe that’s a good deal. If you need a career – long term – you just shot yourself in the foot. The music – pretty much any music – is worth more than $650 unless it’s a piece of $#!@.

    Back end royalties are dying with streaming. And those unscripted shows will not support you. $650 upfront will not support you, Only a real royalty stream will support you.

    Ownership of masters is the ONLY thing that will pay out significantly the future. There. I said it out loud. The dirty little secret. I’ll even say it again……..

    Ownership of masters is the ONLY thing that will pay out significantly the future.

    I won’t say it again. After all, it IS a secret……

    #37922 Reply

    LAwriter i totally get what you’re seeing and i know that the masters are the real value. I’m just wondering how to exploit the masters without going through one of these libraries like I am now to get the placements. Is it using those sites like Pond5 or other sites that let you self upload that you suggest? Or just straight up building a catalog and site of my own and essentially becoming the library myself and trying to connect directly to shows?

    #37923 Reply

    justamusicgui1990 , I am not an expert in what you are doing because I stopped making efforts with songs with vocals a long time ago. Everyone develops their own strategy and finds their niche and people to partner with.
    I too happen to agree that ownership and control of large catalogs of say 500 to 2000 tracks or more, is extremely important moving forward. There is a reason why everyone wants music producers to sign deals where they hand over the master sound recordings.

    If you can connect directly to shows, that would be a way to go. It’s hard to give advice in a public forum because there are many details that one would need to discus and find out before any concrete advice could be given. this is a very complicated business and what works for you, may not work for me, and vice versa.

    As one example of the approach to “holding out” and “staying patient”…5 years ago I wrote a rather basic, happy folky, feel good acoustic instrumental tune. The track is nothing extraordinary, but still, a useful “feel good” vibe. The track did not do much in terms of setting sales records on various stock music sites, but sure enough, it’s now on a national spot and I am very pleased that I own the master, and control all the cards on the back end as writer and publisher. Patience ownership, and control, eventually pays dividends.

    This approach works for me. It may not work for everyone.

    #37924 Reply

    Thank you Music1234. I appreciate all your knowledge and advice that you shared.

    #37928 Reply

    Welcome to the real world. It’s challenging. incredibly complex, ever changing, crazy, and the pie is getting smaller every day – with the competition growing exponentially. “Top 40 Pop” is for sure one of the top few categories of songs that have the most competition. You’ve got to be incredibly different, and compelling. And yeah, unless you have thousands of songs, it’s going to be a very long haul. 2500 and counting here, and I feel kind of like I’m barely getting into it….. How long will it take you to clear 1000 minimum? That’s a starting place in this market IMO. (Didn’t always used to be that way……). And yeah, those of us with a head start and thousands of placements already earning money have a huge advantage. Best of luck. Think outside the box and never give up. That’s the only answer I can give you. Every path is different. No one wants to hear that, but it’s 100% true.

    PS – a vocal song has the “potential” to earn more than an instrumental – with the exception that there are about 500-1000 + instrumental placements for every vocal placement. 🙂

    #38008 Reply
    Kery Michael

    This thread sure is an interesting read. Especially after watching some of Jeff Price’s YT videos on copyrights. Excellent videos on the nitty gritty. Which helps but I’m still hazy on details.

    Maybe a noob question, but is signing an exclusive, in-perpetuity contract the same as giving up the copyright? I understand that you certainly lose control of the track at that point. As in for the rest of one’s life they could never choose to doing anything else with that track.

    What about exclusive with reversion clause? I would think that’s always the better option, right? Only temporarily giving up control.

    Whenever a composer goes through a publisher, then they’re always going to take some piece of the master or publishing/composition? The only way to retain 100% would be to do direct licensing?

    I guess I’m a little confused about the ability to retain 100% of copyright and control.

    #38009 Reply

    Kery, when you sell/ license your music on direct license sites you are the author and owner of the sound recordings and the site is just acing as “broker” of the transaction. If you sell a sync license, the broker takes a cut of the transaction.

    If you sign with music publishers who feed TV shows there are many options out there:
    Exclusive in perpetuity– You can only deal the track with this one publisher, forever, and generally you are transferring the master ownership over to them.
    Exclusive for a period of time with a reversion clause – You can only deal the track with this one publisher, but after say 2 to 5 years, you can also remove your music from the library
    Non Exclusive in perpetuity – You can license your music on this platform, but also on other platforms, BUT you grant this publisher NE perpetual rights to deal the track, you can not ever remove the track from their library
    Non Exclusive – you can sell on this platform and others and generally speaking you can remove your property from the platform or library whenever you want to, for any reason whatsoever.

    #38028 Reply

    I think the thread got off track here. I would like to return to that. I know that vocal song placements are quite less numerical than instrumentals. Do you need 2000 vocal songs or is it a different rule? I think you definitely need a niche and that niche has to be what film makers are looking for. I think too many artists are just making music of what they want thinking that it will sell. Customizing music to fit a certain mood will come more in handy and will narrow the vast competition a bit. The other thing that needs to be done is to have your music properly assessed. If it is mediocre and you think it is the greatest thing since sliced bread, it will take you awhile to figure out why you aren’t getting any placements. Any further thoughts?

    #38029 Reply

    Admittedly, maybe it’s just me but returning to the original thread is about “changing” trends in sales right? so I’m not quite able to connect what you are saying with what is actually changing. What you are saying seems very general but not about changes in the state of things unless I’m just not getting it. Maybe you can clarify what you think is a changing trend.

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