How are Sub Libraries paying writers?

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  • #35529 Reply
    guscave
    Guest

    I don’t put much attention to subscription libraries, but I was curious if anyone has figured out how they’re paying the writers? If a client is paying $20 per month for unlimited downloads and your song gets downloaded along with 50 other tracks, what percentage are you getting? How is this even being calculated?

    It seems like a new sub library pops up every month, but no one seems to know the core question of how you get paid.

    #35653 Reply
    johnfrancis
    Participant

    That’s the central problem for us, if there is any accountability it is arbitrary and library specific. There doesn’t seem to be any standard and as such – much like the calamities of big tech – is operating in a moral and practical Wild West. Aside from giving your licenses away for free for accreditation, there isn’t a better vehicle for “the race to the bottom” presently than the subscription model libraries for the composer. It’s a win-lose situation.

    #35655 Reply
    Music1234
    Participant

    They pay any way they feel like paying. There is 0 accountability and 0 transparency. What John said…it’s a company wins and profits no matter what situation, while writers lose big time, and see the value of a “music license” crumble to about $1 or $3 per download (if that).

    #35666 Reply
    MichaelL
    Participant

    it’s a company wins and profits no matter what situation, while writers lose big time, and see the value of a “music license” crumble to about $1 or $3 per download (if that)

    New composers enter the market every day and “established” composers upload new content every day. We have, unfortunately, reached the point where, on certain tiers and models, there is an endless supply of music, especially corporate/business music and “Zimmer-inspired” cues. Value is not sustainable under those circumstances.

    #35667 Reply
    Music1234
    Participant

    Well there is an endless supply of gas stations, grocery stores to shop at, hotel rooms to book, and cars to buy too. Those companies do not drop the price of their products by 90%. There is not an endless supply of talented music producers, but when the good one’s jump on the cheap sub models, devaluation can very easily become perpetual.
    I still believe that for every new cue that comes on the market, an old cue falls off the market. We have a lot of rotten potatoes cluttering up our music markets.

    The debate over supply and demand is actually a different debate than the lack of transparency and corrupt accounting standards that are inherent in subscription models. Writers sign contracts that essentially state “pay me whatever you want, and however you decide to account for the revenue you collect from your subscribers.”

    Subscription came into play simply because Spotify, Microsoft, Adobe, Netflix, google and several other tech giants invented the monthly recurring revenue model for software and services. It is a great model when you own the intellectual property outright.

    Music producers are so ignorant that they literally trusted these companies with THEIR intellectual property to bundle up all cues in a pooled basket to be “licensed” for $15 a month all you can download. A friend of mine who is “all in” is earning $2000 from the sub model and $1000 from one off sync licenses each month. He once earned $4000 to $5000 a month from the one off sync model selling at $29 a standard license.

    Another respected AJ producer I communicate with stated that his sub revenue is 2K a month, but his sync sales were decimated once he offered his portfolio on the elements market.

    Anyway, I still do OK selling single license usages for $50 to $70 per standard license. I still see no need to panic.

    #35673 Reply
    guscave
    Guest

    A friend of mine who is “all in” is earning $2000 from the sub model and $1000 from one off sync licenses each month. He once earned $4000 to $5000 a month from the one off sync model selling at $29 a standard license.

    Muisc 1234, Your friend must have a semi-truck full of songs with these libraries to be making even $2k per month. I just don’t see how any significant money can be made when clients are paying $15-per month for unlimited amount of downloads.

    #35677 Reply
    Music1234
    Participant

    Here is my opinion of what happened. It’s classic case of the early birds getting the worm. those who were invited to join envato elements accepted for fear of missing out. They invited all reviewers and also key stock music suppliers who currently were the best sellers anyway. So the offering was strong. Yes, my friend has 400 tracks in the model. envato had to pay these folks well to keep them on board. A lot of the earnings is from the subscription “bonus”. The bonus comes from paying subscribers who actually download nothing in a given month, but still pay the $16.50 a month.

    Now how that “bonus” is calculated is another story, ripe for corruption, and really distributed any way the company feels like distributing it. My friends entry into this market has been ok for him, but he now is clearly seeing his one off sync sales get cannibalized by the subscription option. His customers have two choices: buy one $29 to $49 sync license from him, or pay the $16.50 a month and download his entire catalog if they so chose. The choice is a no brainer. I have seen his data – some tracks earn 0.25 cents a month, others can earn $100 or so a month. Here is what a 10 of our co-writes earned last month. It’s a joke! I only have 10 in this model. So 10 tracks earn $15. Hence, 100 tracks would probably earn $150 a month in this model. We’re getting paid most likely 0.25 to 0.50 a download. These are the facts.

    Track Amount
    $ 0.35
    $ 0.41
    $ 0.82
    $ 1.02
    $ 0.75
    $ 0.38
    $ 4.41
    $ 6.19
    $ 0.34
    $ 0.68

    $ 15.35

    #35688 Reply
    guscave
    Guest

    Music 1234; Thanks for sharing. That is a sad ROI… I have a few tracks still on a couple of RF libraries which I never bothered bothered with much. But this sure paints a clear picture why I don’t plan to pursue it.

    #35702 Reply
    StevenOBrien
    Participant

    Any subscription site not offering an upfront payment per track is a complete scam. The revenue-share model barely worked with pay-per-track RF, and it certainly will never work here.

    #35705 Reply
    Music1234
    Participant

    Any subscription site not offering an upfront payment per track is a complete scam.

    Even Epidemic Sound’s model is a scam to young and ignorant writers. Or perhaps, who knows? there could be older and ignorant writers? When you sell a track to Epidemic for $300 to $600 as full buyout, that’s it, the deal is done and you lose EVERYTHING, writers share, publishing share, shared sync fees, shared subscription fees, all of it. The property essentially is transferred to them from you for that fee. It is like selling a car.

    Everyone needs to realize that some tracks can go on and earn you $20,000 to $100,000 depending on how popular they may become. I can say that most can easily earn a writer $500 to $1500 over a 5 year period. We never know which tracks will be our hit money makers. That’s why it’s so dangerous to sell tracks for nominal fees.

    Steven, yes, I can say confidently that subscription is a total joke for writers, all it did was devalue music works by 90%, and there is no increased revenue opportunities for 98% of all writers. A few will do OK in this model, but I am not sure for how long that will last. It does not seem to be sustainable. All of my opinions are based on direct participation of the model for just over 1 year. I do not see any scaled upside for my portfolio, so I will continue to license my tracks for $39 to $69 as my “standard youtube / interent only” price.

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