How long did it take you to reach 4 figure PRO payments?

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  • #39731 Reply
    RM90
    Participant

    I’m curious as to how long it took some of you to start seeing PRO payments of at least $1,000. I’ve been in the biz for over 4 years now, and despite getting over 100 TV placements last year I am still scraping the low hundreds for my international statements and even 2 figures for my domestic! I have over 400 exclusive tracks out there with at least 30 different libraries.

    #39732 Reply
    Art Munson
    Keymaster

    We’ve been at this for about 15 years. For us it was only a few years but the business has changed a lot since then. Much tougher now as the market is saturated with music. It is a long game though so I would keep at it.

    #39733 Reply
    Michael Nickolas
    Participant

    Twenty years ago it took only three ASCAP payouts before hitting four figures. So maybe a time machine? 🙂 Seriously though, I think you’re seeing the affects of streaming on this business.

    #39734 Reply
    Music1234
    Participant

    4 figure PRO royalties (from a single placement) only come from:

    -featured placements ( a 2 minute song with vocal playing on a show in front of a large listening audience)
    -TV themes, large viewing audience
    -Tv spot campaign – your track lands on a commercial with a reputable BIG brand (not cheap, local furniture store ads broadcast in local markets) and broadcasts thousands of times in a given quarter.

    It’s not so much about time invested in the game of music licensing, it’s more so about landing that one sweet placement into a big TV project with a massive viewing audience.
    The vast majority of your royalties (on a PRO statement) will pay between fractions of cents $25.

    And while streaming has grown, at the end of the day the big reward has not changed, we all want music on big, popular TV shows or movies, on TV Networks that actually pay broadcast performance royalties, and with millions of people watching the show or TV spots. And we want these TV shows or TV spots broadcasting constantly. It’s all based on Quantity of broadcast air dates Or “plays” or “Performances of your music composition” and viewing audience size.

    All of those variables are always 100% out of your control.

    #39735 Reply
    LAwriter
    Participant

    All of those variables are always 100% out of your control.

    That ^^^^^^^ is truth. It’s one of the terrifying and also hopeful things about this business. I have faith. That keeps me positive. I can’t remember how long it took to get to the first 4 figure payment to be honest, but it didn’t take 4 years. Also, getting the RIGHT library for you is critical. 400 tracks is nothing at this point IMO. You need a lot more. If I had to rely 100% on TV tracks as 100% of my income, I think I’d be looking north of 3000 well written, produced at a high level, unique titles – each having 5+ alternate mixes. If you have a family and mortgage and college tuition – more. The business has collapsed. This is evidenced everywhere you look.

    The best thing you can do is analyze each library you are in very, VERY, VERY carefully. Feed the ones that are working, and jettison the ones that are doing nothing. Write everyday, get extremely good and fast at what you do, keep doing it. When the 400 reaches 1500 and they are in the right libraries, you should be seeing some significant improvement.

    #39736 Reply
    RM90
    Participant

    Thanks for the input guys! I’m not giving up of course, just wanted to see what kind of trajectory makes sense. Also Music1234 I’m not talking about 1 placement for 4 figures, I’m talking about an entire PRO statement. I did get lucky early on with a single UK commercial that paid between $400 and $750 per quarter for over a year. That track made more that year than my entire catalog has each year since lol. I also admit that for almost 2 years I was doing non-exclusive libraries, so my exclusive career is probably 2.5 years in. I definitely have some libraries that are right for me too, just need to keep feeding them.

    #39737 Reply
    Mark_Petrie
    Participant

    about two years

    #39738 Reply
    Mark_Petrie
    Participant

    All of those variables are always 100% out of your control.

    Great points! But, I’d argue there’s something in your control that increases the odds of those opportunities dropping out of the sky and into your lap: QUALITY. Moving from a spam-mode mindset to attempting to make each track the best thing you’ve ever done goes a long way to increasing the odds of theme use, major syncs etc.

    #39739 Reply
    Mark_Petrie
    Participant

    400 tracks is nothing at this point IMO

    I’m not so sure about that. I’ve made more from my last 100 tracks than I have from the previous 2000.

    Quality over quantity has proven to be a winner for me.

    #39740 Reply
    MichaelL
    Participant

    Quality over quantity has proven to be a winner for me.

    I agree. In the RF market you can have individual tracks that generate 4 figures if the quality is there and your metadata is effective.

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