Royalty Free Sites and Direct License

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    Hi All,

    It should be loud and clear to all that any time you sell your music on a royalty free site know that the sale made is end game. Please be aware of the risks. This is why I encourage all to raise their prices on P 5. I love that site. I can set the price. My price is $100 a track and let me tell you I am up from $40 (I used $40 on the advice of others from this site) and $100 has been working just fine. The same amount of sales have been pouring in. I just happen to be making more money.

    Here is my philosophy: Because the sale is “end game” we have to charge more for a broadcast quality tracks. I really do believe that there is little difference between $40 and $100…or even $200 when a business needs a track on the cheap for their corporate video. $60 to $160 more does not make a corporate spender say “We can’t afford this, let’s not do the video project because the music is way too expensive. They do not say this. I have made corporate videos before and everyone is willing to spend a couple hundred on a track. I have licensed music into corporate videos for $2000 several times in my career. $40 is a joke. I did it to see what would happen, made some money but now I am going UP and I intend on making more money.

    The buyer does have the right to put our music in a blockbuster movie if they so chose…or even a commercial. They do not have to file cue sheets or inform the Pro. They can be cool about it and do this if they are kind. This is why P 5 asks writers to display writer, publisher and pro info. I am coming at this from the angle of: the sale is the sale and that is what I will make. I am probably going to raise my prices to $200 for my best sellers soon if the sales keep coming in consistently.

    I also encourage all writers here to support their business model. It empowers us to set the price, they pay very quickly and it is working out well! We should always be able to set the price for our own works. That must become the trend moving forward. I have made the decision to never send my music to a site only charging $30 or $40 or $50 for tracks. Why should I do that when I am racking up sales at $100?

    Mark Lewis

    if, and when, the PROs switch to digital detection.

    Still, digital detection would only apply to broadcast no? ‘digital detection’, unless it is miraculously efficient in an omnipresent God-like way, would not detect on hold messages, in house corporate videos, powerpoint presentations, convention presentations etc, etc .
    and even there they are a very long way off from making just the broadcast function work to the PROs content. PROs have basically said “it will never happen”.

    But if it does happen, no problem, our company would work everything out as we always have, with the composer, who has a legally binding agreement with us, explaining the situation to the PRO that might have any questions or doubts.

    Digital detection is a nebulous hypothetical situation at best. It is definitely not something looming on the horizon that you should be logically basing your music distribution decisions on today.

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    I also want to say that I can afford to do this because my career does not depend on the monthly revenue from RF sites. I will still have my home, my cars, my vacations, my wife and my kids, and I will be just fine. The RF scene is just a fun party to attend to see how much cash you can rack up on your works. So, don’t be worried about sales dipping because you raised your prices, that didn’t happen to me. Give it a shot. I have nothing to lose. I can afford to make $0 in RF land for a month. I can always lower the prices again. For now, I am simply making more money. My sales have doubled already (Not unit sales, but revenue generated) when comparing May to June…it’s only June 17. A few more sales, and my net will have tripled when comparing June to May. Happy Happy Happy! This extra cash is going to come in handy to pay for my summer vacations with my family! Happy Happy Happy!

    Mark Lewis

    I agree with More_advice’s comments on Pond5

    I recently joined Pond5 myself to distribute my personal music and sound effects collections. Am taking note regarding upping the prices 🙂

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    Happy Mark! Happy Mark! RF sites help pay for vacations! There also is a way to search on the site by price. People feel as though they are getting something better when they spend more. So I think I will gladly charge more. This way everyone is happy. The person who spent more feels like they are getting a better product. The composer is happy because they made more money on the sale…so everyone is happier with higher prices. My smile is bigger when the e-mail goes cha ching at $100. At $40 I was content, but now I am really happy when a sale rings up at $100.


    @More advice…I’m looking forward to being very happy. 🙂


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    Since you own a RF site, do you think P5 knows who (which business or individual) is buying for each sale? Or does a credit card simply ring it up and then there is no reason to look into it anymore?

    I suppose I should just simulate making a purchase.


    I cranked mine up @ my RF sites last week..fingers crossed 🙂

    Art Munson

    I just knew this topic would create a lot of dialog! Thanks everyone, a topic I felt needed discussion.


    Thank you Art, for creating this amazingly helpful site.

    Thank you all contributors for sharing your insights about higher prices. If not for your suggestions, I’d have lapsed into the prevailing low-ball pricing tendency on P5.

    I just joined P5, felt confident to set a higher amount, and am looking forward to seeing the results. I have to say that setting the higher amount, in addition to potentially bringing in more revenue, also creates a healthy self-esteem boost.


    I suppose I should just simulate making a purchase.


    I did say I was uploading my personal catalogs, my music, my sound effects. You are completely welcome to make a test purchase of my music when it is online on Pond5 More_advice.
    Really not sure why you would do that though.

    do you think P5 knows who (which business or individual) is buying for each sale?

    You’re probably not reading the threads entirely or you are completely misunderstanding them. What exactly do you mean?


    Art, please move the Tunesat discussion to another thread. Didn’t mean to hijack the conversation.

    [Moved to here:


    More Advice:

    The RF scene is just a fun party to attend to see how much cash you can rack up on your works. So, don’t be worried about sales dipping because you raised your prices, that didn’t happen to me. Give it a shot. I have nothing to lose.

    I’m glad things are going well for you but maybe for some of us RF is not a playground and we can’t afford to take many risks since we may have a lot to lose….. 🙁

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    @Mikevan…what I am saying is that I can afford to have no sales at all by raising my prices for a couple of months. I am not dependant on that revenue to feed my family. So if I do not sell at $100 anymore, or if the sales were to completely stop after 60 days…I would consider lowering my prices. I actually believe that the quality I put out warrants at least $100 for the track. I also believe that is not breaking the bank for any buyers. Businesses can afford to invest $100 in a track that will make their business video and marketing message shine a bit more. They will happily pay $5…but they will also happily pay $100 to $200…or even more. Trust me, I know what I am talking about.

    I am still selling my tracks after going from $40 or $50 to $100. I have no idea why people sell tracks for $2?
    I’d rather sell two for $100 every month as opposed to 99 tracks for $2 a piece. Sure, it may be a big ego boost to see “You had a sale” a lot…but it certainly is better to make more money. I highly highly doubt the folks selling stuff for $2, $5, $10…make more sales or money than the guys selling for $100 or more. I raised my prices 3 weeks ago, and I am making more money in June then May or April….by far.

    @Mark, the question is this…can I write to P5 and ask “Who bought my track?, What are they using it for?”


    @Mikevan, you have to take calculated risks in order to improve.

    No risk = No reward.

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