Subscription Models Must be Destroyed!

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  • #28788 Reply

    Please, do not get involved in these business models. Let’s define them: Customers pay either a monthly or annual fixed fee of say $200 to $1000 a year and basically can download and use the entire catalog. That’s right…whatever they want, whenever they want.

    How can a writer possibly make money? How can a company put together any kind of payment scheme in place when customers can download everything under the “subscription” model?

    Do you know that if you engage and opt in to these models you will destroy our business and destroy your ability to make a living licensing music?

    There is only one way to sell music licenses folks, and that is one license at a time. You need my track? Great, buy a license. We had that threshold thread going a couple days ago. Yes, this too is a threshold, once a company wants to offer yearly subscriptions so customers can gain access and download an entire catalog, run away and fast. If that means delete your music, I’d advise doing it.

    I have a knack for predicting things. When my brother in law showed me napster in 1998 or so, the first words out of my mouth were this “Music will never be bought ever again, this is the end of the record business.” I was right. If WRITERS get on board with subscription licensing models for music, you will soon put the nail in the coffin for your ability to earn money licensing music.

    #28789 Reply
    Art Munson

    Do you know that if you engage and opt in to these models you will destroy our business and destroy your ability to make a living licensing music?

    I agree but I wonder if we can truly stop this. Big library, well funded, offers to pay $100 (or less) to own track. Lots of hungry composers bite and said library has an ever growing catalog for subscription business model. I think this is already happening!

    #28790 Reply

    But what about models where there is no “buyout” fee for the track? There are companies offering writers to opt into the service with no clearly defined method of accounting for downloads and usage.

    The only way to get paid is on a license by license basis. One transaction at a time.

    If we do not “unite” on this front, we will destroy our business once again. I do not want to sound like a pessimist, I am not. I have really enjoyed the growth of music licensing revenue for the last 10 years. I think it’s so cool that we can all trade globally.
    Subscription based models will ruin our business. I just hope no one ever opts in.

    #28791 Reply

    There are several popular libraries here that offer blanket deals to various networks . The client pays a yearly fee I assume , and than they don’t pay additional syncs for the material. They use tons of music and many of us here get the back end only from these placements. ( sometimes they also score a check for us for an ad or something) Is that the same / worse / better than the subscription service you are talking about?

    #28792 Reply

    Hello to all!

    Unless we are talking about some type of new concept where you get paid a ridiculously low price for the composition/song; and there is NO backend. This has been going on for YEARS, and backend royalties have been the major source of my income..

    #28793 Reply
    Art Munson

    There are several popular libraries here that offer blanket deals to various networks.

    No, Music1234 is talking about RF sites and no back end.

    #28795 Reply

    theres this one lib i dont think is RF that has a micro licensing subscription opt-in (which i recently tunred off on my settings)…he maybe talking about that (ST)

    #28796 Reply

    I am talking about the “direct licensing” markets in the $20 to $100 range for small business customers or high volume users of music for videos. I am not talking about traditional music libraries that feed tv shows and generate cue sheets. I am talking about micro stock sites that service the general public (mostly small mom and pop video makers, free-lancers, etc…)

    I am well aware of libraries selling blankets to TV production companies and TV networks. I am OK with that because we get on cue sheets and collect performance royalties.

    Here is what is going on. There are companies out there that use micro stock sites every day. They say “geeez it really is inconvenient for me to pay one track at a time for our projects, can we just give you guys $200 to $1000 a year and use everything for anything…whenever we want to use it, in any media whatsoever.”

    Stock site sees $$$$$!!
    They say…”hmmm, we have an opportunity to get thousands of customers to get on a “subscription plan” and we get guaranteed monthly or annual revenue.” The question though is how do writers get paid???

    Stock Library collects all the money first through their subscriptions. How do they know WHO to pay for WHAT USAGE? and WHEN?….when all their customers can download the entire catalog?

    It’s totally insane. Yes ST is a greedy site now shifting to this. They are predators. The men who invested $5 Million are growing impatient and want their money back faster.

    I don’t care if you have a PHD in accounting and are a data manager whiz, no one can come up with a plan where writers are paid fairly.

    Subscription models can work if ONE writer sells all his own music to subscribers. But how do these companies get away with pooling all tracks together as if they are their own? I know how, they prey on stupid, ignorant musicians who are stupid business people. So get the bull horns out and sound the alarms and educate the entire world about how terrible these deals are.

    If you agree to these deals, Stock Music Library wins. They win ALL the money.

    You, well, you will put yourself out of business forever. I dare one of you punk greedy stock music library owners to get in this public forum and tell us all otherwise what your grand master plan is.

    Why are you trying to fix what is not broken?
    Tell your customers that they need to buy licenses one track at a time.

    #28803 Reply

    Yep. Going to edit a bit and it disappears. Same as always. I love this site, and it’s so helpful, but it’s about as archaic a site as I’ve seen in the last 10 years…. Very frustrating.

    #28798 Reply


    Yes, Music1234 has hit the proverbial nail on the head once again.

    I was offered a similar deal. A music library I had done business with in the past took my music off one of their other sites and moved it onto one of these subscription sites. They told me how “great” it would be for my career to be on a site that was looking forward into the future by starting a subscription plan for users. I politely asked them how this benefitted me over the users and themselves, they couldn’t make any sense of anything, so I politely asked them to remove ALL of my catalog off their subscription site as it would compete against me in other venues. Talk about $#@!#@$% pxxxxd off…. Geez, I burned my relationship with them forever, but if this is “their future” I have only one thing to say :

    “GOOD RIDDANCE!!!!” I can make 10X’s more money picking up quarters on the sidewalk of the park.

    If a subscriber can get my music for under, YES UNDER, $0.30 a song, why would they ever license it from me on another site?

    The answer is….once found out….they wouldn’t. Ever.

    After getting this glimpse at the future of composing, I have clenched my teeth and hoped for the best, but if these models take off, we are done for. Completely done for. There is no backend from these sites, and backend as we have known it for 20+ years is about to tank big time with streaming taking over.

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

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