Home › Forums › Commentary › Subscription Models Must be Destroyed!
Tagged: music licensing, payment models, subscription models
- This topic has 59 replies, 15 voices, and was last updated 3 years, 9 months ago by AKMusic Productions.
Advice, I gave a pretty thorough reply yesterday but I think it’s in the mod cue due to length. I have been asking various participants what kind of money they make in the model and have gotten some pretty reliable data from people over the last 5 months or so. I also had my own experience with this model but only for 2 months because I requested that my catalog be deleted which it was. Hopefully Art can post what I wrote yesterday. I certainly hope more people will chime in, but subscription model participants seem to want to keep things very hush hush. Many are not talking publicly, but some are to me privately at least.
Advice, I have been following this pretty closely and I do have a couple of people who have shared their earnings data from a sub model. What I can conclude is this: If the pool of writers is thin, then there may be a decent amount of money to create, not a livable wage, but certainly an extra revenue stream….say $500 to $2000 a month. That revenue stream is highly dependent on how many tracks you put in the model and also how in demand your music is. Are customers downloading your tracks a lot? If yes, I suppose you are earning more. Granted, I am only following the story at one company. i heard that the Nashville operation has done well for their writers, but again, they limit how many writers are sharing the subscription revenue. If thousands of writers were to pile into this model, everyone’s earnings would collapse hard and fast.
I recently read a post from a stock video seller and he wrote:
“Judging from other similar services, one of which I managed the inventory for for 3 years, artists are probably earning between $0.02 – $0.20 per download. “
So there is a lot of credibility there. He managed the inventory on the stock site, and clearly saw the download data from customers and I assume had access to monthly revenue collected.
Compare that to earning $15 to $40 per download for the current sync license model.
I admit I was pretty fearful of subscription taking off last year, but all in all, my revenue from the normal sync license model is remaining steady and improving gradually.
The message I have to all is simple: resist that model. If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. It’s an incredibly non transparent model. Who wants to see prices nose dive to 2 cents a download? I do not write production music for visual media to watch it be traded for spotify like royalties. that is total insanity, but then again, historically speaking, aren’t musicians and composers insane when it comes to fair business practices?
I encourage everyone to keep the bullhorn alive and scream as loud as you can “Subscription SUCKS!!!!!” to every young and new writer you meet.
One last thing I want to say is that all of the participants measure their success or failure in subscription in terms of : is the combined revenue , sync licenses sold plus subscription revenue = ing more total revenue. That does seem to be the case for some but please also know that the top seller of all time in RF started with like 250 tracks in a sub model but then after the second pay report came out, he quickly dropped his offering way down to maybe just 45 tracks. I was told that he was quite ticked off because 1. the earnings from the sub model were very poor relative to his expectations and 2. clearly the cheaper option hurt his normal sync license (one at a time sale) business. So that speaks volumes too.AdviceParticipant
Thanks for the open-minded analysis. As I mentioned, not everything is black and white though I share the concern that this model is part of the “race to the bottom”.
It could be that on the right site with a very large number of tracks, this could be on leg of your overall income. I choose not to participate but to each his/her own. Also, I have a smaller catalog of vocal songs, not thousands of RF type instrumentals.
There is a possibility, whether we like it or not, that with the growing demand for music for small budget video (youtube, etc), this model *could* take over the RF world. What if sites like P5 and AS find they can’t compete on a single fee per download and are forced to enter this model to survive? We’ve seen libraries share publishing with TV production companies because everyone else was doing it and they couldn’t compete otherwise. And as you know, no matter what deals WE refuse to sign, there will be thousands of hungry composers who will jump right in.
We’ll have to keep watching what happens here.
No rants. Just discussion. 🙂
There is a possibility, whether we like it or not, that with the growing demand for music for small budget video (youtube, etc), this model *could* take over the RF world.
There a few reasons why I do not believe this will ever be the case:
1. We all know that this model grossly devalues music assets so it is not in our interests to participate. The model can only “take over” if composers actually show a willingness to get on board. Why would we get on board with making less money?
2. Customers do not warm up to this model as much as people think. Not every customer wants their credit card on file and on auto withdraw indefinitely. (Note to self: my daughter keeps reminding me to cancel a photoshop subscription! LOL!)
3.There is no such thing as RF. When customers buy a license we are paid a royalty right then and there. “Royalty Free” is nothing but a bogus marketing term.
4. Even with the rise of subscription, I still feel like they are all scrambling for survival.
5. Sources have told me that the Nashville company was seeking round 1 investor funding. If they are in need of raising money, things can’t be going that well. It’s not like they need to raise money to buy a manufacturing plant or to finance production costs from purchase orders.
6. Since subscription came on to the scene, my revenue still has gone up only from traditional sync fee revenue so sure some customers want cost savings others would rather just seek what they need on a project by project basis and pay a bit more to get what they need.
There is a possibility, whether we like it or not, that with the growing demand for music for small budget video (youtube, etc), this model *could* take over the RF world
YOUTUBERS who need tracks for their mom and pop channels have dozens of cheap to even free options out there for cookie cutter stock music tracks. In the end, it all comes down to how much value you put on yourself and your works. I really believe that in the context of business to business music licensing ( example a music producer targeting professional post houses, advertising agencies, pro directors and video editors) These people are not concerned with $20 or perhaps even $500. If they hear what they need and it makes their video project pop, they will pay for it.MichaelLParticipant
I really believe that in the context of business to business music licensing ( example a music producer targeting professional post houses, advertising agencies, pro directors and video editors) These people are not concerned with $20 or perhaps even $500. If they hear what they need and it makes their video project pop, they will pay for it.
I have no interest in participating on these sites. I agree that most (or all) of us here should not feed this thing. That being said, it can be naive to think that if this is a strong emerging trend for emerging markets, we can stop this moving train. We just have to hope that what serves the low end mom and pop video market doesn’t creep into other spaces like broadcast music for TV, etc. We’ve already seen many libraries do blanket deals with TV production companies and share none of the front end with composers. We’re seeing TV production companies demanding publishing and libraries agreeing. I’ve even seen a few ask for a piece of writer’s share to make up for giving publishing away. And yup, there are enough hungry composers out there that say yes.
There are those who called re-titling a race to the bottom as well. (Please, we won’t debate that one again!).
I’m rambling. The bottom line is we can do our part by not participating but if a train is moving fast enough, it won’t be stoppable.LAwriterParticipant
The train couldn’t get out of the station if composers weren’t naive or uninformed. NO composer, even those just starting out would agree to terms of $0.17 a license if they KNEW what was happening. I don’t see any bullet trains in the future. I think they are going to fold up and die.guscaveGuest
NO composer, even those just starting out would agree to terms of $0.17 a license if they KNEW what was happening
I wish that were true, however take a look at what’s happening with online beat sales. Producers are giving away tracks for free with the hope that buyers will come back and buy additional beats. This use to be a market where Artists would easily buy your tracks for $50 and up. Now producers have basically created a market where new Artist doesn’t think they should pay for music.
Personally I don’t think the subscription model will creep into the back-end TV/film world, but I can see where it would give libraries like Pond5, AudioJungle, etc a run for their money.nwcomposer123Guest
I made over $40k last year from these models. How can I justify walking away from that? The volume and client base is there and as long as I’m creating new music, I am being paid far more than any single-license service I’m working with.nwcomposer123Guest
I’d rather adapt and be a part of new trends in the industry than rest it and all of a sudden be on the outside looking in.TboneParticipant
How many tracks did you have in how many subscription libraries to make that?
How much did you get per license?MM_MusicworksParticipant
Wow that’s highly impressive… Congrats!