Forum Replies Created
I’d love to hope this qtr was “the new normal”, but I don’t really have the faith for that. :). Mine was very good this time – not the best but above what I’ve been getting for the last couple of years. Foreign was EXCELLENT! Streaming is picking up a bit.September 22, 2021 at 9:23 am in reply to: Is anyone making any money from stock music anymore? #38948
Still doing “OK”. Not great. Raised my prices substantially. For the most part, doing higher ending sounding stuff that most others are not doing. Real instrument based. Buyers seem to be willing to pay more for that as I don’t think they can easily find it in the subscription based libraries.
My understanding – and I have not researched this deeply, as I do not use slplice – is that with libraries such as Heavyocity and NI, etc. they create their own libraries and vet them fully – whereas with Splice, there are user uploaded libraries that may not be vetted as well as the big libraries. And that is where the rub comes in. That is where the copyright issues may rear their ugly heads. I have been personally advised not to use Splice as they have copyright issues attached. Take it with a grain of salt. Again, I don’t use them, have been advised against it in the way I create music, and so I don’t. But that is something people should be aware of. Best of luck.
There is a very lengthy discussion about Splice, their legal terms, real world problems and the like on another forum started by a AAA music library exec who is very knowledgeable about copyright issues. He is very connected in the music library industry. His post and following discussion outline multiple problems that they are having with Splice samples in relation to copyright and ownership of masters. I can’t go into all of it here, but be assured that the bigger libraries are aware of Splice, and many are not happy about Splice samples being in music they are receiving – whether it be exposed, tucked in, or outright buried. As they say – buyer beware.
I think that it’s pretty clear that AI is going to take out the low end. The “hold one finger down and create a cue” composers.
Beyond that level, it’s going to take a LOT of intelligence to start competing at a pro level of composition. Especially those composers who utilize a good amount of real musicians.
But no doubt – the low end consumers of music are going to be very happy fiddling around with some janky software trying to get something useful out of it.July 7, 2021 at 1:01 pm in reply to: Today’s State of the Exclusive vs Non-exclusive Debate #38296
Isn’t it better to have 50% of something instead of 100% of nothing?
Absolutely! But even better is to have 100% – even if it takes a few years to make back the buyout fee that the libraries who want your master rights, and your publishing in perpetuity might pay you. When searching for opportunities that pay out, if all you can find are libraries who want exclusivity – then I suppose that is your only option. But it could be short sighted – long term.
My personal experience is that exclusive libraries have performed no better for me (as far as back end is concerned) than non-exclusive libraries – and in several cases with AAA libraries, they perform worse than one of my NON-Ex libraries. So why give away control, master rights, publishing and long term income?
For me there is ONLY ONE reason. A big fat (and I mean BIG AND FAT) up-front buyout. $200,300,500 – even700 doesn’t get it anymore. It had better be far north of $1k, and even then, I really have to think hard about it.
Every man has to find his sweet spot. If exclusive libraries were paying me $10k per track, then hell yeah – I’d be writing exclusives all day long every day. But they aren’t. As a matter of fact – it’s far more likely and common now that they pay $0.00 up front than $1000. And if that’s the case, what’s the point? For me, that’s an exercise in futility.
Again, it’s all about the return $$$ on time spent. If I KNEW, 100%, absolutely positively that I’d make $250k back end on a particular placement, then yeah, no doubt……I’d give it away for free and fly out and deliver it in person. 🙂 🙂 But I’ve got no crystal ball. None of us does.
What I do know is that control is something that at least gives me the HOPE that I might be able to continue in this business of writing music – long term.
My best wishes to all composers and creatives! Be diligent, be creative, be ruthless about protecting your ability to perform long term. Cheers,
LAwriterJuly 2, 2021 at 7:46 am in reply to: Today’s State of the Exclusive vs Non-exclusive Debate #38257
What kind of business doesn’t want to collect the revenue it is generating!? It sounds like this company is one we should all steer clear of – regardless of the exclusive vs non-exclusive debate.
Which brings me back to my comment that EX vs NON is not the question to be asking. It’s good vs. bad. Aggressive vs. passive. Creative vs. one that sits back and just collects what falls in their laps. Those types of observations about a company can only be made over time, and by ourselves. I have ZERO doubt that this company makes a TON of money for themselves and their composers. Just not me. And I’d prefer not to name names. The industry is too small, and these folks are very well connected.July 1, 2021 at 10:22 am in reply to: Today’s State of the Exclusive vs Non-exclusive Debate #38252
I have hundreds (maybe thousands) of cue placements thru one of the AAA libs – (EXCLUSIVE) on a network that does pay out. A network that I get paid for with other publishers. And I’m not getting paid on ANY of them. I was paid a HUGE amount of money to write these very particular tracks for them. And what do they do? They don’t even bother to hunt them down or register cue sheets. They even know about these placements. They show up on their Tunesat logs. Why? It’s amazing. They are flushing their money down the toilet. I really don’t care what they do with THEIR money, but it’s 50% my money too – and I DO care about that. No effort from either BMI or them on these matters.
On the other side of the spectrum – the little NON-EX company that provides a huge percentage of my back end is fierce and notorious about hunting down cue sheets, contacting BMI, and getting every penny they (and myself) are owned.
Go figure. You’d think it would be the other way around.
My takeaway : big business cares nothing about my personal bottom line. Not BMI, not the AAA libraries – of whichI have music in many. If I can’t control my creative works, and if I can’t make the tough calls, then I get nothing. No other business works this way. It’s insane.June 30, 2021 at 6:57 pm in reply to: Today’s State of the Exclusive vs Non-exclusive Debate #38241
1. The future is changing for music distribution and licensing. Who knows what the future holds. I certainly don’t. The only way I can effectively compete is controlling my copyrights and master rights.
2. Backend is in huge transition as well. What’s HAS worked in the last 30+ years for writers may not be survivable in the future. In my experience, shows that started life on cable or network TV and played there for years end up in the ****er when they hit streaming. We’re talking drops in the vicinity of 95%. I have confirmed my findings with two or three other publishers – we’re all seeing the same thing within a handful of percentage points. Our numbers are astonishingly close. I’ve got a dozen Disney films with my songs in them that bear this out. Graphically and horrifically. Streaming is a disaster for the back-end based paradigm. As I mentioned in #1 – I don’t know the future – but I am clairvoyant enough to know that traditional broadcast is waning and Streaming is growing. All those “traditional and exclusive” AAA libraries are going to be getting a huge awakening over the next 5-10 years as their income plummets. I’m seeing guys who had mid 6 figure family back end royalty streams from a couple generations of prolific writers (household name films, artists and TV shows that you know) drop down under 30-40k a year when their stuff was taken off network/cable and put into AOD, etc.. Funny….Amazon doesn’t seem to be hurting….. LOL
So what’s that mean in the Ex vs. NONEx world….. ???
3. It means that ultimately, Ex vs. Non-Ex is not the question. Or at least it shouldn’t be the real question. The REAL question is good library vs. average library vs. bad library. It doesn’t matter if the library is EX or NONEX – both can do great. Both can tank. But a traditional contract with an EX can be closer to a coffin than a Ferrari. The real difference is that with most (traditional at least) EX libraries, your music is gone forever and you can not move it into a better place. It essentially becomes a work for hire. You cannot move, maneuver or change things up as technology and the industry changes. I mean, how much are most AAA libraries paying for buyout of your master rights ($$$$$$$$$$) and publishing ($$$$$)? And sometimes a slice of your writers ($$$)?
HINT : you want to do well? Follow the money? Who’s driving the Ferrari? Who has a beautiful home in the hills? Who vacations in the EU and HI every quarter? Who has the plush offices with dozens of employees? Second hint – it’s not library composers unless they made their money a decade or two ago. And it’s REALLY not composers who are selling their rights to EX libs for $2-300 per song. Who is making the money? It’s blatantly obvious if you dump tradition and follow the money. Really, it’s pretty simple.
Technology and the industry are changing at breakneck speed.
Pay your money, roll your dice.June 30, 2021 at 1:05 pm in reply to: Today’s State of the Exclusive vs Non-exclusive Debate #38231
It seems my thoughts have offended you. For that I am truly sorry. I sincerely hope your path leads to longevity, success and prosperity!! Cheers,