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The key to a successful career is not only numbers; but writing quality, well thought out, and well mixed Music!!
4000 Tracks if they are not good enough to compete in the marketplace means “Nothing”..
Beatslinger – quoted for truth!
I’ll try again. Let’s try and cross our fingers for part 2….
I DO believe in writing EVER-green music. I believe in writing inspired music that uses real instruments that can stand alone and create interest in listening to it based on it’s own creativity. Music that will still be played 20, 30, 50 years from now. It can be period pieces, 80’s dance music, jazz, pipe organ, rock, ethnic african and asian musics, big band swing, string quartets, western, bluegrass, blues or orchestral. I’ve done it all – including a lot more random styles like celtic, new orleans, etc.. And yeah, I do tension cues too. LOL But I strive for music that has a heritage that will last longer than a trendy current TV cycle.
While I enjoy some of it, I don’t chase trailer music or EDM or Hip-Hop. There are too many guys doing it who can’t write other styles, so I head into territories with less action, more longevity and less competition. Areas where I can stand out from a crowd that doesn’t know how to write / produce it quickly.
I’m quite happy for Beatslinger making it on only 120 tracks. He’s obviously got something SERIOUS going on!! But I don’t know what he means by “placements”. Are those verified placements INSHOW for broadcast? AWESOME!! That is excellent. But again….how long and where are they playing? 18 seconds on Netflix? Haha! Fail. 2 minutes on CBS primetime – Sweet! I’ll wave to your your limo on the way to the bank. I get tons of in show placements too. I can’t count em there are so many. Often 5-10 in a single episode. But I have no control over length of play or whether or not I can even hear them if I happen to catch the show. Most are under a minute and on cable, so we’re talking tens of dollars, not hundreds of dollars. But they all add up.
IF…..you have enough of them to be chosen in the first place. And IMO, that puts the numbers needed for longevity at thousands of songs instead of a couple hundred. That’s my personal experience. Which may mean zero to the next guy.
I’m frustrated here….let me try this in pieces…..last try though….
You can make an entire career on one song. Good luck finding it though and getting it to market early enough in your career to support you the rest of your life. Or you can fall flat on your face with 2000 songs. I’ve seen it. I’d be willing to place a healthy wager that the guys trying to hit that number in 5 years will probably fall into that category if they don’t attend to quality.
One thing is certain – there is no right or wrong way to success, and no way to calculate if or when it will happen. Following one man’s path to success is not a guarantee for you. It’s actually a distraction.
I agree with Beatslinger about getting great music into great libraries. But here’s the kicker…..
I’m not sure I would agree with most here about “which” libraries are great, and I’m not sure I would agree with most here about which styles of music will get placements.
I’m in a lot of top A level libraries who net me only a couple hundred a year. I wrote popular styled music for them. Fail. I’m never going that path again. I’m in a smallish private library that nets me mid 5 figures by itself that on paper looks like a dismal failure of a deal. Haha! I’m laughing. I’m in what I guess would be a “RF” library (I still can’t figure out all the nomenclature and parse the minute differences) that pulls in 800+ “placements” a year. Very few of which seem to make it to broadcast. It’s a nice side income which really takes the stress off of what I need from back end.
Are they enough? No, I don’t think so. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon are looming…..
Personally, I believe in the more is more formula. I have seen first hand that you cannot parse the details of this business enough to write a few pieces and have it sustain a career for a lifetime. Things change waaaay to quickly to make that a safe strategy long term.
Boinkeee2000 – I wrote a very long and detailed post that didn’t make it past the “filters” of this site. I don’t have the time or effort to re-write it. I am quite frustrated. It had no profanity, and I didn’t try to “edit” it. It just flat out disappeared. Maybe it will show up later. Unfortunately, your loss as it addressed many pertinent issues.
I will say 2 things in brief –
1. More is more. There is no denying it. I’ll hit 2000 library songs this year.
2. Get those songs in ASAP. Much like investments, you need them working for you as early on in your career as possible.
I’ll try to re-submit my post again – as I was smart enough to copy and save before hitting “submit”, but there is something bad going on in the spam filtering or background aspect of this site I’m afraid.
Best of luck. Don’t forget – more IS more. Quality and diversity count too.
None of the thousands of library tracks and TV/Film tracks that I’ve done have ever ended up in the arena that sound exchange pays out for. I think you are most likely wasting your time unless you’re releasing an “album” or the like for commercial release / broadcast / listening.
At least that’s how they explained it to me.January 19, 2018 at 5:55 pm in reply to: What do they mean by Subscription Based Online Service?? #29312
From a composers perspective, I’m not quite sure why anyone would voluntarily put their music into a subscription based service. 98% of the time it benefits only the library – who is in a desperate race to the bottom to collect clients at any cost – and the client who gets music for (virtually) free.
I should say that there are a couple of notable exceptions.
But when some of my music ended up in one of the horrible ones without my consent, the owner of the library tried to cover things up and schmooze me and tell me how great it would be for me – even though he had broken a valid contract by putting it into the subscription service. When I asked him to explain in detail what the deal was, it was 110% obvious – he was going to be the only person making money, and I would be competing against myself with other non-ex libraries that I was involved with. Pennies for a all in / perpetuity license on the subscription site vs. hundreds of dollars for somewhat limited licenses on other non-ex sites…. Which would you choose as a business / producer??
The answer is beyond obvious. I quashed that faster than he could blink, and that relationship is now dead. But I say good riddance. Subscriptions will kill the music library business faster than any other peril. And we all know there are a LOT of peril’s.
Agreed with Mark!! Those types of fees are virtually unattainable at this point. You’ve got to have something they really WANT that they don’t have.
And even then – you’re not guaranteed any back end placements. One of the reasons I’m looking elsewhere than these types of placements.
No. Up front buyout, AND back end PRO writers royalties.
Traditional library contracts — think PMA libraries like Megatrax, FirstCom, etc. — have used this exact contract for decades. They pay you $$ up front to buy out the masters and the copyright (publishing). In return for the up front fee (it can be anything from $0 to a couple thousand depending, but these days, it’s getting horrifically low) they own your music and copyright in perpetuity and they do NOT share in the up front syncs. The writers ONLY royalty beyond the up front payment is their PRO writers share. Standard stuff. NO LICENSING (sync) payout. Many writers have made mega-bucks on these style contracts. At least they have in the past. The future remains uncertain to me, and I thing the only thing you can count on is that the next 20 will look nothing like the last 20.
On the flip side of the coin, some of the newer upstart exclusive companies share the sync’s with the composer, but generally the upfront payments are $0 or close to it.
I constantly have my eye on more tools for My Tool-Box, and techniques/ways to make my product even better!!
AMEN!!! Preach it!!!
To that end, I’be willing to bet I’m in waaaay over $300k in the pursuit of the ultimate writing / production studio and how to equip it. Amortized over a couple of decades plus, but still, that’s a lot of cash….. It’s an investment in ME, and it’s paid off well. I’m a firm believer in an analog signal path wherever possible though so…..lots of converter i/o, tons of outboard, mic pre’s, mic’s, hardware synths, etc.. Never ending. But it pays for itself over and over and over.
you’re absolutely welcome. Good luck in your decisions.