Forum Replies Created
- July 20, 2021 at 10:14 pm in reply to: Has a library ever asked for your account an routing number? #38398
Yes, it’s part of the required details for sending you money via ACH or wire transfer. Make sure you give them the electronic routing number – not the physical check one (big banks often have two different ones).
Not much I’m afraid.
I had some music in the 2019 World Series on MLN and the rate ranged from $0.30 to $1 a minute, depending on the time of day.May 22, 2021 at 7:11 pm in reply to: (debate) very well known music libraries are not necessary the more profitable #38013
I think the comparison of big labels vs boutique libraries and the performance a composer experiences with either probably depends a lot on:
– what genres you’re writing, and the demand, shelf life etc for those genres
– if your music is in the core library as opposed to a sub-label
– how polished it is… like is it recorded live, has a pro mix etc.
– and to be blunt, how good it is – the potential for re-use, better placements (themes etc).May 17, 2021 at 11:13 am in reply to: (debate) very well known music libraries are not necessary the more profitable #37983
I’ve had the opposite experience – just talking royalties (like not including trailer libraries generating sync fees), the big ones like you listed have been by far the biggest earners for me.
The trailer music business for a composer is high risk / high reward
There are two main ways composers make money from trailers:
– getting an existing track licensed (we often lightly ‘customize’ these for trailers too, when they’re being cut to by an editor)
– writing custom music / arranging or overlaying material (over a song) for a trailer.
The latter seems to be much more common than it was when I started out in trailers about a decade ago.
Getting an existing track licensed means you have a good library repping the music.
This means the library almost certainly owns the music… and this is where the ‘high risk’ side starts to pop up.
What I mean is, there’s a good chance a great track might NEVER get used. The competition is so fierce for trailer placements that a veteran composer is lucky to get a hit rate of about 80% for high fee placements (like tv spots, trailers) for the shelf life of a track (over about five years or so).
A newcomer (speaking from experience here) is likely to get less than a 50% hit rate… maybe WAY less.
As composers are rarely paid upfront AND get any of licensing (it’s usually one or the other – with a few exceptions I know of), it’s a huge bummer to spend a week or more on a track to get it up to the standards of trailers, and have it never get a big placement. There are smaller fees a track can make – promos, streaming trailers etc… but you’d need a lot of those to make up for the time we can end up spending on these tracks.
There is a second life trailer music can have which can mitigate some of that risk – tv placement (reality shows etc). Still, it’s usually a fraction of what you’d hope for from a significant sync fee.
Working on ‘customs’ is arguably more risky – there’s often no way to know if the assignment coming from a library is a cattle call where you’re one of 20 submissions, or it’s a very specific request going just to you.
Customs often involve working with a theme or song, and the material you come up with is usually difficult to salvage / re-purpose for something else.
Customs are stressful – often with overnight or even same day deadline.
Another crazy thing about customs – not only are you potentially competing with other composers, the editor you’re submitting the music for is likely competing with other editors for the same trailer!
From the various composers I’ve talked to about this, most that do customs fairly regularly are lucky to get one in 20 land. The most successful have it down to about one in 10.
Oh, did I mention customs are usually UNPAID unless you win?! Demo / ‘kill’ fees are rare for trailers.
So why do people do it at all?
– the music is fun to write
– the addiction of getting the occasional big placement
– the money can be really good if you’re consistently putting out high quality music, and it’s getting used on promotions with high license fees
What’s the money like?
Fees from which the composer usually gets 50% –
– TV Promos: about $100 – $400 license fee and also good royalties (I think around $180 – $300 a pop for network placements)
– game trailers: anywhere from $1000 – $20,000
– streaming trailers: seem to range widely from $2500 – $20,000
– TV spots for theatrical releases: $5000 – $30,000
– Theatrical trailers: $10,000 – $70,000 (usually in the realm of $30 – 40k)
– Customs: these can be A LOT, with a huge range – depending on the length and project, it could be anywhere from $5000 for something super short to $70,000+.
I’m sorry, but my IMDB page has hundreds of shows, and thousands of episodic placements on it. And I give info out for free to anyone who bothers to ask.
You put all your library placements up on IMDB?
These days, when asked about how to make money with library music, I direct aspiring composers to Dan Graham’s great ebook.
It covers the basics and sets realistic expectations for success. If someone takes the time to read this (or any other recently written book on the subject), and then comes back with informed questions, I’ll gladly answer any of them. But I use it as a way to weed out the people that aren’t really serious (I’m not getting any kick back from Dan, in case you’re wondering!)
I also try to emphasize how this gig is really a tech job, and how your income potential is only limited by your production skills.
OK… I made $100 on my latest BMI statement for TV show last March. Then a couple of days ago I get a check for almost $4000 from a non-exclusive library for the same show placement! My cut is only 35% so that means total payout was over $11K? I just watched the 30 minute episode and heard 1:30 mins of my music. Something doesn’t feel right. Do you think the network made a mistake? Thoughts?
A few thoughts…
why are you only getting 35%?!
What was the 11k – a license fee? If so, it’s great to hear they’re charging decent feesDecember 26, 2020 at 11:18 pm in reply to: Help please with this doubt in my contract about digital distribution. #37123
It sounds like the library would be fine with you selling / streaming the music through CDBaby, and Apple / Spotify etc… as long as you didn’t opt into their licensing options and other b2b business opportunities.
It’s nice (and rare) that a library would let you do this.
I’m with ASCAP. Network games pay ok depending on the audience. If it’s a regional game (most are) then the payout is small – most lines will be in single dollar amounts. If it’s nationally televised (world series etc) the per minute rate can be similar to top tier network – like up to $240 a minute.