MichaelL

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  • in reply to: My experiment with a subscription deal #34051
    MichaelL
    Participant

    Thanks for the info @Strat 56. You left out one factor, not that it makes the reality any less grim. How many tracks did you upload in order to generate 69 downloads? No matter how you slice it, your music was devalued by a huge ratio.

    in reply to: Winds of change?….fun Predictions for 2020 ?……… #33995
    MichaelL
    Participant

    MichaelL will be nominated to take Judge Judy’s place when she retires.

    Actually, she’s not retiring. I have it on good authority that she’s going to be part of Mike Bloomberg’s Cabinet, unless he nominates her to replace RBG.
    😀

    in reply to: How-to courses… good ones, bad ones, run away? #33879
    MichaelL
    Participant

    if someone could just tell me how to get rich in the production music biz, I’d really appreciate it.

    Easy. Sell a “How to Make it in the Production Music Biz” course. 😉

    I suggest approaching “How to Courses” that make promises with caution and a fair amount of skepticism. I’ve watched a few of the videos from one of the authors mentioned in this thread and I can tell you that the legal advice offered in one of those videos is flat out wrong and potentially harmful. The advice offered could make the difference between being able to enforce your intellectual property rights and potentially losing thousands of dollars or being prevented protecting your rights altogether.

    in reply to: Discovery going way of Scripps? #33778
    MichaelL
    Participant

    So,why do SK care about Discovery’s plans if they already support this practice?

    It would seem that any library offering gratis deals could end up losing as much money as composers. One would hope that JP, SK, and others are fighting this along with composers.

    in reply to: Discovery going way of Scripps? #33763
    MichaelL
    Participant

    Discovery, if they win this battle will get our music, the libraries supplying them will get their up front fee, we will earn $0.

    What about libraries whose model is to provide music gratis for the purpose of collecting publishing revenue on the backend, who have been supplying Discovery? This would potentially have a negative ripple effect across the board, causing further harm to composers, beyond just Discovery networks.

    in reply to: PMA Libs. for Americana Tracks? #32950
    MichaelL
    Participant

    I learned that you have to give ’em what they need, all done & tied-up in a pretty package. It increases your chances

    Truer words were never spoken. 😀

    in reply to: PMA Libs. for Americana Tracks? #32948
    MichaelL
    Participant

    ENW1, having a finished album is a big plus. Good luck.

    in reply to: Explain the Problem with Subscription Sites? #32946
    MichaelL
    Participant

    Libraries are for bread and butter money. I use them. But I am not competing to be at the bottom.

    Exactly. RF libraries are only one spoke in a very large economic wheel that hopefully allows you to pursue other goals with your music.

    It’s common for composers to also gig, teach, do custom work, write for mid-tier JP-type libraries, write for upper-tier exclusive libraries (Shout out to BEATSLINGER for breaking through that ceiling!), and many other things.

    Nothing lasts forever in this business. I don’t care if you have 1,000 tracks in libraries, your income will go through cycles. Over the course of decades of producing library music, I’ve experienced some amazing good fortune, like winning the lottery, and I’ve seen good revenue streams dry up like puddles on a hot summer day. We are experiencing one of those transitions/challenges that forces composers shift focus and to branch out.

    If subscriptions pose an outsized threat to your well-being, you may need to, as investors say, rebalance your portfolio.

    in reply to: Explain the Problem with Subscription Sites? #32940
    MichaelL
    Participant

    Michael, Just curious to learn your opinion. How does one “adapt” to music licensing models where the offer will soon be “Unlimited downloads for .49 cents a month.”</blockquote

    Being in the business of composing and being a composer are two different things. Twenty years ago, I saw the writing on the wall with respect to the viability of composing for a living and changed careers. Today, I compose because I am a composer. That’s how I adapted. I don’t mean to be glib in any way. Changing careers is a difficult choice that requires a lot of work, but it is a choice that should be considered. “New” and young composers, especially, need to have a realistic handle their prospects.

    Regarding RF libraries and subscription models, as Art has said, it’s “Economics 101,” supply and demand. As more composers enter the system and as more music floods into the system the value of music is going to drop. It is inevitable. Would you pay more for something than you have to and/or would you pay more for something than it’s worth?

    You can increase the value by limiting supply. If the flow of music into the market can’t be stopped, how do you limit the supply? Make your music unique and/or of such high quality* that it is in limited supply in comparison to other music on the market and focus on marketing your music to consumers who care enough to pay for it.

    * Quality in this context is about professional standards and not necessarily an artistic judgment.

    in reply to: Explain the Problem with Subscription Sites? #32932
    MichaelL
    Participant

    I wonder if that’s how we see change in our industry. Always bad. Always sinister. Doomsday for composers.

    Kevin, my first library tracks were published in 1978. It has been a roller coaster, constantly changing and adapting. One well-known mentor/educator in our industry has said that you have to “reinvent yourself every 5 years.” That’s about right. I see a stratified industry with opportunities on many levels. The composers in the most jeopardy are the ones who, for whatever reason, are stuck in their ways, incapable of adapting and producing new well-targeted, level-appropriate content.

    in reply to: Explain the Problem with Subscription Sites? #32930
    MichaelL
    Participant

    What is the optimistic outlook?

    The optimistic outlook or the realistic outlook?

    The bargain-basement sites will become known for amateur composers, and serious sites will attract discerning professionals.

    There are those in the industry who would argue that the term “serious sites” is an oxymoron, because ‘sites’ implies ‘shopping cart’ sales, whereas upper tier libraries (and I don’t mean JP, SC, etc) have a sales force and deep realtionships with sub-publishers and users.

    That said, IMO having a dollar menu doesn’t hurt the sales of McDonald’s more expensive items. It most likely brings more customers in, who may eventually buy items that are not available on the bargain menu. For that matter, the existence of McDonald’s hasn’t resulted in people not paying $15 for a burger at their favorite Pub.

    Shopping cart ‘sites’ are operating on the commodity level. That is an economic reality. The question is whether or not you want to be on the ‘dollar menu’ or even if the ‘dollar menu’ can serve as a baseline revenue stream to support broader ambitions.

    in reply to: Explain the Problem with Subscription Sites? #32928
    MichaelL
    Participant

    There’s this thing in economics called the “demand curve.”

    New business models are disruptive. They displace and replace old, existing models. Just ask the cab companies who 6 or 7-figure medallion investments are being eviscerated by services like Uber and Lyft. Just ask the studios and session musicians who have been replaced by computers and samples. Music licensing has, unfortunately, reached a similar disruptive moment.

    in reply to: Un-licensable? #32923
    MichaelL
    Participant

    If a track is poorly written, and poorly produced with cheap sounds (like stock keyboard sounds), lifeless and overly midi sounding, mastered too to low or too thigh, if it’s what you might call rambling and musically incoherent (rhythmically erratic and tonally confused) it can keep you out of many libraries. On the other hand, I’ve heard tracks fitting that exact description that do, in fact, sell in at least three libraries. Go figure.

    MichaelL
    Participant

    We all want to make money with our music, but if our only goal is making money — and we have no love for what we do — what’s the point?

    I’m not sure this question was answered. The heart of this question is about creative satisfaction, not money. I can only speak for myself, but when I decided to become a composer, at age 11 or 12, it was because I loved music. Money had nothing to do with it.

    The other question here is what exactly makes investors “greedy?” They are in the business of spending money to make money and they want to do so in the fastest and least complicated way. So, they are greedy because they want to succeed in a highly competitive marketplace?

    Should composers stop uploading tracks to libraries once they reach 300 or 500 tracks, so that composers with only 50 tracks have a better chance at selling tracks? If someone uploads 1,000 tracks does that make them an “ignorant and greedy” composer?

    As Art said, it’s Econ 101, supply and demand. Unfortunately, the reality is that because the threshold for participation is so low, composers today are as plentiful as snowflakes in a blizzard, and that’s not going to change. The amount of competition and content are only increasing which will most likely further depress value.

    MichaelL
    Participant

    I’m not sure that the libraries are being paranoid. Because this is vacation season, the end of July through August is one of the slowest times of the year for libraries. Offering deals to motivate sales during slow times is a common marketing strategy, which doesn’t necessarily signal doom and gloom.

    “Music is business, business is war, war is hell, adapt or die!”…

    …We all want to make money with our music, but if our only goal is making money — and we have no love for what we do — what’s the point?

    As I’ve said before, “There are easier ways to make money and better ways to make music.”

    This is also a story about capitalism, Econ 101 and supply and demand.

    Reality is reality. You can bang your head against it all you want, but that doesn’t change it. Today we live in a global economy where an accomplished composer living in a third world country is happy to make $50, $100, $200 a month. This is our competition folks!

    Absolutely. The reality is that this business is saturated. It’s not just saturated with content. It is saturated with people creating content. You can’t sustain high value in that environment.

    The other day someone said, “Just ‘write hits’ and you will make a lot of money in production music.

    “A lot of money,” compared to what? Working at McDonald’s?

    I’m not sure that earning a living from production music today is a realistic possibility for 99.9% of composers. On the other hand, as a source of additional income or ongoing passive income it’s not terrible. Most people would say that they can’t live on $10K to $20K per year, which is very true (depending on where you live). But consider the amount of money you’d need to have invested and earning 6% interest to generate a similar amount. We can’t roll back the clock and change global reality but we can adapt, manage our expectations, and plan accordingly.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 1,657 total)