Comments On Best Music Libraries

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The question has come up a number of times on what is the “best music library”. While we would all like a quick answer to tap into the riches of the music library world, the fact is there is no easy answer. There are hundreds of music libraries that serve different markets, from royalty free sites, mid level boutique, to high end mega libraries.

Below are some user comments on their experiences with various libraries. By no means definitive and your mileage will definitely vary!

38 thoughts on “Comments On Best Music Libraries

  1. I am still searching for better libraries. It is a never-ending journey.

  2. Hey DaveyDad…another familiar name. Have to say I’ve found this site very useful to date and only been a member a short time.

  3. Nice to find this website. I’ve been composing for a few years and had my songs up on Pond5 and Productiontrax during 2012. Made about $600 that year. Ramped up my composing for 2013 and now have 120+ songs on 10 places since April. Made $250-$280 for April and May. Would like to submit music to more places and therefore joined here to find out about some of them before I do. I’m non-exclusive for now.

  4. I have 43 songs with pump and just submitted 10 more

  5. Shockwave definitely is the most active for me. Bjorn is a really good guy to work with. I find it interesting that his RF site sells the most for me; my music is basically performance artist rather than production music and a very small niche (vocal jazz and blues). I think it speaks to Shockwave having a strong customer base.

    Hate to say it, but Pump sells the 2nd most for me. Even though the 35/65 is hughway robbery, they do sell.

  6. For some reason, I do not find royalty-free music libraries very appealing. I have uploaded hundreds of songs to a few companies. But I eventually pulled them out. I did not make very many sells. Perhaps I have not run across a suitable company yet.

    The companies that work best for me are music libraries that get music placed on TV shows. I am steadily building my catalog and earning increases in royalties from my PRO. I like getting music placed in shows.

    • Thanks. I have a small selection I’m trying to get out there (the ones left on my soundcloud page, most of them). Put out submission requests about a week ago. WHolly ompressed with what seem to be busy companies responding within 2 -3 business days. Actually I forget who posted about using a three tiered approach, which was what I was considering doing. Likely will go that route. The next year I plan on putting several out there and doubling my output and putting about all of it out there unless common sense tells me to just scrap a track that isn’t working. I’d like getting music placed in shows also :). Would love to hear your stuff if you are so inclined (chatted briefly with DI a few times before).

    • RF sites might not make you rich but one can make a decent income stream. The more income streams the better as far as I’m concerned. You just have to try a bunch until you find some that work and keep feeding them. Generally they will not equal PRO royalties though.

    • Can you please give a list of the site address to the ones that have worked best for you.
      Please, Thank you.

  7. Wondering what people may suggest as a beginning strategy for submitting to some of these libraries. Looks like to me submitting consistently to royalty free libraries are the way to go while you work on getting into some of the more exclusive, then non-exclusive libraries? My music can be heard on my web page chuckmott.com if anyone feels that has a bearing on anything. Thanks.

  8. I’ve been with Pond5 and Revostock for 2-3 years and make pretty regular sales (read: a steady trickle) whether the files are new or old. So far, these have been my only reliable outlets, believe it or not.

    I’ve been with AudioSparx for over a year with only a minimal number of tracks, but have since uploaded nearly my whole collection. No sales there yet, but I expect to make a sale…eventually?

    I’ve just joined ProductionTrax and made my first sale within a week. I like their name-your-own-price setup; completely open, even if a lot of stuff on there is JUNK.

    I’ve had a few tracks with PumpAudio for 2 years, with only one small sale. Their mail-in CD submission process is glacial and waiting 10 months just to see them reject most tracks for–get this–“composition quality” is utterly ludicrous. I think they fancy themselves “high brow”, but they just seem like old farts caught in a tech vortex they haven’t yet grasped.

    I’m about to sign with ScoreKeepers (affiliated with MusicSupervisor, I think) and they seem like they run a pretty tight ship. A lot of outfits, like this one, are also focusing on custom-commissioned tracks from direct producer/editor cue sheets. Maybe this spells a real shift away from gargantuan stock music libraries in favor of more targeted offerings?

    Have a few choice tracks up on MusicDealers for 1-2 years, nada. Left AudioMicro shortly after joining (also per AudioSparx’s requirement); not a professional outfit, to start with.

    Had just tried Yooka but find their submission process bizarre, unfriendly and, frankly, just too much of a waste of my time…considering what I’ve read others writing here. Composers like us must deal with poorly-coded upload systems that apparently can’t even detect Hz rate or bit depth, and a host of other problems.

    I’m being careful now not to put my stuff just anywhere; now that I’m devoting myself a lot more to writing *specifically* for certain fields (dramatic TV/film, corporate, etc.). the time for uploading everything is becoming a factor (but Pump Audio CD submission is still antediluvian).

    Nice to see MLR doing so well! I remember when this was just starting out 🙂 Keep it going.

    • Pond5 is a site that you can set your own price. It’s really sad how low some of the prices are. Some artists are offering decent production tracks priced at under $5!! They’re senselessly destroying the marketplace! To anyone underbidding on this site: please DON’T DAMAGE OUR MARKET WITH RADICAL UNDERPRICING!!! Your efforts are worth so much more than this!

      I price in the $40-60 range and am currently selling 3-4 clips a month. If you are charging less than this, I hope you will please raise your prices! The Pond5 market will absolutely bear it!

      For perspective, a typical broadcast buyout on Audiosparx sells for around $400. On Crucial it’s $500-1500. If I can’t sell a track in a year or 2 on this type of site, I’ll send it down to the RFs.

      • I title my tracks differently for AS and Crucial than the RF sites. That way I can put them all to work at the same time.

        • @LG: Yeah some Pond5 prices are pretty ridiculous; most of my decent stuff hovers around $30-$40. Seems like this is low compared to yours. Hmm.

          Not really sure if I understand the purpose of re-titling if it’s all non-exclusive anyway. I have the same tracks up on AS and Pump as I do on Pond5/Revo etc. Am I missing something?

          Art, what’s your take on Crucial? Worth the investment on time on there?

          • My price is around $40 some at $50. I re-title for the different sites to discourage price shopping. If I have a track at AS (which charges more) I don’t want someone looking around the net for the same title at a cheaper price.

            Crucial hasn’t worked that well for me. Have a couple of tracks there with one good placement. $350 sync fee and ongoing PRO on “Burn Notice”. I gave up submitting any more to them. Others have had great luck with them.

      • I second what LG has said. Extremely low pricing hurts everyone. I never sell anything below $40 and on most sites I price at $50-60 (and sometimes $100 and have sold at that price).

        I have experimented with lower pricing just to see if there were more sales, but it didn’t make a difference. Most people will ultimately pay for the sake of the quality of their video project and they want the song that fits – not the song that is the cheapest.

        There is no reason to price tracks at $5-10 dollars. Music licensing is not like a dollar store where people shop for everyday items like kitchen supplies. They aren’t stocking up on music in bulk and they are not usually purchasing music every week. They are looking for a good fit for a video project, web ad, whatever and want what works and will pay what is still a small amount in the big scheme of things, like $50, to make the project successful and look good to their boss or excite their co-creators.

        There are video production companies out there though (I worked at one doing sound mixing for a while) who are constantly trying to squeeze as much money out of the budget as possible and use only the dirt cheap sites and never consider even paying $20 for a piece of music. The fact that $2-5 music exists out there has de-valued music in the eyes of these producers. The value of computers, software, data storage, lighting, cameras, locations, actors, script writers, voice over, etc is still high in their minds, but music is very low. That is because it’s often priced, by the very people who make it, like it has almost no value.

        If you have a good track that could potentially be regularly purchased at $50 and you decided to sell it for $10 to try to succeed with quantity of sales, then you would have to sell 6x more to surpass that one $50 sale. It’s unlikely to happen on a consistent basis because there aren’t enough buyers out there to support that. You are more likely to sell roughly the same number of times, but for 1/5 the money – money which I don’t even consider to be worth the time of uploading/tagging. It’s easier just to dig around in the sofa cushions and the car seats for that.

        • Very good points; maybe I just hadn’t poked around enough lately to get a sense of what people were charging for strong work. Early on I seem to recall a lot of $10-$20; way too low.

          Time update my prices I guess!

          Anyone else have impressions of Crucial?

          • I tried some $5 pricing when I first started. Didn’t make a bit of difference from my $40 or $50 pricing.

          • Hi Emlyn, i do well on CrucialMusic. Only have a couple of tracks with them (4 songs only, one pending..) but they placed great for me. Big commercial for Jaguar in US and Canada and 2 tv series: Parenthood and just last week Kate&Ben for FOX.
            Moneywise all between 1000 and 6000 dollars.

            I sell most on Audiosparx. Every quarter between 7000 and 8000 dollars. My buyouts there are 1000 or 1500, never lower.

            I don’t do the cheap libraries and would never sell for these 5 dollar budget libraries.

            That said, Pump Audio sells alot for me but sometimes at ridicilous low prices and Audiosocket have this thing going on at Vimeo. I do sell there but prices are only 100 dollar per track.
            But the good thing is i get more and more customers contacting me directly form this Vimeo site and i sell for more that way.And also build a relationship with these new potential customers.

            • Hi 50Styles, Audiosparx works good for you?
              Im looking for good non exclusive libraries as Crucial that have just accepted one song…I have more than 120 pieces in diferents styles and want to find the best libraries for me…I hope you can give me feedback about others similars to Crucial. Thanks!

            • What type of music do you do?

      • DesireInspires says:

        People seel music for less than $5 for licensing? Ouch! Why bother? Prices like that usually make most people think that those songs are junk.

        • I agree with you in principle, but depending on what stage a person is at in their career, it can be helpful to build up a CV with many music credits, which can increase a musician’s ability to charge more, one day, ideally.

    • Emlyn… Scorekeepers is not in any way affiliated with MusicSupervisor. 😀

  9. Indie Tunes says:

    I’m a few years into the process too – doing mainly acoustic, rock and indie. Haven’t gone with any exclusives as reluctant to give up rights without any UPFRONT fee or a Reversion Clause.

    So far made most from MusicSupervisor (but nothing last two years), AudioSparx, JinglePunks & PumpAudio.

    Pennies from Rumblefish (now deleted)

    So far nothing from Beatpick, Youlicence, Crucial Music, Music Dealers.

    Anyone else care to contribute …..

  10. @ JohnJudd

    We use psuedonymns with some of the libraries particularly the RF and micros, either our company name or a creative artist name. We try to use our full names only when working with high end or reputable advertising/tv companies. Audiosparx were clear that they wanted to use the composer name rather than our company name and we went with that as they take care of the publishing as well. The idea was suggested to us by an agent and it seemed to make sense. However the CAE number and writer credits are always listed under the composer name just in case we do pick up any backend on RF sales

    @J3h43f4

    Have to agree with you on Revo if you don’t keep uploading the sales drop off pretty quick

  11. How about a different spin on this question?
    A few people have mentioned that they are cutting back on the number of libraries that they are in.
    So who’s getting the ax?
    Which libraries are the under performing libraries that writers are pulling out of?

    • Well definitely MusicSupervisor.com(MS-Pro) and Yooka seem to be what composers are shying away from.

      I’ve said this before but I don’t understand why someone would pull their tunes away from a library, other than if it was bad quality or you want to sign your track exclusively. But why not just leave them there at the under performing libraries, you never know.

      As far as taking the time to upload to the under performing libraries that’s a totally different thing.

      I am not uploading to Yooka and MS-Pro anymore but I do have tracks on there, and don’t really know why I would ever pull them off. I will probably keep up with Revostock but like someone said on another thread, Revostock only gives you a few sells right when you upload and then you hardly ever get any more sales.

  12. I am finding that a similar system works for me as well. One thing that worries me (with the low end libraries) is people DO remember your name, which is your BRAND and vital to the life of your music success. I am worried that the low pay/cheap libraries will have a negative effect on the perception of quality in your music.

  13. I’m 2 years into this and am developing a 3 tiered library system that’s starting to work.

    A top tier of exclusive companies. I currently work with 2, one gets me steady placements, the other so far hasn’t done anything.

    A middle tier of medium price non-exclusives (currently including Crucial, Audiosparx, and I would like to add JP if they start taking new artists again!

    A bottom tier of low-priced stock sites including Pond5, Revostock

    I find that each offers an entirely different kind of outlet for my material, and that if one of my genres languishes in one tier, I can usually make it work in another. I now think of each tier as an important part of my library ecosystem. I continue to try and find the best libraries I can in each category and keep experimenting with the mix.

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