Posts by AlumoAudio

1175 posts Where words leave off, music begins.
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AlumoAudio says

I know that i forgot to monetize one of Youtube videos promoting a song from my portfolio and when i tried it said i was using third party content from AdRev…..and i had no idea what was going on. Does it also happen that if you forget to monetize a vid and someone buys your track here and uses it then you cant monetize it ever?

Ok, so ContentID is a digital fingerprinting technology that YouTube uses to scan and match all uploaded media, such as music and video footage (as explained in this vid). In order to get your music into the system and tracked by ContentID in the first place, it needs to be manually uploaded to the system via one of the many portals such as AdRev, ONErpm, TuneCore (the list goes on).

Unless you’ve manually submitted your own music to AdRev to have your music tracked and monetized and you have full access to the administration, then it indeed looks like one of your digital distributors (maybe Routenote) have submitted this to AdRev themselves as part of their distribution I spoke about earlier. They’ll also take some, if not all the monetization revenue from this too, which you may or may not be entitled to.

You’ll have to check with your distributors to find out which company uploaded your music to have it tracked, as they’re the ones currently receiving the revenue on that, as each company has it’s own policies, and terms of agreement.

It’s a pretty awkward situation to have your music being monetized on YouTube by someone else, without you even being aware if it. It’s actually a pretty big problem we’re facing at the moment on YouTube. These days it’s happening quite often I’m afraid to say, with people abusing the system and attempting to upload single guitar chords and even a JFK speech, and claiming it as their own to monetize! Madness, but I digress.

Regarding the monetizaion of customer videos, as long as the user has a License Certificate from you (via the ‘downloads’ section in their Envato/AJ account), they can use it to clear claims and activate monetization on their videos via a ‘matched third party content’ link next to their uploaded video, and clicking ‘Dispute’. But do be aware that sometimes, the distributors make it very difficult and reapply the ‘third party claims’, as they want the ad revenue, especially if it’s a very popular video! Hope that explains it anyway.

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AlumoAudio says

Guys, please check very carefully the terms and conditions before uploading to some of these aggregate distributors.

I know for starters that TuneCore, CD Baby and Routenote distribute your music to ContentID, so you’ll have to make sure that you can actually opt out of this if you don’t want any involvement with that or want to avoid any nasty surprises (such as when a customer emails you complaining that their video containing your licensed music has been flagged by YouTube).

The problem is that every time someone uploads licensed music from you to YouTube as part of their video, YouTube will then automatically notify the user that their video contains third-party content, administered by the distributor. Unfortunately, you’ll have to deal with the customer, YouTube AND the distributors to try and clear any claims and can get very messy very quickly if you don’t know what you’re doing!

Also, if your music is already being tracked by ContentID via these distributors, you won’t be able to use any other digital fingerprinting companies such as AdRev. These are the preferred company to use in this area, as they effectively own and run ContentID and composers can clear claims directly with them.

@KabbalisticVillage: Personally I don’t think many, if any people would purchase a $17 license for listening enjoyment, but I’m pretty certain they’d purchase a $0.99 track to use on their video. That’s why we have to be careful when promoting it, and make it VERY clear that there’s a big difference between the two uses. Regarding BandCamp, as long as it’s being sold and marketed purely as music for listening enjoyment, I can’t see a problem with that, as it’s similar in principle to iTunes, etc. ie. not regarded as a royalty-free licensing site.

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AlumoAudio says

Alumno, Just make everyone buy it for $17 is my instinct. Today was like a day where I sold 3000 copies of 1 song in one day on I-tunes. My intent is not to brag, but to let everyone know that the money is out there! We just have to grab it from big companies.

You’re absolutely right. I think openly promoting the iTunes ‘listening’ music directly alongside the $17 ‘licensing’ music is possibly a bit tempting for some, especially as a lot of our customers are on very limited budgets. Think I’ll stick with promoting just the licensing music.

And good work on the big seller! I was also lucky enough to effectively sell ‘1500 copies of 1 song on iTunes’ just last week, so yes there’s definitely money up for the taking! :)

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AlumoAudio says


Personally, YouTube is going to be my main portal for promoting my iTunes tracks. I’ve lost count of how many messages I receive via my YouTube channel asking if they can buy the music via iTunes, for “doing their homework to”! It’ll probably just be a case of adding a new link in the video description and video annotations, giving the option to purchase specifically for “personal and home listening” or something like that. I’ll chip in on this if I discover any other enlightening things along the way. :)
Is it possible that selling your music on Itunes for 0.99$ per track would somehow decrease your overall earnings? I mean, who knows how many people were actually buying a license for your music on AudioJungle just to have it for personal/listening use. I think that this new option is fantastic for exclusive authors, but still, different people will notice different results with it.

Yes, you’re right and something that needs to be considered closely, especially in terms of advertising the fact that the music is available only for $0.99. It would be a shame to see everyone suddenly on the lookout for $0.99 music to use in their videos, especially as it sounds so similar to the $17 alternative.

With that in mind, maybe it is a better option if we just privately refer people to our iTunes music, should they ask for it, on an ad hoc basis. I’d love to hear how Tim and PZ are approaching this.

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AlumoAudio says

So who want to give everybody a quick run through of the most efficient and cost effective way to get up on itunes and the best way to attract a few buyers there?

I’m no expert on this (maybe Tim or PZ could chime in?), but I’m uploading an albums worth of stuff as we speak to Reverbnation, and going to use them as a music aggregator to get my stuff into iTunes, GooglePlay, Amazon, etc, using their à la carte distribution option.

You have to pay a yearly fee in order to do so ($49 a year for RN), which is variable amongst aggregators, but if you don’t meet iTunes requirement to go directly through them (such as having 20 albums in your catalogue and a bunch of UPCs/EANs/JANs/ISRCs for your music), then you’re going to have to use an Apple approved aggregator anyway. But my guess is everyone’s situation is going to be slightly different. Also, non-US peeps will need to acquire a US Tax-ID (EIN) too before they can start earning on iTunes, so that’s something else to sort out.

There’s quite a few distributors, so best check them out and all the options via the iTunes submission application. Personally, I’m avoiding certain companies such as TuneCore and CD Baby, as I believe they’re involved with digitally fingerprinting your music for YouTube monetization, something that may conflict with my involvement with AdRev. You may be able to opt out of this, but rather not take the risk, as it could potentially open a massive can of worms.

Personally, YouTube is going to be my main portal for promoting my iTunes tracks. I’ve lost count of how many messages I receive via my YouTube channel asking if they can buy the music via iTunes, for “doing their homework to”! It’ll probably just be a case of adding a new link in the video description and video annotations, giving the option to purchase specifically for “personal and home listening” or something like that. I’ll chip in on this if I discover any other enlightening things along the way. :)

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AlumoAudio says

Thanks for the update Scott!

Excellent, excellent news all round! Very happy with this development, as I’m sure many others will be too. Right, time to finally get that iTunes account up and running, I’ve been promising myself! :)

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AlumoAudio says

I’m no expert on the matter, but I fully expect July and August to be quiet months. What with businesses closing down, people taking holidays and schools/colleges out it’s bound to have an effect.

Exactly. A couple of tough months ahead by the looks of things (for most of us, at least).

Probably best we resist splashing out in all those upcoming plugin sales too. Lesson learnt from last year! ;)

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AlumoAudio says

Matt, Everything you’ve stated makes sense. Unfortunately I cannot come to a logical conclusion as to why things are steadily going in the wrong direction for me. If it were just a bad month I would chalk it up to just that. However, this is a noticeable pattern of decreasing sales activity despite me following the exact advice of people like yourself and others here and I’m achieving the opposite results.

Well, if it’s any consolation, I’ve also been seeing a big drop in RF sales over the past 2 or 3 months. Not so much on AJ I have to admit, as I’ve got a fair few VideoHive associations, but rather on the other host of sites I sell on.

I’ve mentioned this many times in the past, but there are many factors that can cause this to happen, the most noteworthy being Google with their algorithmic and SEO ranking changes, an influx of stiff new competition in terms of composers and even new libraries (ie. customers buying elsewhere), and the summer months generally causing a dip in traffic. All these have an impact on the chances of our music being selected and bought.

I agree, it’s difficult to keep our heads above water when this is happening, and sometimes it drills home that we have to make changes and take action along the way to accommodate for the slow periods.

Selling RF music is still a comparatively small and gradually growing business when compared to selling web themes or stock photography, for example. So realistically, it should only be regarded as a secondary income stream. I’m always on the lookout myself for other avenues to support my RF earnings, as it’s clearly something we shouldn’t bank on, just yet.

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AlumoAudio says

Good work Zineb! Very well deserved, and not only because of your wonderful music, but for your steadfastness in enlightening our community on some seriously sensitive matters these past few months! Hope you enjoy the feature! :)

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AlumoAudio says

Also seems to apply to those who fall out of favor with staff. I’ve seen a steady decrease in sales as I became a bit more vocal on issues here despite uploading more often and increasing the quality of my uploads. Coincidence?

It’s funny because I chatting to someone very recently about this psychological phenomenon of directly linking negatively self-perceived forum behaviours with decreased sales and vice versa. I admit I also convinced myself of this in my early days here. But as time has passed, I really do think it’s a fallacy and a purely psychological observation.

Whilst it’s right that helpful, insightful and regular community involvement is certainly welcomed by Envato, and may even benefit us in terms of being featured, etc, that’s not to say they pay their staff to sit around reading the forums all day policing and directly financially ‘punishing’ us for any outspoken comments or feedback we leave on the forums, that happen to be in a negative or brutally honest tone. That would be absurd. After all, it’s a natural human quality to see things from both perspectives and all feedback that Envato would no doubt value as part of their business operations.

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