I feel your pain,
I too am in a similar boat and have been doing lots of soul searching. I had all but written off AJ over the summer and fall… mostly reason was While I was getting around $75 a month, I kept waiting for it to hit $300. Which I thought was an attainable goal..being very happy to grow in increments. Improve along the journey ect… I starting posted more songs to the exclusive portfolio. I also play in a country rock band where obviously the immediate cash after a gig or selling merch….and writing music from more of a write when inspired type of perspective was making more sense. With a lull in the season and finishing a bunch of shows..AJ in late Nov all of sudden there was some activity some sales….so I was like..hmm maybe Ill take a fresh look at things…so, starting composing more appropriate tracks…uploaded a few more. Started re designing my website..posting it..and using twitter again and made more you tube videos… did a couple blogs… looked at Google analytic s..and it climbed briefly..a spike..ect..I updated sound cloud.. starting cleaning up my AJ home pages..adding links from the website ect..a bunch of stuff…the only sales in that period were because of a new track. Starry Eyes..3 sales so far. It was because it was just uploaded….. now those sales have stopped last few weeks. It just doesn’t seem productive to hammer hammer hammer writing recording and releasing 3 tracks a week…for a few sales, so I basically just do it more so when I’m inspired to do so…Ive been looking at some other areas to showcase my music and future tracks, some of these places wont take part because of the selling of tracks on what they consider dirt cheap marketplaces. So I may be building new songs and a different approach to the more specialized marketplaces. I’ve learned alot from the process here and I ve taken away from it new methods of promotion and lots of ideas by some very creative individuals. So I’m very grateful for my royalty experience so far. I plan to have 5 star tracks that may or may not end up on AJ depending on the outlets I find for the material. I think the best way is to find a balance between your art and sense of commercial appeal and build the best online profile you can while being a creative artist first and a stock music seller second. Artist like Helen Austin, and some of the top guys at high sought after listing sites. (I wont mention names). Guys like Tim McMorris has sort of done it because he is more often than not a folk singer songwriter appealing to those same sensibilities in the advertising world. It’s a natural fit for him and comes across in the way he composes and sings his melodies. He is an itunes artist and has sort of come up the ranks through the backdoor for lack of a better term. What I mean by that is not through traditional channels. I think you have to live by the rule of commonality, which in short speak simply states…if you can fill a need in yourself or hit an emotional chord by simply writing first and foremost for yourself, invariably other people will like it. I think be an artist cause you love to do it, and keep in mind while you compose some of those advertising sensibilities… build your artist profile online as a an artist first that will also appeal to licensing. It’s easiest to go with your natural instinct and what comes naturally, like soundroll and Tim. Thats what I’ll be doing this year anyways.
Great Idea!! That’s awesome, congrats on acheiving your goals. I’ve been sitting down to start some planning and strategizing myself.
Over the summer I took a few steps back from AJ and focused on my band SwitchGear, released an album (physical and digital) and played some stages, parties ect… in October concentrated on a music video. Can be seen here for anyone who s interested… (hopefully this doesnt qualify as self promo as its outside of AJ material) if so feel free to remove…:)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ME2lhOQIG4
I started AJ a few months over a year ago, and had no clue to what the market needed and prob should of just lurked for awhile, but school of hard knox is best, and over the last month or so Ive been taking a fresh look at the licensing market and sites overall. I posted a bunch of items over the year that were basically re worked stuff from my rock archives…not composed for stock selling at all. Funny, this is those tracks did better than the ones I composed for stock music in mind. Ive taken some reflective time to listen to TV and movies and commercials with a fresh ear…and checking out artists doing well in all aspects of music and licensing of their music.
So what I’ve learned and my resolutions for 2013, there are all types of music needed out there in the world, it’s tricky to second guess the public and you may end up in the caboose instead of the car, so stick to what you enjoy, what you re good at and do it well, while making it fitting and a few adjustments to the marketplace. I plan on further branding myself as an artist first with licensing worked into the equation, by paying attention to what the customer/marketplace wants.
1) I’m going to treat it more like a job, and have a plan on the calendar for composing days and upload tagging days.
2) Want to keep learning and making my mixes and production elements better and mixes more sparse but interesting
3) Going to refocus my website more and use it more of a hub, funneling everything back to it.
4) I would like to work with a publisher and also start offering full songs to other artists.
All the best to everyone and your New Years goals!!
Pretty much a dedicate Cubase user since 2000. Using Cubase 5 at the moment although thinking about upgrading to 6. The odd time Ill chain it to Reason for use of the samplers. It’s like running one big DAW .
Thanks for your prompt replies guys.
I just sold my first extended license!! Yee Haw!
I received an E mail from a documentary maker and he was wondering if the regular license will cover that use. Any info will be helpful as I’m not too sure myself on some of the usages.
Ilove using re wire for reason stuff within cubase…I do it alot, but usually just use a stero channel on re wire then mix reason sounds on the reason mixer with a combination of adding channels in cubase. Great way to work. I used to use Acid and did my last project with it. I love it for on the fly auditioning..I have version 4 but need version 7 to support re wire…so I think that will be my next update…..Imagine Cubase, Reas, Acid, Ableton…all rewired like one big mother house DAW . Drool…...lol!!
I just did a track with yeahs yeahs and woo hoos…and what not …nothing serious yet. Tim McMorris is the man with regard to vocals.
ha ha..yes that’s is true. They say Music helps mathematics.
I would say it helps in the long run but I’d do it little by little. I don’t think it’s the most important thing, and higher ranking authors that Ive asked, point more towards quality and you finding your own niche that works for you. Do the Twitter thing you tube ect….but concentrate more on quality tracks and the rest will fall into place. I’m still learning myself with about 50 sales between my two portfolios here, So I have along way to go, but I’m keen at learning. A statement that resonated with me is would you yourself pay money for that track? That got me thinking, and I’ll be taking a good hard look at my portfolios and anything not worth 5 stars is gonna get yanked.