There are so many unknown variables when it comes to income from music. Production costs, license costs, exclusivity, taxes etc. It’s confusing to us authors at times but even more so to consumers that typically do not know anything about this business. If you have a potential client then I think you should focus on the sell, package and present something that seals the deal. A few prices help to guide the client towards a deal. On the other hand, complicated price charts can be deterring even if they offer more freedom of choice.
One method that’s been working for me is to start by offering three different price tiers, depending mostly on the license type (not production time – we’re not construction workers!). For example $300 for personal use, $900 for online and $2,700 for broadcast. That’s easy for the client to choose from, and once we’re “inside” a price tier (i.e. the client disclosed the budget) we can start to negotiate about details (lyrics/vocals, track length, exclusivity, revisions etc). This gives room for ample adjustment. Just make sure the final price doesn’t cross over into another price tier.
Once you’ve had a few months experience you’ll have a good sense of how much your time is “worth” should you spend it all on custom projects. Then you can adjust the price tiers accordingly, and in the long run you’ll also know how much a price change affects the number of incoming deals.
Remember, the music business is really a “legal business”. We sell the rights to use our music. This fact doesn’t change just because the client wants a tailor-made track. Usage is number one, exclusivity is number two and production is number three at best. Quick delivery, revisions, cut-downs etc are really just icing on the cake. Even if these details may be crucial to some clients, in the end I find it’s better to stick to a standard level of service – and standard prices – and then try to pick clients that are not “too picky” if that makes any sense
Nice work! Feels like home to me
And why are the preview-Versions slightly different to high-res-ones in terms of timing? Many times I encounterd offsets of a few frames when finalizing a video, i.e. switching from preview to full.
Completely off topic but here’s the answer:
This is because AJ previews are generated “manually” by authors and uploaded separately together with the main files. Unlike many other stock music sites, AJ has never implemented an automatic watermarking of the files. So typically what’s happening is that we create our main “bounces” (“renders” in your line of work) and then we create a new mix (sometimes a new document or project) adding the AJ watermark. That process sometimes involves setting new “in” and “out” markers for the bounce and if there’s some kind of “snap” or “round off to nearest bar” functionality activated in our DAW we may end up with a preview file that’s differing in length. If you’re curious as to why creating a new project is sometimes necessary, well that’s because no effects (like reverb, delay, chorus, compression) on the mix bus are allowed to alter the watermark voice. And you can’t just turn off all the mix bus plugs because then your preview will sound nothing like the original
To make matters worse, when uploading multiple versions of a track, AJ requires that all versions are mixed into one single preview file – yes that means you can’t even replace the preview comp with the main file and expect it to be the same audio. The same goes for music packs.
These are issues of long standing that have been raised on a regular basis
IMO previews should ideally be made by an AJ server, automatically for each version, to save everybody’s time and prevent sync discrepancies like this.
Finally, how about getting in touch with the author before you buy your music? I’m quite sure that you can get an honest answer quickly if the track is listed with AdRev or not. Some authors even proclaim it in their item descriptions.
That’s good advice. Would be even better to have a ‘button’ or some icon or symbol that the track isn’t ‘AdReved’ before we buy then that would be an acceptable means of moving forward. The way we audition music for appropriate use (ie. on AudioJungle searches) has quite primitive information with it at the moment and we try to buy bulk in one go rather than suitability matching on a project-by-project basis. I’ve already instructed my guys (and gal!) to not purchase music in future that is ad-revved, so it has become a stumbling block for us at least.
I’ve already got one of my guys going through our existing library to filter out the ad-rev’d protected music (the only way we can determine this is by uploading it all to youtube with dummy content – unlisted of course). We’re writing-off the unusable tracks. We now view this as copyrighted/protected music so we’re not willing to use it again.
Actually, we’ve only been using AudioJungle tracks for online work. TV/commercial work is either originally sourced/produced or composers are contacted directly as the licenses for usage are a whole lot different.Thanks for your post.
Right, now we’re getting constructive. I could even see this work as a search facet, selecting “Not listed with AdRev” as a filter checkbox would take a lot of confusion out of the picture. Authors could opt in to this in their item upload/edit page and make it easier for buyers to steer clear of the hassle. It will also bring down the specific decisions to the authors and buyers where it belongs. I’ll try and suggest this to Envato staff as they’re currently working on the search facets for AJ.
So the question we have to ask ourselves is this: do we rather pick up some illegal use of our music on YT from people who probably would never pay for it anyway versus losing serious clients because they have to go through that after sale trouble. Ok, I’m ready for the bashing! Please be gentle.
You have good points Guido, I just want to take the more cynical approach that we really don’t have a choice. What difference does it make if I, or you, list some or all of our tracks on AdRev? You can be sure that a substantial amount of other RF authors do it, which in the end will bring either joy or tears to our table one way or another. I personally do not have any illusions that buyers come to AJ to shop from me exclusively. Most probably, they come here to search and browse from all the 200,000 tracks and then just pick whatever music they see fit. In the large scale of things, in another year from now, with 100,000 new AJ uploads, enough buyers will be either upset or content with how Youtube and AdRev work together that my contribution to one side or the other will not have an impact. Not for the community, and not for my own business. The single important factor is how the real players in this game – Youtube, Audiojungle and Adrev – iron out the kinks of the system interplay and manage to present a sustainable solution that all parties can agree on.
Also let’s get one thing clear, AdRev is about getting REVENUE from ADS. It’s not about forcing people into purchasing a proper license. While it should hopefully have a deterring effect on uploading unlicensed stuff to Youtube, I agree with you that people are either born and raised good, evil or something inbetween and will not likely change and give their money to those who deserve it just because the percentage of AJ authors who listed with AdRev just went up.
I don’t understand how your music can become misused or pirated as it’s all watermarked before you buy and not high profile enough to find it via traditional means.
Well, all it takes is one buyer putting up a video with our music on Youtube, then anyone else can easily rip the music, reupload in another project and pretend it to be licensed or his/her own work. Most (or all) of our own music that I find unlicensed on the web or Youtube is without watermarks. It’s really impossible to know what paths my tracks are taking, after selling 50 or 100 licenses to buyers I never know who they are or where they will publish. It’s not really the case that we need to broadcast TV or radio or be in the Billboard Hot 100 before someone will “grab and go” what can be grabbed there and then. I think you would be surprised to know how much “Royalty Free” music – with or without watermarks – that also is used “License Free”.
One thing worth noting about music with Content ID: It must be registered into the system in order for Youtube to recognize it, which is a good thing.
It is a good thing, however a constant problem for companies like AdRev is to verify that the uploaded tracks really originate from the uploader. I’m guessing there are tons of uploads made by idiots who try to collect ad revenue using other peoples music. While I’d really like to see this system work out its flaws and become globally accepted as norm, I’m afraid there will be a costly manual ingredient in verifying true authors that will take a chunk of profitability out of the equation.
I totally get what you and others are trying to say about ‘proving license ownership’ – But you start trying to ‘educate’ the clients about ‘Oh, how the industry works today – you just have to dispute it, blah blah on your 50 videos your just bought from us, sorry about that – I’m sure you don’t mind’ ... and they will just find another, more professional VP to work with next time.
How is a VP “more professional” if he cares less about copyright laws and the sustainability of his music providers?
I’ve been working with music and licensing since the 90’s and it’s never been more confusing to buyers and end-users than nowadays. That’s why it’s becoming increasingly popular for buyers to go for “all-in-one” flat fee solutions. Unfortunately, there is a widespread misunderstanding that using other people’s music is for free, should be for free or at least dead cheap just because of its ubiquity. While there is an argument that it should be “easy” to license music, the same thing could be said from the music producer’s point of view. Once you spent weeks working on a track, you want it to be “easy” to license it and subsequently prevent all sorts of misuse. This is true for all authors of music, not just here on Audiojungle.
AdRev does a good thing adding fingerprinting technology to the game. We need computing power to assess the spread of copyrighted works. The numbers get so big that no human being will ever be able to keep up with checking licenses or music abuse. The problem right now seems to be that “whitelisting” is performed “post usage”, instead of the much preferred “post purchase”. The signals that Youtube and AdRev currently are sending to the holders of valid licenses are a bit aggressive in tone and stirs up more confusion than necessary. In the best of worlds, Audiojungle would provide purchasers of a license an automatically generated licensing code, which would be provided to the end client prior to upload. If Youtube only had an automated system for checking such valid license codes against copyright claims, I’m quite positive that less complaints of this nature would arise.
True, anyone who wants to step up to the challenge of “educating” clients will face the risk of rejection. However, ultimately “being professional” is to seriously try to take all relevant matters into account and that goes for the clients as well. It’s not always fair to judge the supplier chain for misunderstandings in the client end.
As some of your colleagues here have said this morning, they don’t care if they lose a few buyers because of this… And if that is the attitude, then good luck to you and I wish you all well. But for me and my business and my clients, I am unable to operate under these conditions.
If this is to say you’re enjoying the luxury of operating under any other, better conditions, then I’m curious as to what conditions those might be? I’d be very happy to learn about the alternatives. We’re all just trying to adapt to the unpredictable chaos of the digital goods business. It’s especially difficult for authors on Audiojungle, who almost never know who the buyer is or what the end use will be.
Finally, how about getting in touch with the author before you buy your music? I’m quite sure that you can get an honest answer quickly if the track is listed with AdRev or not. Some authors even proclaim it in their item descriptions. Good luck