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Topic: [OT] How much to charge for it ???

  1. #1
    Power Profile User lukpcn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    on the end of the bow...

    [OT] How much to charge for it ???

    One company from west europe wants me to make polyphonic ringtones for them... they have copyrights for mp3 hits and they want me to make MIDI ringtones
    from mp3s (50 MIDIs per month) each < 30 seconds...

    How much would you guys charge for this kind of work ? i don\'t know what to say to them [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]


  2. #2

    Re: [OT] How much to charge for it ???

    If you work as a freelance, in Spain you\'ll get 30€ per each polyphonic ringtone, and that\'s a low price. So the lowest you should ask for is 30*50= 1500€/month

    It\'s also important to know if you can resell those ringtones to another companies or not, is usual here to do content and sell it to several companies. If they want it to be exclusive for them, charge them more.

  3. #3

    Re: [OT] How much to charge for it ???

    What are ringtones?
    Does this have something to do with telephones?


  4. #4

    Re: [OT] How much to charge for it ???

    yes those are ringtones for cellular phones that kids buy and download from their cellphones...

    Half of my last copyright statement from my works in Japan was actually made up of those ringtones...

    Lots of money.... it looks like here in Europe and there in Japan this market is getting bigger than actual record sales...


    Best regards,

    Simone Coen

  5. #5

    Re: [OT] How much to charge for it ???

    Yes, in Japan they are very well paid, I read they could pay 125€ for each ringtone!. They are esentially midi files with certain restrainments that you have to convert with the right software to the format required.

    Best sounding phones out there are the ones mounting Yamaha MA-5 chips. Yamaha has several chips for phones that resemble the good ol\' OPL2/OPL3: the MA-5 has a polyphony of 64 voices of FM synthesis and you can use low bitrate ADPCM wavs into the sequence. It has also oscillators, filters and so. Mobile sound is evoluting exactly the same as computer sound boards did, in fact there\'s a Cubasys Mobile Edition for Siemens M55 with 4 tracks [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img]

  6. #6

    Re: [OT] How much to charge for it ???

    well... I do not know how much they can pay for the production...

    only thing I know is that you get paid some good money each time a kid downloads a song of yours... and I am lucky enough to have some songs published in Japan...

    A friend of mine was asked to do some of these ringtones (from international hit songs) in Italy and they offered him 8 Euros for each of the ringtones: he actually answered that for that money he was not even willing to turn on the computer and I have to agree with him...

    That\'s it...

    I wouldn\'t mind about the business surrounding this ringtones thing: the problem is that the record companies are not able anymore to sell records and the reasons behind it could be a lot...

    1) they are not good at marketing
    2) they are not good in the A&R department
    3) the artist (and the music) are not like in the past
    4) the kids like better to play games and toy themselves with the cell phones than listening to music and buying it
    5) kids download music for free
    6) live concerts are going very well here in Italy... maybe people is more into live sound than before...
    7) maybe we should pay less attention to the market and what it asks for and listen more to our inner feelings and inspirations: I feel the musicians themselves have become some sort of record company\'s reps themselves and they produce themselves and limit themselves more and more each year... what about create comething without a precise purpose... just for the joy of making music? (I am being self critic here too of course, but I am trying to analize what\'s going on in the music community, at least here in Italy).
    8) Music is everywhere and kids do not feel the urge to buy it: the new Britney Spears (God bless her! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img]) for example can be heard tens of times on the radio, seen thousands on MTV, heard everywhere... ten, twienty years ago if you wanted some music you had to actually buy it because chances to hear it on the radio and on TV where much less (less radio stations and less TVs... no satellite, no thematic channels...)
    9) maybe CD or DVD Audio or SACD are not the best mediums for today\'s kids... record companies should maybe invest in some records on USB memories or something like it... I bet kids will be willing to pay more (30$ or something) just to be cool enough to have a record on an exclusive media... but I might be well wrong...

    Just a couple of cents...

    Simone Coen

  7. #7

    Re: [OT] How much to charge for it ???

    There is one simple rule to determining how much to charge a client:

    As much as possible while still getting the gig.

    I found this to be true in just about every situation and every project that I have been involved in.
    Put it quite simply, some projects will barely make it worth your while, and others will almost make you feel guilty that you\'re making that kind of $$$.

    Hopefully, somewhere in there things average out and you will have a music career where you make slightly more per hour than minimum wage.

  8. #8

    Re: [OT] How much to charge for it ???

    This kind of rule might work in most of the cases...

    Let me add this:

    - sometimes it is ok to accepts jobs where you lose money if they can get you somewhere else soon (other jobs where you can get the RIGHT money and jobs you really strive to do!)
    - sometimes it is not ok to accept jobs even if they are paid a lot of money: if you know the guys and you know that working with them will make you lose your health (mental and/or physical)... sometimes it is better to rest than entering a negative path just for the sake of money!
    - charging as much as possible is something you can do if you know the business (that particular side of business you\'re being asked to work in): if this is not the case it will be very hard to charge anything real... like toooo much for an easy job or too little for hard one (I remember a friend of mine doing a feature movie for almost nothing...).
    - also: you live in L.A. and that makes it \'easy\' for you to charge at incredible levels sometimes... this is not as easy in a lot of other places in the world where the markets are smaller than the ones reached by the music community in L.A.

    How much to charge is a kind of art because you have to ask the right price (or about that!) at the first attempt: you might not have the chance to get a second one! It involves practice in understanding what the project is all about (how much time will take you), who is your client (how much money he has!), \'how much\' does the client want exactly you as his partner in this job (and this can bring the acceptable level of charches up by 1000 or even 10000 percent), who will you be dealing with (and this can cost a lot of time and energies or it can be a real pleasure), how much creativity will be put in it (and this a different category... charge the part of the job which is time sensible - like editing or recording - and make a fixed charge for an orchestration for example), which kind of payments you will recieve (and when! especially here in Italy!) and if you will have some kind of returns in terms of copyrights and/or royalties...

    As you can see the \'art of charging\' is not very easy if you do not take it \'easily\'... you\'re always on the fine line IMHO...

    Best regards,

    Simone Coen

  9. #9

    Re: [OT] How much to charge for it ???

    Back in the old days (3-4 years ago), the going rate for monophonic ringtones was around $10. Having not yet gotten in to the polyphonic thing, I\'m just assuming that $25-30/each wouldn\'t be too much to ask...maybe more?
    If do a Google search for \'SP-MIDI,\' you\'ll find some good technical information on the subject, including a link for a free app that Nokia offers for exactly this purpose.

  10. #10

    Re: [OT] How much to charge for it ???

    We composers are generally pretty disorganized about this type of stuff but I really wish that:

    1. We kept track of all of our expenses involved in not only doing a job, but also getting it.

    2. We kept track of the actual hours that we put into each project

    3. We kept track of electricity and gas consumption as well as other somwhat related expenses.

    Then perhaps it would be simpler to come up with an hourly rate that actually matched what we are supposed to make.

    For example, if I get a gig that pays $2k for a :30 second spot, that I can crank out in about a day I should also factor in all of the promo packs that I sent out in the past few months to get a gig, all the gas and wear and tear on my car to go out and meet people, all the equipment and software that I bought recently to keep up with the competition,etc. If you factor all of these costs in, then $2k is about right considering how much really went into getting the gig.

    I\'m not sure where I\'m going with this except to point out that too often we (composers) seem to get really excited about getting any work that we tend to put ourselves into a position where we don\'t care if our work is not valued as it should be, as long as we have work. This is ultimately leading to a lot of harm in the composing industry because of our own short sightedness in standing up for what our work is really worth (I won\'t even go into the latest trend of clients demanding that composers waive their right to collect performance rights).

    That is why I maintain that the best route is trying to get as much as possible without jeopardizing the opportunity to get the job. Easier said than done...I know!

    There have been good suggestions here about turning down work that could lead to many headaches, I fully agree with that, money is simply not everything.

    Ultimately, simply think about what the job will entail, how many hours you will actually have to put into it (be realistic, then add another couple just in case the computer acts funny), and decide how much that is worth to you. Factor in a potential for future work if you think that is there, but never count on it. If it comes, then it should be considered a bonus rather than an expectation.

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