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Topic: OT:Selling orginal music for Film/TV

  1. #1

    OT:Selling orginal music for Film/TV

    Hey all,

    I am looking to expand my network of possible clients. What is the general thought on services such as these:


    Who are the best companies such as these? Many thanks for any insight provided.


  2. #2

    Re: OT:Selling orginal music for Film/TV

    I don\'t know Rob, I see that most compositions are sold for $2.50 and up (but not much more). How many times does each composition have to be sold for you to make a buck on it? Seems like you would have to sell each composition to about 1000 people before you\'d get adequately compensated for your time, effort, and equipment investment.

    Is that a realistic possibility? I don\'t know, I am generally not too optimistic on these types of libraries, and it particularly ticks me off when there is an entrance fee involved as well ($10 in this case, but it\'s the principle that is odd to me).

    I feel that these types of businesses diminish the industry\'s perceived value of our work and ultimately result in less jobs for composers. It\'s really up to you to decide ethically where you stand on this issue, however I would say that there are better ways to get into the biz.

  3. #3

    Re: OT:Selling orginal music for Film/TV

    Hi Midphase,

    Thanks for taking the time in giving such a candid reply. I appreicate it. I would have to agree with you in your analysis. I am just looking to build a wider client base. I have some student films I am considering, but is there any other way to get more exposure for writing for film?


  4. #4

    Re: OT:Selling orginal music for Film/TV

    I agree that I wouldn\'t waste too much time on companies like that. I really doubt that they place enough music at those ridiculously low rates to stay around for too long. I think you\'re better off trying some of the bigger libraries, or better yet - find some shows/films that you think would be interested in music that you\'ve got, track down the production company or music supervisor, and just call them and send a cd. Sure, you\'ll get shot down most of the times and cold calling isn\'t pleasant, but if you place 1 in say 20 attempts, at a really low say $500 or $1000 needledrop, you\'ll still make more than hundreds of uses through that company.

    I still think, personally, the best way to expand your client base is to meet more people and nurture those relationships over time. Befriending an editor or music editor or PA or whatever I think will lead to more opportunities for you than an Internet based music library. One key thing to remember is that music libraries are still on the OTHER side - they still need to sell still their services to the end client, the production. Just getting a track in a library doesn\'t mean it\'ll ever be used. If you make contacts with people ON the production, however, you have a heck of a better chance of licensing something or geting hired or whatever.

    Just my 2 cents...

  5. #5

    Re: OT:Selling orginal music for Film/TV

    Rob, IMHO, the best way to get more exposure is to... expose yourself! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    What I mean, of course, is to be \'out there\'. You should consider going to places where you\'re likely to meet people in the biz, like editors, directors, producers, DPs, writers, etc. And I\'m not talking big time, either. Are there cool coffee shops, bars around town, where people like that might be hanging out? Go there, get to know some of them. If that\'s too hard, then go to some of the film festivals around town, and hang out after the showings, or check out where people go after for a beer. Try to get invited to a party where some industry people might be found. Are there any documentary clubs in your city, where groups gather to watch stuff, comment and pass out cards before the evening\'s over? Where do the film students hang out?

    Don\'t get discouraged... it\'s only hard for the first 5 years. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  6. #6

    Re: OT:Selling orginal music for Film/TV

    Thanks guys - some great advice. Sounds like I have to leave the studio dungeon some more. Thanks again.


  7. #7

    Re: OT:Selling orginal music for Film/TV

    Food for thought:

    I\'d like to offer a different perspective, though, granted, a biased one because of my affiliation with this company.

    Regretably, because many composers want that major feature credit, they tend to overlook several key markets where high quality music is sorely needed at low cost. Music in our society is commonplace. It is in everything -- but it needs to get there somehow. Productiontrax.com and similar library sites have no interest in replacing composers, or filling a feature film with library music, but rather connect composers to these overlooked markets. Most of the people who use the music on productiontrax.com are independent filmmakers, students, and plain old working-class people who have no need for $500-$1000 needledrop songs. Why on earth would a web designer hire a composer for a $1000 song when he gets paid $1200 to produce a site? Why would a film student spend even $500 on a simple class project when they have no money to begin with? These are people, who while still very active in film, tv, broadcast, and multimedia, need a quick fix for their project, who are on a deadline, and can\'t seem to find the quality of music that is offered on productiontrax.com anywhere and cannot afford composers or the time and extra resources that we as composers require of our clients. Some are multimedia conglomerates and giants (yes, even some of the majors have hit up productiontrax for a quick fix), but the majority of customers on this site are not.

    If you have extra tracks laying around unused because you are waiting (like the 2000000 other composers in the world) to land that paid job on a film, why not make a few extra bucks in the library music market while you schmooze, and hang out at film festivals and solicit demos? Really, what do you have to lose?

    Productiontrax.com charges a one-time $9.95 account set-up fee to sell your music, yes. Is this unreasonable? Productiontrax offers unlimited uploads. You can set your own price. And you get paid for each sale. And your account is there forever. Consider how much you would have to pay to do something similar on your own. Web hosting alone for your audio content would be through the roof, not to mention the marketing, and time to promote your music. At the very least, if your tracks never sell, and if you never make a dime on Productiontrax.com, you ARE getting exposure to new markets and potential clients that you may never have reached on your own -- well worth the $10. Productiontrax.com used to be free to composers. However, many uploaded unusable tracks, or never follow through with their accounts. We have found that charging a small setup fee greatly reduces unusable tracks, reduces site \"clutter\" and increases our repuation among library music consumers and our ability to sell your music.

    Productiontrax.com gets over 1.2 million hits each month in targeted traffic -- people who are looking for inexpensive production music. Use the site in the right ways, and you could benefit greatly from the exposure and wide market-base. There\'s a whole other world of music consumers out there that you can reach.

    Productiontrax.com is not out to get you, the composer. We at the company are composers ourselves, and have spent a lot of time scoring independents and shorts. Our goal was to create something that combined our love for music and our expertise in technology that would benefit musicians and multimedia producers worldwide. In fact, PT is the only site of its kind that recruits a Composer Advisory Panel from its composer members to make decisions about how the service is run.

    Best of luck in all of your musical activites, and happy composing.

    Warmest Regards,

    David Negron
    Founder, Productiontrax.com

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Los Angeles

    Re: OT:Selling orginal music for Film/TV


    Well I\'m gonna have to disagree ....

    First of all: The only type of music I\'d sell through some library, is music I don\'t really believe in. I try not to write stuff I don\'t believe in. So.....?

    I look at it this way: If you as a composer are creating a \"sound/style\" for yourself, the last thing you want to do is \"sell out\" your uniqueness (what else do you have?). If people can buy your sound for a few dollars why would \"important\" people pay more for it? You essentially are watering down your \"voice/price\" as a composer. Who\'s gonna want your sound once your music is in every crap project across America? You\'ll be known as the good \"library guy\" IMO. And if you are really good, that is the risk you run. It\'s better to be selective as to what your music is going into.

    Not enough of a pay off in my mind.... not from any angle I look at it.

    And btw-- I find the \"exposure\" comment a bit ridiculous. Why do I care if I\'m exposed to film students etc., people that don\'t want to HIRE composers in the first place? That\'s not the type of exposure I\'m looking for.

    Not trying to slam you, but I have good reason to not sign up for this type of thing... You make it sound like it\'s a \"win win\", I don\'t belive it is.

    Good luck!


  9. #9

    Re: OT:Selling orginal music for Film/TV

    Hey Rob,
    another avenue would be to try to get into writing for TV commercials.
    There must be some local TV/cable stations in your area.
    Your music sounds great so I would approach these people with your reel and try to land some commercial jobs.
    From my experience, the tech crews that are involved in TV commercials are dying to break through in film.
    Editors are working with young/new directors for nothing just to get credit on a motion picture. Once you get to know a few editors, chances are they might call you when they need music for the movie they are working on...

  10. #10

    Re: OT:Selling orginal music for Film/TV

    IMV, it\'s much more advantageous career-wise for a composer to work directly with a client then to have their music be presented as part of a library. In business, first impressions count for a lot. You may find it in your best interest to come off as someone with ambition and chops to match, not as one amongst many \'great deals\'. If a web designer can\'t pay you much, fine. Do an exchange of services instead: you do the music for free (!), and they help you with your website (which, after all, is your audio resume) and mention you in their home page. Make clients feel like you\'re worth a lot, that your music is not \'typical\', but rather \'special\'.

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