Some great questions from musicformedia over at filmandgamecomposers.com:
When you first created your library was it all music you had already made, or was it stuff that you created specifically for the purpose of selling in a stock music library?
We started out our music career as composers for TV shows and commercials, radio ads and video games. We would always give our clients 3 or 4 different ideas to choose from for their spot. These were all fairly well-developed ideas. They would choose one and the rest would go on the shelf. Our first collection of royalty free music (published in 1996) was a collection of these alternate choices.
Once that collection started selling we realized we needed to create music specifically for our production music library.
If you were creating your library of stock music from scratch again, what would you do differently?
I think I would have kept track of the different mixes better. In the old days once a mix was done the set up was pretty much lost forever. Now we can recall any mix and have it come back sounding exactly the way it did a couple of years ago.
Do you think there is a set “package” of types of music you should upload? What I mean by this is, if you sell a lot of music, is there a certain amount of of types that sell more than others – ie. should you create a library of 50 songs (each with a 60 second edit, 30 second edit, 15 second edit and 2 or 3 loops), maybe 4-5 sound effect bundles – like a “Video Game” Sound Effect Bundle, “Horror Movie” Sound Effect Bundle etc. I hope this makes sense – my general question is, should you be creating a set amount of each type to maximise sales?
Bundles are great, the more creative the better. In my experience many of our customers go for the full length track but people who just need a loop for their website will buy one or two of these from the package. Lots of people buy the 60 second version because it is usually a bit cheaper.
We have some composers who upload bundles of music loops and corresponding button sounds. Music and complimenting sound effects is a good idea (we did this with our Horror! collection and it sells very well).
In your case maybe some nice ambient nature sounds to go along with your piano music.
Some advice on pricing your packages; if your full length track is 1:30 I would price it the same as your 60 second version.
In general I would price the 60 second version of the tracks close to or the same as the full length track price.
How long are your tracks usually? I have a lot of 20-30 second piano pieces, but I’m not sure they’re long enough.
This is considered fairly short, you might want to extend them. 20 seconds is good for a website, most of our 20 second loops go for $9.95.
The 30 second version might be $14.95 or $19.95 but you really want to get up to at least 60 seconds for most uses.
I’ve noticed a few full sized scores for films – ie. 10-15mins tracks – do you sell any of these yourself, and do you find they sell well?
Most full scores are actual symphony recordings of classical music. At least on our websites I haven’t seen any composers uploading anything over 5 or 6 minutes.