youLicense, soundsnap and audiomicro

I’ve been noticing that a few audio websites are now changing their business models and going with subscription.

Soundsnap.com
Soundsnap is a great place to download royalty free music clips and sound effects and was originally an altruistic concept that I guess eventually had to fall to capitalist ideals. Soundsnap will soon be changing to a subscription model where the user has to pay a monthly fee to download the sounds on the site.
Details are unclear but it is definitely going to change the basic concept of SoundSnap (which I always thought was a great idea).

YouLicense.com
One of the “big players” in music licensing has also announced that they will be going “subscription”. This time however it is on the composers’s end.
It will cost $39.95 every 6 months (or $39.95 every month, I don’t know, it is hard to tell from the wording in their newsletter and on their website) for a musician to post his music to be heard by production companies in need of licensed music.
This does away with their 9% fee for accepted material and puts a mandatory monthly payment on the composer.
They must not be turning much of a profit with their original concept to warrant such a drastic change on the end of the business model that (historically) has the least money.

Audiomicro.com
Audiomicro sells music and sound effects for extremely low prices. I’m not sure what self-respecting composer would upload to a site that pays out $0.50 for the licensing of a full length track.
Their business model seems to be an oxymoron since you can’t have “the lowest prices for the customer” *and* “the biggest payout for the composer” at the same time. It’s simply impossible.
They are also “paying you to upload” when in reality they’re giving a cash advance of $0.50 per track which you have to payback to Audiomicro (by not being paid until you sell that amount of tracks).
A quote from one of their statements is “at least somebody is paying the composers”, they were telling this to Partners In Rhyme who pays out almost $20,000 every month to their composers…
…and our composers get to keep their money 🙂

Partners In Rhyme
Partners In Rhyme has always, from the beginning, strived to help composers make a living at what they love to do. We have never charged them to join any of our websites, we have offered advice (that has been taken and profited upon) and we are always investing and developing in new features and ideas to help our family of composers make a living at composing music.

New Composer: Dimitry Lifshitz

Dimitri Lifshitz is one of our favorite new composers and he is uploading some awesome music to musicloops.com right now.
I think the Alt Rock track Feel Alive is probably my favorite, although if you need a super-funky 70’s/techno track try
Get The Funk Out is pretty cool.
Dimitri also has a sensitive side with tracks like, well,
Sensitive and a very impressive comical quality with tracks like
Don’t Misbehave .

Check Dimitri out all of our other great composers on www.musicloops.com.

Free Sound Effect: Call to Prayer

We recently visited Fes, Morocco for a week or so. We stayed in a beautiful hotel just on the edge of the Medina on a hill. It was a perfect spot to record the Call to Prayer that happens 5 times a day beginning at 5AM.
For those that might not be familiar with the Call to Prayer it is one of the strangest things you’ve ever heard, especially in the Medina as there are hundreds of mosques and minarets, all equipped with distorted loudspeakers and cheap microphones. The elder of the mosque starts wailing into this old fashioned PA system, then times that by 200 with each mosque trying to outdo the next in volume. It is eerie sounding.
It goes on for a while and is basically just a reminder to get to the mosque to do your prayer ritual.

Here is one of our recordings of the Call to Prayer:
call_to_prayer-fr9t_11-02.mp3

Free Royalty Free Music Clip: Orchestral Gothic Loop 1

Here is my weekly free royalty free music clip (or sound effect clip).
This it is the Gothic Loop 1 from our new Film Music Series
. This particular music clip is from the Film Series: Main Theme Songs collection.

Gothic_Loop1.mp3

(This is an MP3 file which usually means they won’t loop properly, however I have gone in with an MP3 editor and removed the blank audio at the head and tail that the MP3 conversion usually adds to the file.)

Royalty Free Composer Tips: Creating A Music Library pt2

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.