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Placements/income question
Old 23rd November 2017
  #1
Gear Head
 

Placements/income question

Generally, how many placements does it take to generate a 20-30k/yr PRO income? I have a feeling its in the 1000's
Old 23rd November 2017
  #2
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

ooh! Well - luck can enter into this!!

Many years ago i had a few licenses that generated huge levels of income for me. then for a few years i had huge periods of time when it might have been £5k a year maximum! I guess you're asking for a sort of warrantied approach? Difficult to answer. I know some people with a few hundred tracks earning big money, and some with 1000's earning okay.

I think i have roughly 1,700 tracks out in library...some getting quite old but still earning trickles --- but the income form them is okay; I'm not much of a writer though so you might be better informed by those that compose for a living.
Old 23rd November 2017
  #3
Gear Head
 

Thanks Narcoman, a warrantied approach per # of tracks needed for good placement/income ratio has been covered in numerous threads here and in other forums. where one track could be placed a thousand times or 1000 tracks could be placed one time each to make 20k for example.

However # of placements to the said income example (20-30k) i have not run across (maybe i missed it) or has'nt been discussed much into detail due to many variables (i.e. major network vs cable vs streaming, sec/min used, etc). thus anyone who's hitting or exceeding that income mark would have totally different mix of placement/income ratio from each other. some insight from their experiences would be priceless.

from my rough understanding i seem to gather this ballpark breakdown (PRO income per placement)

Youtube = $.xxx per view
Netflix or youtube Streaming = $.xx - $x
cable TV = $.xx - $xx
Network TV = $x - $xxx

im sure i've missed some other outlets, and please correct me if im wrong for the ballparks...from there one would have a different percentage of each type of placement to total 20k for example, thus getting a very broad idea on how many placements it took to reach said income. My math or facts maybe totally askewed here so the guys who are making or exceeding this income could enlighten me...thanks

Last edited by boinkeee2000; 23rd November 2017 at 11:16 AM.. Reason: wrong math on first paragraph
Old 23rd November 2017
  #4
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by boinkeee2000 View Post
Generally, how many placements does it take to generate a 20-30k/yr PRO income? I have a feeling its in the 1000's
The answer of course is that all depends. This is a game of numbers - there is zero doubt about that. Tons of INCREDIBLE music that you write over your live will go virtually unused, and stupid throwaway stuff will get used dozens of times. For no apparent reason. so, the numbers are critical. I've been doing this a long time, and I cannot even speculate about what gets used, why it gets used, and for how long, etc..

I'M GOING TO BASE MY SPECULATION ON THE PRO BACK-END ROYALTY SCENARIO. FRONT END SYNCS CAN CHANGE THIS, but most high end libraries that can get you in the good shows don't do front end sync sharing IME.

Guessing I'd say :

# of songs - I'd say 1000+. # of placements - thousands.

That of course is based on the "old school" paradigm of how things USED to work. What's upcoming is anyone's guess, but with Netflix, Amazon, etc. looming on the horizon, it could easily take 50,000 placements to make that money 10 years from now if everything goes streaming. And no, I didn't just pick a number out of my @$$.

From my limited experience with them, Netflix pays about 1/100th of what cable does. And cable pays anywhere from a few cents - $0.18 to maybe a couple bucks per placement these days. So move the decimal point over two positions, and divide 30,000 by it. As I look down the digital streaming porting of my royalties, the vast majority of placements are paying $0.01 per quarter. And there are hundreds of them. Netflix seems to pay the best, and I actually had a $30 payout on a single placement from them this last quarter. That was record breaking. Most in the less than a dime category, and few hit the few dollars, but mostly pennies to a single penny. Hulu is next, Amazon seems to be the worst.

I actually got interested, so I'll even do the math for you. I just grabbed ONE placement that is/was on a popular cable show that's been ported over to Amazon. It ran for a minute and fifteen seconds, which is a LOOOOONG placement in a cable TV show. This is over ONE quarter, so we'll multiply by 4 for the yearly total.

$30,000 / 0.16 (0.04 x 4 = 0.16) == 187,500

According to my calculations, to make $30,000 per year, you'd need 187,500 Amazon / Netflix style placements. And I'm being generous here. Most placements don't last 1:15, and a BUNCH of them will be on shows that are not as popular as this one. Bottom line, best case scenario, I think you could safely say that you'll need at least 100,000 placements on streaming sites to make your numbers. These are hard numbers. But they are reality, and backed up by years of streaming numbers on my royalties.

Now of course, we have not entered total domination by streaming yet, and no one really knows the future, but it's fairly obvious to me that this game is ending. My buddy who worked 4 years on a popular series for Netflix has been hit squarely in the face by this. His dream of multiple 10's of thousands per quarter turned into a few hundred a quarter. $300-400 to be exact. This is for hundreds of cues and hundreds of minutes of placements. There are probably a few people in the world with numbers of placements over 100,000, but the possibility is more difficult than winning the lottery.

I'm very sorry for guys like yourself who are just starting. Your best bet is to figure out other ways to earn good cash for living and do writing for the joy of it, hoping that possibly someday, the governments will pull their collective heads out and figure out a way to stop high tech from raping the creative communities.

With robotics and AI coming quickly (tried driving a new luxury car lately???) the age of the middle class is waning I think.....


AND YET, I am thankful on this Thanksgiving day. Blessed to do what I get to do. Happy Holidays everyone!!
Old 23rd November 2017
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
The answer of course is that all depends. This is a game of numbers - there is zero doubt about that. Tons of INCREDIBLE music that you write over your live will go virtually unused, and stupid throwaway stuff will get used dozens of times. For no apparent reason. so, the numbers are critical. I've been doing this a long time, and I cannot even speculate about what gets used, why it gets used, and for how long, etc..

Guessing I'd say :

# of songs - I'd say 1000+. # of placements - thousands.

That of course is based on the "old school" paradigm of how things USED to work. What's upcoming is anyone's guess, but with Netflix, Amazon, etc. looming on the horizon, it could easily take 50,000 placements to make that money 10 years from now if everything goes streaming. And no, I didn't just pick a number out of my @$$.

From my limited experience with them, Netflix pays about 1/100th of what cable does. And cable pays anywhere from a few cents - $0.18 to maybe a couple bucks per placement these days. So move the decimal point over two positions, and divide 30,000 by it. As I look down the digital streaming porting of my royalties, the vast majority of placements are paying $0.01 per quarter. And there are hundreds of them. Netflix seems to pay the best, and I actually had a $30 payout on a single placement from them this last quarter. That was record breaking. Most in the less than a dime category, and few hit the few dollars, but mostly pennies to a single penny. Hulu is next, Amazon seems to be the worst.

I actually got interested, so I'll even do the math for you. I just grabbed ONE placement that is/was on a popular cable show that's been ported over to Amazon. It ran for a minute and fifteen seconds, which is a LOOOOONG placement in a cable TV show. This is over ONE quarter, so we'll multiply by 4 for the yearly total.

$30,000 / 0.16 (0.04 x 4 = 0.16)

According to my calculations, to make $30,000 per year, you'd need 187,500 Amazon / Netflix style placements. And I'm being generous here. Most placements don't last 1:15, and a BUNCH of them will be on shows that are not as popular as this one. Bottom line, I think you could safely say that you'll need at least 100,000 placements on streaming sites to make your numbers.

Now of course, we have not entered total domination by streaming yet, and no one really knows the future, but it's fairly obvious to me that this game is ending. My buddy who worked 4 years on a popular series for Netflix has been hit squarely in the face by this. His dream of multiple 10's of thousands per quarter turned into a few hundred a quarter. $300-400 to be exact. This is for hundreds of cues and hundreds of minutes of placements. There are probably a few people in the world with numbers of placements over 100,000, but the possibility is more difficult than winning the lottery.

I'm very sorry for guys like yourself who are just starting. Your best bet is to figure out other ways to earn good cash for living and do writing for the joy of it, hoping that possibly someday, the governments will pull their collective heads out and figure out a way to stop high tech from raping the creative communities.

With robotics and AI coming quickly (tried driving a new luxury car lately???) the age of the middle class is waning I think.....


AND YET, I am thankful on this Thanksgiving day. Blessed to do what I get to do. Happy Holidays everyone!!
My 5secs in one show actually generated about 80 euros. There are variables tho!
Old 23rd November 2017
  #6
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mechanikproject View Post
My 5secs in one show actually generated about 80 euros. There are variables tho!
On a streaming service?

Network, sure. Cable, maybe. If streaming, you just hit the series winning grand slam of the world series.
Old 23rd November 2017
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
On a streaming service?

Network, sure. Cable, maybe. If streaming, you just hit the series winning grand slam of the world series.
Cable, with International distribution. Don't know how many showed tho.
Of course it depends on the viewers. Where I live, I got about 2$ and rest from the US.
Old 23rd November 2017
  #8
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Well, from what I can tell, streaming is the future. Network / Cable is the past. God only knows how it will shake out..... Congrats on the nice placement. It's still a long ways to boinkeee2000's $30k though....
Old 23rd November 2017
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Well, from what I can tell, streaming is the future. Network / Cable is the past. God only knows how it will shake out..... Congrats on the nice placement. It's still a long ways to boinkeee2000's $30k though....
Haha, yeah.
Thanks!
If getting thousand of those placements, it will get nice sum but how long? It is not stable but only short period of time they are running. There are reruns maybe tho.
Old 23rd November 2017
  #10
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
The answer of course is that all depends. This is a game of numbers - there is zero doubt about that. Tons of INCREDIBLE music that you write over your live will go virtually unused, and stupid throwaway stuff will get used dozens of times. For no apparent reason. so, the numbers are critical. I've been doing this a long time, and I cannot even speculate about what gets used, why it gets used, and for how long, etc..

I'M GOING TO BASE MY SPECULATION ON THE PRO BACK-END ROYALTY SCENARIO. FRONT END SYNCS CAN CHANGE THIS, but most high end libraries that can get you in the good shows don't do front end sync sharing IME.

Guessing I'd say :

# of songs - I'd say 1000+. # of placements - thousands.

That of course is based on the "old school" paradigm of how things USED to work. What's upcoming is anyone's guess, but with Netflix, Amazon, etc. looming on the horizon, it could easily take 50,000 placements to make that money 10 years from now if everything goes streaming. And no, I didn't just pick a number out of my @$$.

From my limited experience with them, Netflix pays about 1/100th of what cable does. And cable pays anywhere from a few cents - $0.18 to maybe a couple bucks per placement these days. So move the decimal point over two positions, and divide 30,000 by it. As I look down the digital streaming porting of my royalties, the vast majority of placements are paying $0.01 per quarter. And there are hundreds of them. Netflix seems to pay the best, and I actually had a $30 payout on a single placement from them this last quarter. That was record breaking. Most in the less than a dime category, and few hit the few dollars, but mostly pennies to a single penny. Hulu is next, Amazon seems to be the worst.

I actually got interested, so I'll even do the math for you. I just grabbed ONE placement that is/was on a popular cable show that's been ported over to Amazon. It ran for a minute and fifteen seconds, which is a LOOOOONG placement in a cable TV show. This is over ONE quarter, so we'll multiply by 4 for the yearly total.

$30,000 / 0.16 (0.04 x 4 = 0.16) == 187,500

According to my calculations, to make $30,000 per year, you'd need 187,500 Amazon / Netflix style placements. And I'm being generous here. Most placements don't last 1:15, and a BUNCH of them will be on shows that are not as popular as this one. Bottom line, best case scenario, I think you could safely say that you'll need at least 100,000 placements on streaming sites to make your numbers. These are hard numbers. But they are reality, and backed up by years of streaming numbers on my royalties.

Now of course, we have not entered total domination by streaming yet, and no one really knows the future, but it's fairly obvious to me that this game is ending. My buddy who worked 4 years on a popular series for Netflix has been hit squarely in the face by this. His dream of multiple 10's of thousands per quarter turned into a few hundred a quarter. $300-400 to be exact. This is for hundreds of cues and hundreds of minutes of placements. There are probably a few people in the world with numbers of placements over 100,000, but the possibility is more difficult than winning the lottery.

I'm very sorry for guys like yourself who are just starting. Your best bet is to figure out other ways to earn good cash for living and do writing for the joy of it, hoping that possibly someday, the governments will pull their collective heads out and figure out a way to stop high tech from raping the creative communities.

With robotics and AI coming quickly (tried driving a new luxury car lately???) the age of the middle class is waning I think.....


AND YET, I am thankful on this Thanksgiving day. Blessed to do what I get to do. Happy Holidays everyone!!
Thanks DrBill, Fascinating stats you stated there per streaming royalties. Your friend who made 3-400 per quarter on streams might as well look at it as extra fun money to treat the fam to a steak house dinner every now and then to lessen the blow...

but i'm sure the guys making 30k and beyond per year are not dependent on streaming alone. Thus percentagewise, and not giving away numbers, how would you folks break down lets say your last PRO statement income per type of placement? for example...

xxx placements for network TV = 20% (total QTR income)
xxx placements for Cable = 75%
xxx placements for streaming = 5%

thats very hypothetical example and there maybe a myrad more variables and types of placements not listed but I hope my question makes sense...Its just a gauge for us newbies starting out but an important one per analytics...

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone (wish we had turkey here, miss it)
Old 23rd November 2017
  #11
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by boinkeee2000 View Post
but i'm sure the guys making 30k and beyond per year are not dependent on streaming alone.
No, they are not. If they are making $2-3 Million USD per year (there are a few doing that I'd hazard to guess), they MIGHT be making $20-30k of that in streaming royalties. (Based off numbers that I feel are relatively accurate.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by boinkeee2000 View Post
xxx placements for streaming = 5%
No, not even close. Think one fifth that. Around 1 percent of income and 28% of placements and growing for me.

"Internet Audio" which is what BMI lumps all these streaming royalties under accounted for 28 % of my total plays. Income wise, "Internet Audio" resulted for 1.354 % of my total revenues for the quarter. A telling number.....

If you know your PRO representatives contact info, it's time to start screaming. Before it's too far gone to recover.

Or maybe.....

....being a composer dependent on back end royalties for survival is kind of like being a blacksmith who shoe's horses in the early 1900's. Pretty much a dead profession with the advent of cars....


Potential methods of making a living composing in 2025 :

- writing custom music for projects that will pay you to write. (Films, TV, Advertising).
- ghosting for a seasoned A list composer who has the money to pay writers to keep things going at a fast clip.
- getting a share of Sync fee's (up front license fees) with libraries that share Sync's.
- getting paid "up front" money by the big PMA style libraries (if they're still in business and doing up-front's at that point.).
- writing for big name talent and getting cuts on top-40 style albums (kind of like the lotto, and affected by streaming as well).

Back End PRO royalties have already been in a state of slippage for over 5 years. I've doubled my content on TV in the last 5 years and my royalties have NOT doubled. Just barely increased. Of course, BMI has no viable answer on "why". There are incredible success stories, but I have hit the proverbial "glass ceiling" with BMI. I'm looking to change next time I can which is a year or so away....
Old 23rd November 2017
  #12
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
No, they are not. If they are making $2-3 Million USD per year (there are a few doing that I'd hazard to guess), they MIGHT be making $20-30k of that in streaming royalties. (Based off numbers that I feel are relatively accurate.)



No, not even close. Think one fifth that. Around 1 percent of income and 28% of placements and growing for me.

"Internet Audio" which is what BMI lumps all these streaming royalties under accounted for 28 % of my total plays. Income wise, "Internet Audio" resulted for 1.354 % of my total revenues for the quarter. A telling number.....

If you know your PRO representatives contact info, it's time to start screaming. Before it's too far gone to recover.

Or maybe.....

....being a composer dependent on back end royalties for survival is kind of like being a blacksmith who shoe's horses in the early 1900's. Pretty much a dead profession with the advent of cars....


Potential methods of making a living composing in 2025 :

- writing custom music for projects that will pay you to write. (Films, TV, Advertising).
- ghosting for a seasoned A list composer who has the money to pay writers to keep things going at a fast clip.
- getting a share of Sync fee's (up front license fees) with libraries that share Sync's.
- getting paid "up front" money by the big PMA style libraries (if they're still in business and doing up-front's at that point.).
- writing for big name talent and getting cuts on top-40 style albums (kind of like the lotto, and affected by streaming as well).

Back End PRO royalties have already been in a state of slippage for over 5 years. I've doubled my content on TV in the last 5 years and my royalties have NOT doubled. Just barely increased. Of course, BMI has no viable answer on "why". There are incredible success stories, but I have hit the proverbial "glass ceiling" with BMI. I'm looking to change next time I can which is a year or so away....
Wow, are there talks happening or some kind of petition circulating about this streaming royalties issue? Has there been a requested percentage bump that most composers agreed on that would seem a reasonable proposal to the PROs? I can imagine with just a 10% bump on streaming royalties could do for all.
Old 23rd November 2017
  #13
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by boinkeee2000 View Post
I can imagine with just a 10% bump on streaming royalties could do for all.
I don't think a 10% bump would do much of anything. If you're getting $200 in streaming royalties, you'd get $220. Whereas if those royalties were back on cable TV, you'd probably be getting around $20,000. What's the point of 10%? It needs to go up exponentially. 100X's - not 100% - 100X's. I can't even calculate that percentage in my head. Then it would be on equity with what cable pays. Not network, cable. Now, once all shows move over and cable is essentially DOA, it might not take a 100X's increase. Maybe 50X's would do it. But do you think Netflix, etc. and BMI/ASCAP will do that??

There are more places, and more opportunities to view content today than the world has ever seen, and our royalties are plummeting. Those I know who quit adding content years ago are being hit hard. Those who are exponentially adding to their catalog are surviving. Thriving? For some it's still do-able. But for how long?


And yet - I'm still THANKFUL!
Old 24th November 2017
  #14
Gear Head
 
G.K.'s Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by boinkeee2000 View Post
Wow, are there talks happening or some kind of petition circulating about this streaming royalties issue?
This is not necessarily an issue that local PRO's can solve.

You have to understand that the existing / current streaming business for Audio and Video was established by (multinational) IT companies which are not making money through "selling" content , but by their ( actual or pretended ) marketshare which is unfortunately the most important measurement for their investors at the stock market .
And the stock market is the place where these IT companies get their money from, and - again -not through selling content.

Therefore the price/fee which they set for buying or renting the content is ridiculously low , just to attract more and more users/costumers , and thus increase the "marketshare" .

From a composers view , however , the content actually needs to have a certain financial value ( ... a noteworthy price in U.S. $ / EURO / or ... ), because our royalty share is directly connected to this financial value .


( But , we composers are not alone . Look at book authors . Isn't it lovely that Google scans each and every book on this planet and then put 70 % of the pages online , so that anybody can read the authors work for free ? )
Old 24th November 2017
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
I don't think a 10% bump would do much of anything. If you're getting $200 in streaming royalties, you'd get $220. Whereas if those royalties were back on cable TV, you'd probably be getting around $20,000. What's the point of 10%? It needs to go up exponentially. 100X's - not 100% - 100X's. I can't even calculate that percentage in my head. Then it would be on equity with what cable pays. Not network, cable. Now, once all shows move over and cable is essentially DOA, it might not take a 100X's increase. Maybe 50X's would do it. But do you think Netflix, etc. and BMI/ASCAP will do that??

There are more places, and more opportunities to view content today than the world has ever seen, and our royalties are plummeting. Those I know who quit adding content years ago are being hit hard. Those who are exponentially adding to their catalog are surviving. Thriving? For some it's still do-able. But for how long?


And yet - I'm still THANKFUL!
Dr Bill,

In your stats, you didn't even take into account all of the placements that we never get paid for (Scripps, etc). And Thanks BMI for constantly "Having no info" on ques we never got paid for....
Old 24th November 2017
  #16
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
....being a composer dependent on back end royalties for survival is kind of like being a blacksmith who shoe's horses in the early 1900's. Pretty much a dead profession with the advent of cars....
So, is this a kind of segue to the Royalty Free stock music model?

I was looking at an RF stock library the other day. The idea is, users buy a license, you get x% of the license fee up front, then you're done. Move on. Next customer. On some of these sites, x% works out to only $10 to $50 a pop.

But - on sites that show sales for tracks, it looks like it's not too uncommon to sell 100 to 200 licenses in a year. At, say, $20 average each, that's up to $4k/year on a track. Nice work if you can get it. No?

Now, to be objective - there's even more tracks with 10, or 5, or zero sales too. So, question will be how many tracks do you have to output for each one that lands 200 placements a year. If it's 100:1, you're making 1,000 tracks to hit $40k/yr.

You'd be tempted to figure that'd be a function of the quality - but who knows.
Old 4th September 2019
  #17
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