How much should I charge for my song?
Old 12th April 2013
  #1
Gear nut
 
Brennan's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
How much should I charge for my song?

I approached a local video production company with my music as a resume. The head guy there said he loved my work and was really interested in my compositions. He wants an instrumental of a song I have already recorded. It probably took 8 hours total and will go on a local commercial for internet or TV use. All I did specifically for him was remove my vocals to use instrumentals for background music.

The question is, how much should I charge up front and should there be residuals included also?

I know the production company is pretty well known in the area, but not sure what my work is really worth to them compared to something they could get elsewhere. Also because it's "art". I have already sent him the track for their edit, but he just said to send him an invoice. If anyone has experience or advice, please help out!
Old 12th April 2013
  #2
Gear nut
 

You will have to set up a contractual agreement with the client - as for how much to charge, that is entirely up to you.


For commercials, you usually don't get residuals per se (at least not in the markets where I've worked - YMMV), but rather you specify a time limit for how long the client may use your work.

E.g., you could specify that for $XXX, the client has usage rights for one (1) year, with a yearly renewal fee of $XXX. And/or you could complement this with specific rates depending on market size, so one rate for 1) local broadcasts, another for 2) regional broadcasts, a third for 3) national broadcasts, and yet another for 4) internet use.


In this specific case, I'd probably just invoice for a days' work + 20% for year one, and 33% of the initial invoice for any subsequent years. (E.g. $600 for year one, $200/year from year two onwards).
Old 12th April 2013
  #3
Gear nut
 
Brennan's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
This seems like a lot for what I do. It's an acoustic recording with piano and guitar. I don't want to scare them off because I think they will want me for future clients. I was honestly going to give them this one for free before he said 'no, we'll pay you like we do for other music'. Not trying to say it's not good advice though, don't get me wrong. But if it compares to retail at all, I don't think they'd call again if I charged too much. Is it a bad idea to ask them their budget?
Old 12th April 2013
  #4
Gear nut
 

The amounts provided in my previous post was meant as examples only - I have no idea what market you're in, how complex the music is, etc..

That said, they are paying for exclusivity - if they're using music from AudioNetwork, KillerTracks, etc., you can be sure that someone else is using the very same track...not so if they decide to go with your song.


Also, beware of giving stuff away for free, even if it's only a "one-time thing". Be proud in your work, and value the time you've put into it. A blanket synchronization license for TV will cost at least US$500 (AudioNetwork, one of the cheaper options out there, currently runs at $595/song for use in a single production).

Sure, you can ask about the production budget and invoice accordingly, but if their budget is too low, I would still invoice what I thought my work was worth, and then include a "first-time customer discount" to match what they are willing to pay.
Old 12th April 2013
  #5
Gear nut
 
Oski604's Avatar
 

I don't know much about how this works or how much you should charge, but I can tell you that your time and your work should Never be given away for free.
Even if you don't believe your music is that good or it was to simple to do, you should charge something. It doesn't matter how small the amount would be.
If they really like your music, they will call you again.
Hope this helps..
Old 12th April 2013
  #6
Gear maniac
 

Make sure your contract specifies this is a license for just that project or client (however negotiated), for specific user (tv in some markets, theatrical, whatever), and for a specific time. You continue to own the copyright, can adapt for other songs, and can sell to others depending on whatever exclusivity is in the license.

Or else charge a HELL of a lot more.
Old 12th April 2013
  #7
Gear Addict
 
NReichman's Avatar
 

If it's a local-market only, charge $1000-2000, and make sure you're lined-up with ASCAP or BMI. If it's national, charge $4000 (or more).
Old 12th April 2013
  #8
Gear nut
 
Oski604's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Rose View Post
Make sure your contract specifies this is a license for just that project or client (however negotiated), for specific user (tv in some markets, theatrical, whatever), and for a specific time. You continue to own the copyright, can adapt for other songs, and can sell to others depending on whatever exclusivity is in the license.

Or else charge a HELL of a lot more.
Listen to him
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