View Single Post
Old 1st May 2017
Originally Posted by JayRolla View Post
Right, thanks guys! Thinking out of the box when doing production music is very important in my eyes.
Two comments...

First, it is totally possible. I know a couple people who do this... your friend might be one of the guys I know. (Small world and all!)

But, when doing 1000 high quality tracks per year, no man is an island. All the people I know doing this, are doing it with other people. They have a team of 10 to 30 other "friends" that they co-write with. In doing so the majority of the burden of production is off-loaded to the co-writers.

How much money will this make? It really depends on the styles and the catalogs. If he is pairing the right music with the right catalogs then AFTER 3 to 5 years he should be making anywhere from $70,000 to $200,000 a year for his cut. If he isn't pairing the right music with the right catalogs, then he might be making $10,000 to maybe around $40,000 a year from his cut.

The thing about production music is it's a slow burn. It takes a while for tracks to really get out into circulation... and then even after that it takes a while for them to start getting uses... and then after the uses it takes about a year for the PROs to pay for domestic uses... and then it also takes about 1 and 1/2 to 2 years to see money from international uses. So if someone goes from 0 to 1000 in a year... it will take them about a year to start seeing any sort of money trickle in... and then from year 2 to 3 it will grow and grow... and usually by year 5 it will be in full swing. And now if the person is adding 1000 tracks a year, every year... by 10 years it will be a very good amount of income every year. But then things start to taper off... so the first 1000 tracks will start to taper off after about 5 to 7 years... but usually by 10 years, you are hitting your maximum potential... and the only way to increase revenue after that point is to put out more music... so you'll need to increase production from 1000 to 2000.. then to 3000... and so on. Is that doable? Of course! As an example, me as a producer and engineer, I did 140 albums of production music in the last 12 months (that comes out to roughly 2800~3000 unique titles of music). So it is doable... but I am not writing all of this music. I'm just overseeing the production of all of it, engineering a good portion of it, and writing a very small portion of it. But that is my job, that is what I get hired to do. So I don't take a cut of the writer's share unless I am actually writing music. But it is doable. If I were writing, I could probably still do about 3000 cowrites a year if I really wanted to. But my compositional skills are not what I'm known for, so I don't get hired to compose. I get hired to produce and engineer. So that is what I do.

The second comment is in regards to your "thinking outside the box". That really depends on what you mean by that.

The majority of the "cash cow" money-making tracks are the ones that are SUPER cliche in one style. So if you are saying you should "think outside the box" when it comes to composing or music production... I would suggest you reconsider that. If you are trying to be clever and create something unique... the chances of someone wanting to license it shrinks exponentially. Most people who use production music come to it because they temp'd with some famous music that is waaaayyy too expensive and they can't license it. The winner of the license is the one that is closest to the temp. So if you decide you want to do some Jazz/blues/punk/calypso free from exploratory music. It will never get licensed for when jazz is needed because it isn't straight up "jazz" enough... it won't get licensed for a blues use because it isn't "blues" enough. It won't get licensed for a punk use because it isn't "punk" enough... and so on... Maybe you do some killer electro industrial neoclassical funk. But when someone uses the GAP band or Parliament or James Brown... your "unique and outside the box" tracks aren't going to work as replacements.

Now yes... there are some times in production music to be experimental. And there are rare occasions where something completely unique, experimental and different gets used. But those licenses only happen rarely, like maybe once every 5 years or so. Whereas the replacements of well-known music happens once every 5 seconds or so...

If you are talking about thinking outside the box when it comes to business... I agree and simultaneously disagree. Being creative when it comes to making deals and negotiating can be a good thing. But it is a very, very, very sharp double edged sword. the reason being is you can be screwing yourself and leaving literally TONS of money on the table without knowing it as you try to "creatively" negotiate a deal and think outside the box.

There is also sustainability for yourself. A lot of the new startup music libraries in the last 5 to 10 years aren't looking at sustainability. They are just trying to create something that looks good on paper so they can sell and cash out. But that can blow up in your face and simultaneously kill the industry as a whole for a while (not forever, everything always bounces back eventually).

So... in "thinking outside the box" I strongly recommend you learn as much as you can about what's "in the box" first. Learn it forward and backwards and inside out... so that when you do start to go "outside" of it you aren't unknowingly screwing yourself and everyone that writes for/with you... and then you set the precedence that you are the guy that bends over for clients because you don't know what you are doing...and then you can never get out from under that.