Today we are talking about pricing your own music. Some Royalty-Free libraries allow you to set your own prices, while others have a tiered pricing structure (or subscription model). There is also the matter of pricing music when pitching it directly to clients. Let's go through both practices.
Pricing Music on Royalty-Free Sites
My personal suggestion for this is to know your worth! The race to the bottom is alive and well in this industry, and many composers are pricing their music for as low as $1 on Audiojungle. While you might get more sales, you likely won't make more money overall with this method. I still get sales on some RF sites while pricing my tracks at $50-$60. I believe that if the client is semi-legit they will have a budget to work with, and if your music really is the best they will be willing to pay for it. Whether you think your music is worth $15, $25 or $75, don't sell yourself short. Those who buy music cheap are probably not the type of clients who will generate backend royalties for you anyway.
Pricing Your Music for Personal Placements
Not every opportunity will be through a library or sync agent. If you find yourself personally shopping your music to a music supervisor, independent film, local business, etc. then you will want to have a game plan for pricing the music. My rule of thumb is to first find out their budget. If you get an idea of what they are paying for other services, you can ballpark a price. If you are too greedy from the beginning, they might pass on your music entirely. If you price too low, you won’t be earning as much as you deserve. These things are always a matter of discussion, so simply talk to the person and you should be able to arrive at a mutually beneficial number.
Notes About Exclusive Libraries
Exclusive libraries will make their own prices, and usually have a rate card on their site. See if you can find a rate card on one of the popular libraries in your country. You can use this information to ballpark some figures and get an idea of what type of budget the client will have based on their size and type of project. Make sure the rate card is recent enough (within 2-3 years).
Always know your worth, and don't fall for cheap deals. It will be hard to get your licensing career off the ground if you only take pennies for every sale. Negotiating with personal clients is the best way to arrive at a reasonable number. Keep plugging away and you will gain momentum sooner or later!
Special thanks to Marcus from In Sync: Music Licensing forum for suggesting this topic! If you want me to discuss something specific, leave it in the comments below.
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