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1027440 Posts in 41214 Topics- by 32824 Members - Latest Member: BenHarper

July 28, 2014, 12:24:34 AM
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperCreativeAudioJoin an instrumental record label or staying independent?
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Author Topic: Join an instrumental record label or staying independent?  (Read 712 times)
petertos
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« on: March 21, 2013, 12:47:00 AM »

Hi all,

I've got a question that's surrounding me since some time ago. Question is: Should I join an instrumental record label or stay independent?

I've been giving away my music for free (and a mandatory credit) and that has reported me visits to my website and some kind of awareness. I haven't earned a penny though, aside from advertising on my website.

Now I've got the chance to join a big instrumental record label which doesn't guarantee success but they should be able to bring customers (they get a fee for it). Problems are: they go so slow, they are managing stuff at the moment and don't know if my partnership will result in money (it should but...).

Has anybody tried Content ID from Youtube to manage creations and earnings? Is anybody making a living out of 'independent' music selling and licensing?

I hope someone wants to share something with the rest.
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PythonBlue
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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2013, 01:12:12 PM »

Good luck making YouTube profits on your own. I personally need an aggregator to claim the content for my videos just to get some of the ad revenue I should be receiving (glares dangerously at Adsense's payment threshold).

All hatred for YouTube "monetization" aside, if you want to make money off of your music, then there's a good chance you need others to help you out somehow.
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mscottweber
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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2013, 01:54:40 PM »

Have you though about submitting your music to online music libraries?  I have made a bit of money off my music that way, granted the stuff that I've submitted has been more along the lines of advertisement/corporate production cues as opposed to VGM.  I don't know how likely it is that your music will make it into a game through these types of libraries, but it seems like there is much more revenue potential there than there is through Youtube Content ID.
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Doni
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« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2013, 09:33:02 PM »

if you become a youtube partner (seems somewhat easy... but I'm not sure) then you can make some money. I make about 100$ a month... not much but better than a kick in the pants.  Concerned
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petertos
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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2013, 10:08:13 PM »

Hey, thanks all for your replies!

I'm a Youtube partner, I'm making some money out of it, pretty much like you. I guess I'll have to join other people to make some profit out of my music, and this means joining some other record label or whatever.

Thanks!

ContentID... I think they are looking for much more known music, don't think it will be available at the moment for me. Smiley
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MoritzPGKatz
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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2013, 08:21:23 AM »

Hello,

I'd be super careful with labels that require upfront fees. Reach out to other artists / acts signed to the label to gather some intel and be sure to read all the fine print.

Regarding licensing, unless you're pushing out a lot of content on a regular basis, the "big bucks" are in direct licensing or over synch licensing platforms offering pitches. This makes up a bulk of my income right now, most of the music is for TV advertisements, documentaries and the like. It's fun work, rich in variety and sometimes immensely motivating. Pretty much feast or famine, like most kinds of creative work.

The key to direct licensing is developing a good network of creative people including directors and agencies. No way around it!
Synch licensing platforms - the most popular US one being Taxi.com - require a lot of patience and experience. I've participated in about 30 pitches until the first success. Sometimes the agencies are willing to pay for layout phases though, and there are many times where I can make use of all the rejected music at a later point. Never throw anything away!

In any case, gathering some experience by doing something like an internship at a studio can help a lot to get a hang of how things work. (And how they don't.)

Good luck!

Cheers,
Moritz

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petertos
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2013, 11:23:03 AM »

The label doesn't get upfront fee, it is paid when the transaction is made. Taxi.com charges an upfront fee and that sounds very, very bad. Smiley
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MoritzPGKatz
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2013, 02:54:42 PM »

The label doesn't get upfront fee, it is paid when the transaction is made.
That's cool - all the same, I'd read any contract twice and check back with people who have signed it before.
Buying out acts to clear the market, as despicable as it may sound, is definitely a thing and we have to watch out for that stuff. If you have people you trust who can vouch for the label though, sign away!

Quote
Taxi.com charges an upfront fee and that sounds very, very bad. Smiley
Definitely. I agree, and sometimes I feel bad about "supporting" this system, on the other hand I can't say it hasn't paid out. Sometimes there's very good  Hand Money Right in TV and radio, and sometimes the jobs are even fun. (granted, not as fun as producing music for games  No No NO)

In any case: I can only speak for my own little experience, so these are just my 0.02. Other people might have completely different points of view!

Cheers,
Moritz

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Here's my SoundCloud - currently showcasing OSTs from 6 different games, crappy live jazz piano, and some other neat stuff.
My day job is composer/tonmeister at The German Wahnsinn
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