Composer Compensation Basics

Read again, and again…and again…and again…and even again.

When you continue to supply subscription models, buy out models, and give away your music for $5, you are literally destroying your future and our business as a whole. I am not sure if it can get much worse than where we stand today, but it probably will due to ignorant composers taking every horrible deal offered to them.


Is this valid for composers in US only? Does a composer from overseas have a chance to find a place in this sector?


I understand the intention of your post.
I guess, those, who are reading it, are those, who are already affected by all the negative impacts.
Those, who don’t reading it, know why not reading it. As long as a subscription-model-composer earns more money as on the “nomal”-market-composer, why should he change his strategy?
As long as a platform like Envato gets more money with a subscription model (with stable forecasts for the shareholders) as with a “normal” market model, why should they change their strategy?
As long, as a composer gets more visibilty with $5 sales on this platform (and can partly compensate the difference in earnings), than a composer who sells his work for reasonable $29 - why should he change his strategy?
As long, as customers fall on subscription models, nothing will change.
A customer is not interested in:“How much effort and work means that product? How I am able to pay a really fair price for the composer?” The customer gets served, the customer buys.
Today a lot of products in the world tending to become short-term-products. All kinds of electronics, clothes, furniture, cars - the lifecycles of all products drop. And we use these short term products without asking about it’s reasonable value.That’s also valid for the product music. We create no products for the eternity like Beethoven or Bach. We create consumer products. Bought today, forgotten tomorrow. And the customer is not willing to pay more, because it’s reasonable and fair in our eyes. We are part of that industry. We are part of this short term lifestyle. (ohhh, I see now all the answers incoming:“No, I am NOT part of this lifestyle!!”).

The industry will not change for us. The customers will not change for us. We can change our strategy and stop to be part of this game. We can stop producing music for this market. But I’m sure, at the end no one of you is willing to go this way.


I’m new to the royalty-free idea of purchasing from artists. For them I am grateful for the chance to use new works in my pretty much a hobby of personal productions which use music, pictures, sound effects etc. I don’t do any video work except for still pictures. I was making my slideshows with copyrighted music and gave them to trusted friends only. Now the end result is the same but I feel better about the rules and can create with less fear about the copyright police because of the ability to purchase a license at a reasonable price. The music industry is very controlled and unbending on broadcast music. I get it but I don’t like necessarily like it. So the services offered by Envato, Pond 5, etc I think provide a service for those that at least want to create something brand new and personal without the worry of going to court under the current rules which I am careful to follow. I also like the $5.00 prices, but there many nice compositions out there that are worth paying the going rate for. I call it Win-Win. samrryereb.

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Nothing is “royalty free”.

Nothing is copyright free.

“Royalty Free” is a misunderstood and manipulative marketing term by the entire world. You can not take music and broadcast it on Network Television without the major media congomerates paying money to performing rights organizations who in turn will pay us. (at least this is the case in USA, Europe, Australia, Some countries in Asia, Brazil pays Performance royalties - all large, wealthy countries pay broadcast performance royalties)

You, as an individual customer that wants to license music, have the right to do so. When you click “buy” you have paid your royalty to the author who composed the soundtrack, even if you pay $5, you are paying a royalty to the author.

We earn “royalties” here on audio jungle every week.

When Envato sends us statements, it says “Royalties earned”

There is no such thing as “Royalty Free”.

Stock media sites should stop marketing music as “royalty Free”. It should simply be marketed as “Stock Music for your media Productions” or “Reasonably Priced Music for your media Productions”

“Royalty Free” is nothing but bogus manipulation, a lie, a false statement, a scam, misleading BS by greedy corporations intent on misleading the public."


“accessable production music”

if you think that $ 5 is well paid for an artist who has spent sleepless nights composing music, you are wrong. you might as well buy an arranger keyboard and make the music yourself.

Didn’t imply that. I also mentioned buying the higher priced compostions, which many can be better music. It’s called having a choice. Again my argument is with the music companies who are afraid to let the music play with conditions of course, not by shutting you out completely. I am also an amateur and do not do anything for profit, just for my own amusement.


As I said nothing is copyright free. Royalty Free, as it is called has copyright too and a cost. I am glad you are earning royalties for your music. But now I get to create works for myself and friends at least within the parameters that I signed up for. That is much better, if you read my post, then producing something and have to pretty much keep it to yourself in a very small group to avoid copyright infringement. Again the blame is the major music companies that want to dominate the whole process. I even got an argument about using public domain with Facebook. I guess I won because they put my slide video on. So good luck to all of you. I have bought some very creative and beautiful royalty music which is much better in some ways to what is being produced in the current recording industry system. Thanks.

Agree. Call it whatever you want.


I believe you are going astray. you are confusing production companies and publishers with rights management companies. I am a member of sacem, very fortunately because when we know the millions of euros or dollars that tv channels donate to advertising passages as well as prime-time reports, we are happy to receive rights.
I admit that the big company majors are everywhere and want to take as much money as possible on our backs.

I’m glad you have that info. All I know is songs I have tried to get permission to use were older songs and the companies involved asked for thousands of dollars, no BS. Where do you post your information? When I go looking on the internet all I see are the big boys. So far I haven’t seen anything different. One orchestra gave me permission to use an overture that they recorded. But it was already public domain. All I had to do was credit the composer who is no doubt long dead. That’s the closet I have gotten with the record companies. Their adds are on the web too. Thanks.


I don’t quite understand what you want to tell us. here we sell licenses for exploitation. in no case in any country is music sold. this is called intellectual property. then if this music is used in radio or audiovisual broadcasting, the rights companies are responsible for recovering our rights, as I explained to you.
here is an example of the price of a French channel:

"How much does a TV ad cost?
The price of a TV advertising campaign must first take into account the cost of broadcasting depending on the target audience and the channel chosen.

At times that allow a large audience to be reached, such as midday, a major national channel such as TF1 or M6 will charge during the week for the broadcast of a 30-second TV ad between € 3,000 and € 7,000. On Sunday, this mid-day broadcast may reach € 13,000 or more.

Access prime time schedules are generally priced between € 15,000 and € 30,000. Prime time times are the most expensive, and can approach € 50,000 for a 30-second spot.

When paired with a popular program, such as a first-run American movie, a TV commercial can run over $ 50,000 on a regular basis. "
normal that we claim a little money for our music which is used. that’s why I support copyright societies.

I don’t know which country you are from but if you want to use a known piece, first check with the copyright society of your country to find out who is entitled to it, and how you can use it.