Doing AudioJungle as a full-time job?


#1

Hey friends,

I wonder how many of you are doing this as a ‘full time job’ and whether this is a viable possibility.
I know that there are a lot of variables that can effect each person differently, but I’d be happy to hear some of your experiences so far.

By the way, the reason I’m asking is because I will have the possibility to go ‘full-time’ as an AudioJungle author once I finish studying (hopefully in a few months) and am considering my options.

Thanks a bunch,
Guy


#2

Of course you should! Don’t forget that there is freelance work, Envato Studio. You are talented guy, so you will fine in music, not only on AJ! Envato is a big company, so keep workin’!
http://elite.envato.com
skroll your mouse up)


#3

Why not? :smile:

I’m also hoping for my endeavor to become a full-time activity, along with my other projects. Plus, it’s definitely something that can help you build up a nice portfolio.

Keep it up!


#4

If you do not try it you will never find out! So I very much urge you to try it! It might very well work out for you!
Good luck!


#5

Thanks Kurlykovs,
Really love your profile design :]


#6

Thank you! I am a fan of American vintage stuff and I asked my wife to make me a page and well with her help I have it now :slight_smile:


#7

Depending on where you live, what kind of music you like making, and how much time you plan on putting into it, it certainly is possible. My advice doesn’t come from experience with AudioJungle necessarily, but freelancing/self-employment is sort of similar no matter what you do, so my personal experience is this:

Whenever someone decides to do something like this (start a business or get serious about making money from your hobby/passion) and start relying on passive income, they should realize a few things. The first is, for at least a little while, you probably won’t make what you’d make at even a minimum wage job. In other words, you won’t be working a set amount of hours and getting a steady paycheck in return. Instead, it will seem like you are making much less money, but in reality you will probably end up making just as much or more as you would from a steady job, it’s just that your income is now being stretched over an extended period of time because all of your sales will not come at once. This might seem like a bad thing, but if you think about it it’s actually a good thing, because each piece of music you sell has the potential to keep generating money for you indefinitely. It’s like an investment, whereas with a typical job the only thing you ever get back is a paycheck. A single track might make you a few hundred dollars, but it could take months or years to sell that much. It could take days or hours too, you just never know - which leads me to my next point.

It’s a game of averages. Just like any business, not all of your products/tracks will be hits or even slight successes. This is probably painfully obvious to most authors, but to again compare this to being employed, with a regular job you will always get paid for your time, even for doing nothing, whereas in a business like this you might never get paid for your time, but hopefully you can make it up with other tracks, or you make it up in the long run.

Be prepared to do promotion and marketing. I don’t know if you can really have a good amount of success here (or anywhere else) without spending some time on promotion or marketing, because otherwise how would people know about your product/music? You can’t just rely on AudioJungle searches, you have to push yourself and your product out there. Free or paid promotion, whatever works for you, but if someone is serious they really can’t be afraid of spending money on promotion and advertising. After awhile hopefully you’ll achieve some kind of presence and won’t have to do this as much, but it never hurts.

I’d definitely try it, if it’s really want you want to do. I would probably save up some money first if at all possible, so you can take a year off (or whatever amount of time) and really focus on doing this seriously. I think if you are able to dedicate that much time to it, you’ll either start to see how it’s possible or figure out it’s not for you. Either way, after a year, at the very worst you’ll have a passive source of income that is making you money on top of whatever job you decide to take. Hell, I don’t write the kind of music that sells well here, and I definitely don’t live in a cheap enough country, but even I think it would still be possible to get close to making a living if all I did for a year was write stock music. Personally I wouldn’t put all my eggs in one basket (with AudioJungle), but that’s just me. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you dedicate your time towards doing what you want as opposed to throwing it away at a job you don’t really like. Most jobs don’t go anywhere, not any of the ones I ever had anyway. At least with something like this you are taking your future into your own hands.

Oh, and at least some friends and family will tell you that you can’t until you start finding some success to throw back in their faces :wink: but I think mostly they are either jealous they have to keep working their slave-jobs, or otherwise they really don’t understand that it’s possible to make money being self employed/freelancing, but it definitely is. :smile:


#8

Thanks for the thoughtful response, I appreciate it :]

I agree with almost of what you wrote, but my only doubt is whether promotion really helps for sales here (when looking at it from a cost-benefit point of view).
Do you have some experience with self/paid promotion? if so, I would love to hear how did it go.

My personal hunch is that if you write really good tracks, eventually they will catch up and sale well, with or without permotion. The reason that I feel this way is because of structure of AudioJungle. Once a track start selling well, it can get into the ‘popular files’ page, and there people are exposed to your work. Yes, it takes luck to get there, but I think that authors that consistently make good tracks will almost always get there.


#9

I see you have a YouTube channel, YouTube is good, SoundCloud, and other social media sites. I know a good chunk of my sales come from outside referrals as well as from search, and we all know the only way to rank on search is to use common keywords like “inspiration” and “motivation.” :wink: If nothing else, referrals can be a good source of extra income on AudioJungle via the affiliate program. I haven’t made tons of money from referrals, but it’s still something like 15% of my income from AudioJungle, and an extra 15% on top of your regular sales isn’t too bad.

I used to be fairly pessimistic on promotion, but having done it for awhile and seen the results over time, I’ve changed my mind. I think YouTube works well because people looking for music use it like a search engine, and sometimes YouTube videos even rank on regular Google searches, so if you can get a video to rank high for certain keywords and get views, someone will end up licensing your track or contacting you about your music. YouTube is also good because you can use Google AdWords to advertise your videos - I haven’t used it for stock music, but if I had some more marketable tracks I might give it a shot because you can target your ads fairly specifically and get the cost down to 0.02-0.03 cents per click, and at the same time you are also creating awareness of your music and brand, and sometimes breaking even is worth that. You can also do cross-marketing and promotion with other channels and content producers on YouTube. Lot’s of possibilities there. If you type in some of the top author’s names into YouTube, you will find that a lot of them (not all of them but many) not only have channels, but large channels with many subscribers and views. The ones who don’t, I’d wager still promote themselves, just on other sites.

It probably doesn’t hurt to make a website and get it ranked on Google. Of course all of these things aren’t that fun and take some time - sometimes a lot of time - but they can only ever help to grow your sales. Surely you can get some traction here by making and uploading a lot of music, but the business and promotion side of things can really help augment your income, so I think it’s worth doing, even if it’s only at a ratio of 20-1. It’s all about getting that snowball rolling, however you can.


#10

Good points @adammonroe!
I guess I should at least upload tracks to my YouTube page and start gaining momentum that way.


#11

I’d recommend thinking quite hard if it’s reasonable to go exclusive with one library instead of spreading your tunes across a few non exclusive libraries. The percentage difference between best exclusives and normal users is about double income, but you really need to get lots of sales to get that far.

I currently get about same amount of sales from three different libraries, so for me to be exclusive with only one of them would mean even in best case scenario less income than with spreading out tactic.


#12

If you get yourself into the AJ Top 20 you can expect something like $2,000 - $3,000 a month before taxes.

What are you studying? :wink:


#13

I don’t sell here, I’m a buyer of web elements and graphics for my business. But, I’ve also been a musician in production music for a long time. Full-time with AJ would be a tremendous waste of time. Based on what I see as average sales on profiles, the money you can make with AJ is at the poverty level for probably 90% of the composers here. Micro-stock is only good for extra money to supplement a real music career with several revenue streams. Focusing on just composing library music, even at the higher levels, is difficult in the current environment. I’ve watched the opportunities for income plummet for several years now as rates have dropped dramatically and competition has grown exponentially due to advancements in affordable music technology. Everyone with a DAW, a MIDI controller and a guitar is a composer now.

if we’re only talking about production music library work, don’t waste your time with royalty free libraries and performance royalty free micro-stock marketplaces for very long. Just get a decent portfolio that serves the client bases on multiple sites and move on, updating maybe every now and then. You will need your time to focus on real composition and not the sort of stuff sold here. If you can get your foot in with higher level libraries that pay you commissions to compose for them and don’t cause you to lose the songwriter’s share of performance royalties by doing lots of direct licensing deals, you’ll be much better off. It’s not easy to get in, but not impossible. It generally takes networking with actual people via outlets besides the internet. Only look at these small libraries as extra income. Potential here is very limited and you don’t need much creativity to do music for corporate videos, which is what a lot of royalty free buyers are creating. Styles don’t vary very much and if you get used to just composing this kind of thing, you run the risk of becoming mechanical and setting up DAW presets for your arrangements using the same instrumentation so you can work faster to churn out volumes of lame tunes. I hear lots of people doing that here. That might bring some quick bucks through volume, but it’s going to get them nowhere over time.

If you’re good at self-promotion and networking, custom music composition through companies that specialize in composing for commercial advertising and film trailers can pay well and leave you with time to compose for libraries. There are also several sites were you can bid of custom music gigs. Envato just opened up Envato Studio for custom music composition bidding, so it’s here as well. Also keep in mind that creating tools for people who compose music is probably more profitable now that being a composer. If you’re good at designing sounds, especially Kontakt library sounds, that’s an option. You can find work in post-production audio if you can learn or already have those skills. Compose and do audio assets for the gaming industry (very competitive). Learn about music supervision - which involves finding and licensing music from libraries, composers, record labels, etc. for companies that need those services (TV, film, corporate events, casinos). Those are just some ideas. The important thing to a solid career in music is having multiple ways to make money. Some people get lucky with one thing that pays well, but most never will.


#14

Wow, getting into the Top 20 would be amazing! I definitely would have to put a lot of effort before that scenario is even a possibility.
@Stockwaves Do you create music as a full-time job? If so, is it solely for AJ? Thanks :]

Regarding your question, I’m currently studying for a M.S. degree in neuroscience.


#15

Thanks for the feedback @AAMediaMusic!
Yep, doing other gigs and getting more ‘high-end’ work sounds like a good thing to work towards. At this point, I don’t know too much about the way the different branches of the industry are being run, so I’ll definitely look into it more. If you have some knowledge to share it would be much appreciated :]

Thanks mate!


#16

I would guess the world needs more neuroscientists than musicians at the moment, but if music is your call, who’s to stop you :sunglasses:

I’m currently engage in a number of projects but AJ and the micro stock market has always been very appealing me, and as long as it’s gaining ground, I’m increasing my commitment. Living in Sweden, with high taxes and high costs of living, I would have to double or triple my current AJ earnings (on a regular monthly basis) before I can afford to drop my other ventures altogether. AJ is great fun but as in all business, there are no free lunches and every now and then the game changes completely. The only thing that stays constant is an insane level of competition, both in terms of quality and quantity.

Before anyone goes full time music, I think they need to take a deep breath, and go through this check list:

  • Is music important to you?
  • Have you tried every other possible career?
  • Are you more successful selling your music than anyone (including you) thought was even possible?
  • Do you work really really fast?
  • Do you have the stamina (and patience) to do this all day, every day, for the rest of your life? (What will you do when you are 50 years old?)
  • When the studio feels small and dark, no one’s calling or emailing, you’re down and out of inspiration, does playing an instrument or writing a tune ALWAYS pick you up?
  • Are you prepared to drop all your favourite old-school music genres behind you and learn everything you need to know about what the kids are digging? (Every year?)
  • Do you realise only about 20% of your time will go into producing, the rest will be sales, marketing and administration?
  • Are you nuts?

If you answered “yes” on all points, you’re good to go. Give it a few years and find out!

GOOD LUCK :sunglasses:


#17

Couldn’t have said it better. Some great points there! :wink:


#18

AJ has 328,601 items for sale right now. That number was 212,776 this time last year.

I didn’t do the maths but in not-too-distant future there will be 1000 items approved daily and probably 100 of them will be super catchy top quality productions. If you think you can compete with this and make a living go ahead :smile:


#19

One reason I’ve never considered taking “the leap” to high end custom music career is the fact that I’m one of those guys who just enjoy creating and composing whatever I enjoy and feel like with complete freedom, and if somebody happens to pay for the tune then fine. If you go to custom music career, you lose the freedom. The customers will most of the time be nitpicking with endless details like “can you change that sound a bit, can you make it a bit more energetic, can you…” and you will end up composing the same tune over N times. If you are a person who enjoys tweaking and being a part of that kind of iterative process, then that career is perfect for you, but for me it would be a nightmare. Also the deadlines are something that I can’t stand. When you combine those two facts that you need to tweak already finished tune and get it done by tomorrow, I just can’t find any enjoyment in the process of making music anymore, only thing that is left is money.

So while I understand people who say that this kind of royalty free stock music is not a way to go, for me it’s the only way to go :slight_smile: And the income can be decent.


#20

I hear you bro :sunglasses:

80% of the times you revisit a track to change 20% of it cause the client has “ideas”, it turns out 100% worse.

And who needs deadlines! My calendar is pretty cluttered up as it is anyway with all these numbers, names of months, holidays and whatnot.