How much does it usually cost to buy out a song completely?

If I knew beforehand that a track would generate $.$$$ over time, I would agree. $1.000 over a year is worth more than $300 today. But I never know that, do you? And wait a song’s lifetime, no thanks. We have bills to pay and I’d give a day’s worth of track to you to sell on AJ or whatever for $300 any day, every day. Of the 100ish items I have here on AJ, very few sell more than once. “over time” is an elusive concept in a market where supply grows faster than demand. “Race to the bottom” is just the beginning, as far as I can see.

O

Well, as usual I would think the best solution would lie somewhere in between… Like an upfront fee + a smaller percentage of potential royalties.

You don’t have to go far down the list of top authors (first page!) to see that many would have earned more getting $300 per track instead of relying on sales.

The truth is that $300 today, IS often times worth more for an individual than $600 in a couple of years time.

prestashopthemes said

Well, as usual I would think the best solution would lie somewhere in between… Like an upfront fee + a smaller percentage of potential royalties.

Sounds nice but I’ve found that buyers looking for exclusives rarely want to hassle with royalties accounting in perpetuity.

You don't have to go far down the list of top authors (first page!) to see that many would have earned more getting $300 per track instead of relying on sales.

Exactly my point. And for more statistical evidence, scroll to the “median AJ authors”:







Many of these tracks are good, but never sold more than once or twice, even in 5 years time.

The truth is that $300 today, IS often times worth more for an individual than $600 in a couple of years time.

I’m an individual :wink:

I guess we all want to believe that a good track will find its own way “out there” and autonomously generate remuneration for all time spent composing, but I’ve doubted that’s ever been the general case. Sure there are many examples of extraordinary jackpot hits, but with millions of people buying the lottery tickets, it would be more surprising if that never happened. The math and economics of music is just not on the side of musicians right now, if ever. So when a friendly customer comes along with upfront cash, I’m always listening.

O

So, as you see, there are plenty of opinions and price offers.
It’s all up to you - the buyer - to choose the track you desire.

From that point, it’s a matter of private negotiation … :slight_smile:

Let's suppose you write 2 a week for $300 each for 50 weeks. You seem to be content with 30K guaranteed while losing ownership of your music to the buyer. Now , take that same catalog of 100 cues, don't you think that over a 5 to 10 year period you can earn 30K a year or even more with those same 100 cues because you kept ownership of them and continued to license them or collect royalties on them for the long term?

It’s more like 2 a day, 52 weeks and I mix it up with record labels, PRO and RF channels. I totally see what you mean, it’s just that PRO money can be too little, too late some years. What I’m saying is I prefer a lot of eggs in a lot of baskets, and the rare occasions people offer upfront cash are valuable to my liquidity and my spreading of risk. See it this way - I rather work with music from the comfort of my studio to get my $300 upfront than doing something completely different. Like mowing lawns or fixing broken computers :wink:

Don't you realize that your catalog of music is the only asset you have?

I think the ability to offer customisations and establishing long-term business relationships are assets as well. As for my catalog, I write new music every day and have stockpiles of unpublished stuff. I guess I see more value in the tracks I’m not working on yet than in those left behind.

My point is that no one should ever approach this business from the point of "what will 1 track pay me now?" Approach this from the standpoint of "what does the totality of my catalog generate in revenue across an entire year (and years to come)? I have run into some very weird, fortunate situations in the past 2 years where tracks I would not even submit here paid license fees of 2K and 3K for TV spots....and that was my cut...The publisher was clearly making money too as they found the client.

Agreed to a point, but with reservations stated above. Glad you ran into some luck with your tracks.

O

Wow, thanks for all the thoughtful comments! I will be reading through this entire thread now, didn’t know it would cause so many people to respond. Perhaps Envato should start a new license in which they can also take commissions out of: A Buy-Out license. I’d probably buy one as there are lots of amazing music on here and I deal with a lot of heavy game projects.