Personal music licenses?

I’ve been on Envato for a good while now, and I feel like I purchase a fair amount of assets from the suite of Envato markets. I haven’t really ever sold anything here, largely due to the very low payout relative to my primary occupation/role in companies. I don’t do (professional) video or music production, but several of my web dev/design works have been seen by 100m+ visitors. I preface with this information so you perhaps know my position and where I come from. While I don’t produce for Envato, I do consider myself part of the community and ecosystem (an end-user) overall.

I love music. I spend a shit-ton of money and time on my library, various music services, etc. I like to hear new things. I get bored if I hear the same thing more than once a day, week, etc. I’ve bought a couple things off of AudioJungle, but as I don’t do professional video, etc - I rarely have actual use for the music; rather, almost everything I’ve purchased on AudioJungle I purchase just because I love the tracks and want to hear them without the watermark.

But $20+ a pop isn’t sustainable for me as a consumer - from what I gather from several posts in these forums, it’s arguably not even sustainable for more than a few artists here, either. As much as I would really, really, really love to purchase and download dozens (100’s) of tracks on AudioJungle, I just don’t know that they’re worth the minimum license cost.

Now, obviously the main purpose of Envato is to be a resource for other makers; I get that. And, as I said, I have no history in music production, so I don’t even know if artists would be interested in distributing tracks via personal licenses. But, from my viewpoint, I don’t see why not. There are numerous tracks I would purchase at $1-$5, but that aren’t worth it for my personal use at $20. I doubt I’m the only one like that. As an artist, if you can get 1 person for $20 or 4 people for $20, what does it matter? Arguably as an artist, getting the 4 people is 4x the exposure, too - 4 people to talk about and hype up your track.

I know that, at a high-tier professional level, almost everyone I work with respects software and asset licenses; so in my mind, the whole license argument of ‘oh, everyone will just buy a personal license and use it commercially’ doesn’t seem to be valid. There are always going to be people who abuse that - but they’ll abuse it regardless of the pricepoint. I wouldn’t personally abuse it, and I think that generally most people wouldn’t knowingly do so.

Again, the whole reason for my first paragraph was to say that I don’t know the music industry intimately, so perhaps what I’m asking for really just isn’t viable. But I personally don’t see any reason not to allow artists to offer personal licenses (or is it in place already and noone uses it?) and to encourage artists to utilize such a tool. I also don’t think it would really be beneficial in the other marketplaces, as really the only viable uses for other assets IS for some commercial use, but music is one of those unique things in the world that just speaks to people differently than everything else.

TLDR; I have no production use for musical tracks, but artists and Envato could make a shit-ton of money off of me if they just offered personal music licenses.

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Artists can sell their music via iTunes, so you can purchase some of these tracks on iTunes

Right, and some use Soundcloud, and some use YouTube, and some use X. That’s all well and good, but I have to find that artist on a third-party medium (hopefully they add links on their envato profile), and then purchase the track on the other medium. And thats assuming they even offer the same track (e.g. what about exclusives?).

By offering personal licenses on Envato, artists (and Envato) can profit directly. Artists further benefit by 1) not having to use another medium and drive users elsewhere, and 2) not having to worry about exclusivity restrictions. Envato obviously benefits by taking a cut, same as iTunes or other mediums, and artists could see their earnings in one dashboard.

There used to be a section for this called Trax but it was shut down about 2 years ago. You can read more about it here

Hmm, interesting, thank you. That does sound in line with what I was thinking, but as for shutting it down - it seems to me like there are some ways to avoid confusion or the wrong licenses being purchased.

For one thing, browsing/searching could be defaulted to production-level licenses, with the user specifically having to choose to search to include personal licenses. This way, you don’t browse and find the perfect track, only to find it’s not available. Further, since all artists currently on AudioJungle post with the intention to offer production-level licenses of some kind, you could just ensure that artists allowing a personal license also allow a production level license. This ensures that you don’t find ‘misfit’ search results, and encourages artists to continue posting high-quality work.

Also, as I recall, Envato as a whole has gotten a LOT better with dictating what licenses are available and what each license means than they were when TRAX was sent down. I think there may always be some risk of users purchasing the wrong license - but that’s the same as existing licenses and risks. There would be some risk there for authors, but I would think as long as the personal license isn’t a ‘default’ option, risk could be minimized (for example, default to the $20 production level license, and the license drop-down menu could include personal licenses in the list of available licenses). Licenses are much more clearly dictated across all marketplaces now than they were a couple years ago.

In any case, I’d love to hear from someone involved in the TRAX project as to what their insight into renewing (and modifying it closer to my description) the program. 2 years is a fair amount of time. Perhaps the time and implementation wasn’t correct - maybe now is the right time.

Personally if I wanted to have the track available for standard end-user listeners
a) also release the track on a label (affects Exclusive Author agreement I imagine)
b) self release with these guys or similar service (again I guess this affects it too)

Ive had some OK sales on Amadea before now so it does work - Im terrible at promotion though so this will probably really work for someone good at all that stuff