I am non-exclusive and for me it has been the best choice business wise. The final difference between the royalties is only double, which means that even after you have already sold a lot of music through AJ, each licence is only 2 times more valuable than the non-exclusive licence. For me it would mean that my current total sales for two years would be close to 5000 in value instead of my current 2500. While you’d think that 2500 extra sales would be a no brainer, I have not found it to be so. The reasons are as follow:
on AJ you don’t set the price yourself and AJ prices are really really low. On a marketplace where you can set the licence price yourself, I’ve found that for example a base price between 30-35 dollars gives you still really good sales. Hence if you manage to get reasonable volume on a market where you get 15-17 dollars for each licence sold, you are already beating the exclusive AJ as a non-exclusive seller. You can imagine the smile on my face when I see 5 licences sold for 30-35 dollars instead of 5 licences sold on AJ from which I only get 25 dollars in total.
as a non-exclusive you multiply the chance for a sale for each of your items, not only the items you don’t get on AJ. My portfolio is currently almost 600 tunes on AJ and my total portfolio is close to 1000 items. I can get possible sales for each 1000 of them which means A LOT, in comparison to only 300 items that I’d have outside AJ if I were exclusive.
For me the outcome is such that if I were exclusive on AJ my total income from music would be a small percentage of my current total yearly sales.
Of course this all depends. Is your portfolio big enough and quality high enough to get good sales from many marketplaces. Impossible to tell before you try and see.
Only thing I’ve wondered every once in a while is that does the non-exclusive status affect some hidden logic in the engine itself - I’ve never had any of my tunes as a featured and trending item has also been really really rare occasion. It feels a bit weird as my total sales are quite good in AJ standards and many exclusive portfolios with smaller volumes have had both. If being non-exclusive makes it harder to get those high sought after bonuses, it might affect the decision, but still - even if being exclusive would give you featured item and 1000 extra sales, it still wouldn’t make it better than getting extra income from many places.