Antonio, I think you’ve described all of 2014 to me! Outside of the music scene, I’ve had a lot of stuff go on this year – all good, but time, money and energy sucks. We went through a big home remodel that was supposed to be 10-14 days and missed that mark by 6 months, complete with a bulldozer in the front yard for most of that time. We started becoming a laughing stock in the neighborhood, and when they finally came to take it away, a crowd formed and there was applause.
Anyway, even though I have a much better studio space now my energy level at the end of the day, after work, family and walking the dog, has not been there for a while. I’m really proud of some of the stuff I’ve done this year from a composition and production standpoint, but I know it’s hardly commercial as much of it is introspective guitar work. I just haven’t had the heart for much ukulele and have not whistled into a mic for a long long time.
I agree as well that it can sometimes be discouraging when some of your colleagues are so accomplished and versatile. Maybe discouraged is not the right word, but I’m still learning as I go and continue to be humbled by the talent that is appearing here daily.
I think Matt touched on a few things that I’m experiencing as well. The first couple of years of stock were a complete blast for me, and I had slim idea of what I was doing but didn’t care so much – it was just so much fun to be making music and getting paid for it! But lately I think it isn’t music that I’m burned out on, but the fact that it’s always stock music. I really do enjoy it – don’t get me wrong. However, I think that I may need to force myself to take a step back into other kinds of composition and recording, e.g. maybe in 2015 I should finally try to create an album complete with lyrics and get it up on Spotify et. al. I haven’t done this since I started back in the studio because it feels like opportunity cost, but maybe it’s a necessary step to taking production to another level, and just keeping my head in the game.
Anyway, interesting thread! It’s sometimes good to hear that you’re not the only one experiencing a lull
5-10 tracks per song for nearly my entire portfolio. Sometimes just one or two. But my stuff is very simple – not full orchestras or anything. 40 tracks and my poor old computer would just burst sadly into flames.
I think that I will just be giving it away now (yeah baby), I do like money but not taxation without (Cause I don’t vote) representation! lol This has been the best forum so far for me and I may decide to be a non-author soon. I’m just starting a reverbnation account with the same user name as here, in case you may need music for your porn-oh-oh-oh-lower-yeah-that’s-the-spot home movies! lol PS send me a copy or link! lol
Hey StoneColed, if you’re still around… the last I heard was that Envato was delaying the US tax reporting until they learned more about the ramifications, so to my understanding they’re not going to start Jan 1. So maybe stick around a little bit more…? I mean, you’re making a lot of people really sad, including James Van Der Beek apparently.
(Also, you’re supposed to pay taxes regardless of Envato reporting)
(Also, you should vote! Otherwise it just gets worse and worse.)
So, the author’s choice is,
1) use AdRev in the hope of capturing lost revenue due to people stealing their work while fully understanding that their legitimate customers are being sent take-down notices as if they were also stealing the work
2) not use AdRev because the loss of important, honest customers like koster is too great a price to pay for catching others who steal our workFor me, #2 is a super easy choice to make! None of my royalty-free music is registered with AdRev for this very reason! For me, it is never an option to inconvenience or worse, allow my customers to be accused of theft in order to solve my problem with pirates!
Choice #2 was an easy choice for me as well until I ran into multiple instances where other people had registered my songs with AdRev. Believe me, the process of unwinding this situation is far worse for both me and my customers than my just telling AdRev (or Audiam in my case) to clear the video, which has in my experience taken at most 24 hours, and usually far less.
As far as the use of AdRev its all we got at the moment track illegal usage and give protection or at least a little compensation which dare I say is actually deserved. If you saw the numbers you would be shocked to see how many stolen instances of my music there is, it snowballs. I got people/companies using watermarked versions, playing it in the background while recording their video, recording it with a cell phone and playing it back, it’s crazy.
No kidding! I currently am getting reports for only 3 songs I put up originally (it takes a few months for them to come in). It’s eye opening – 40 page PDFs with tiny, tiny print listing all the hits. As far as I can tell, abuse is widespread.
I’ve mentioned this in another thread, but I am tiptoeing into this – currently about 7% of my portfolio is registered with Audiam (about 1% until last month). I’m glad that video producers are taking the time to post their experiences, because we need to know what it’s like on the other side. And I agree, the experience for the video producer is not optimal – YouTube doesn’t use friendly language, quite threatening actually, noting that the risk of losing a dispute could result in the loss of your channel.
So what is an author to do? I believe that most of us will be using a service like this soon, and those who aren’t will have to deal with increasing cases where they’re filling out DMCAs to prevent other people from registering their songs (I’ve had to do this thrice now – after the third time I decided to start with Audiam). On the one hand it’s becoming more and more necessary to protect one’s intellectual property, but on the other, you end up with upset clients with, I agree, a legitimate complaint – but only insofar as either the direct client or their clients don’t understand what is happening, why authors are using AdRev, or how to resolve it.
I believe as mentioned by others is that the answer is not to abstain from AdRev et. al., but to provide (and urge Envato and other marketplaces to provide) much better communication around the process. I also feel that YouTube needs to use more user friendly language around the dispute process, and also the ability to attach a license or something to preempt the situation entirely.
Based on my albeit limited experience recording and producing: it’s possible to make a good recording with a crappy mic, crappy preamp, crappy interface and even in a crappy room, as long as the musicians and the material are good. But IMO it’s not possible to make a good mix on crappy monitors and headphones. If I had to do it all over again, I would have spent a lot more resources on the output chain first before investing on the front end.
That said, I don’t think it hurts to use the end user experience (iPod phones or whatever) as a reference.
I don’t generally make Christmas tracks, because I am lazy and too disorganized. Generally it gets to the last part of December and I think to myself, “Huh – I probably should have uploaded some Christmas tracks. Oh well – I’ll totally do it next year.”
I have done a couple for other profiles without much success (I think one sale per song). One of my hangups is that people know what a famous Christmas song is supposed to sound like, so (for myself at least) I take way too long trying to get it right, and end up missing the mark anyway.
Also, it kind of doesn’t feel right to upload a song I didn’t write. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it if the song is in the public domain and you’re not copying someone else’s style – but just for me personally it’s not as satisfying.
My sales do drop during the holiday season (mid December through January, really) – whether uploading Christmas tunes would help or not I don’t know.
Sweet! Congratulations, Leon!
illuminations saidYes, I’d like to hear a straight answer from Staff (rather than support) about this too, as this was suggested to me recently by support. I also noticed Joel (jhunger) mentioned the same thing over on this thread too.
Hi I need a staff reply on this. It was told to me that it might no longer be possible to transfer files from an exclusive account to a non-exclusive anymore. Is this true? I just opened a non exclusive account which I wanted to put a few existing tracks from my exclusive account to but now I’m not sure if this is possible.ADG3studios said
illuminations saidYep, you can do that. Get a ticket ID and confirmation from support for the items’ you’d like to transfer. Then, when you upload them to the new account, state that you are transferring items from other account with the ticket ID noted. That prevents any confusion or additional delay in the review processing. The thing you cannot do, however, is repeat this process regularly for the same items, i.e. it wouldn’t be allowed to regularly transfer them back and forth every few weeks or months, for example. We can all use some common sense here.
As a side question to this topic can you remove items from your exclusive account, create a non exclusive account and reupload them? I’m considering pulling some low selling items to put them in other catalogs but I’d still like them to be on AJ but I’m not sure how I can do that.
Here’s the response I got when asking about moving my exclusive songs to the non-exclusive account in early October (my apologies to the support rep for making it public in the forums):
While the move of items from one account to another has been done, it is only made in exceptional cases (for example, the track has no sales yet), after it is analyzed by the review staff. The move of all tracks would definitively not be possible. In this case, if you have a specific track or 2 you would like reviewed, I’d be more than happy to forward you request to the Quality team to check for feasibility.
So it sounds like there are specific cases where they’d still do it on a track by track basis, but wouldn’t be able to accommodate moving tracks en masse like I requested, nor would they probably be likely to do it on a constant basis. It’s understandable, since it probably requires some sort of hacking the DB outside of the normal interfaces, which is probably time consuming and error prone (just a guess).
I do not like the fact that I am gonna have to deal with uncle Sam now
Semyon, you have to report your earnings as taxable income whether Envato reports them or not . Also, be aware that if you do go non-exclusive, many of the competing RF sites that produce sales are US based, will require a W9, and will send a 1099 sometime in January or February that you’ll need to include when you file your taxes. The difference is (at least with the ones I use) is that they correctly report the amount that they actually pay you.
jhunger saidJoel – I’ve been a bit out of the loop on that, what’s the creative 1099 reporting about?
(Also I won’t deny that Envato’s plans to implement creative 1099 reporting have made me a little shy about having more than one account here, though it sounds like reporting isn’t going to start Jan 1 after all, so I don’t have the end of November deadline I originally thought.)
In a nutshell, the plan is to report more than the commission amount on 1099s for US authors, based on the Buyer Fee/Author Fee/Commission split that was implemented recently. For non-exclusives, on a $100 sale, the Buyer Fee is 20%, the Author Fee is 44%, and the Commission is 36%. Envato is planning on reporting not just the commission, but the author fee as well, so that $80 of that sale will be reported to the Feds instead of the $36 they actually pay out. Authors will be expected to write off the Author Fee (which is $44 in this example), but there are several cases, including hobby income reporting and certain state and local taxes, where this is problematic, and some hobby income scenarios where an author could actually pay more in taxes than they earned on Envato
For my part, I just plan on writing off the amount and hope that the feds won’t ask a bunch of questions as to why I’m suddenly deducting 3x as much as previous years. But I’d rather not have a bunch of accounts for which I have to fill out W9s, etc, so I think now’s the time to pull the plug on the exclusive account (in fairness, I was thinking about doing this anyway, but this sealed the deal).
If you’d like some light reading