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TortoiseTree says

Hey guys, It’s been a year now since I really started trying to really make money as a musician and a lot of thoughts have been buzzing through my head. I really went out on a huge campaign to make something of my career and at the end I found that AudioJungle was the biggest success of it all. Yeah, me and my team aren’t the best selling composers here, far from it actually but of all my ventures it’s still here that shows most promise for me.

Earlier in the year I had actually set up a jingle company and a wedding band. I invested a lot of time and money in both and at the end things didn’t pan out with either but oddly enough here on AJ I was seeing progress despite the fact that the only real investment here was time and effort (of course still very important) but at least relatively smaller financial investments compared to the other two.

Very few clients ever look at the forum so I don’t mind admitting that currently AJ represents the brightest beacon in my music career. I know most of us like to put a lot of accolades on our accounts and profiles saying we’ve done this and that (I, for one will admit that I like to do this) but I am interested to know if most of you are able to successfully maintain a great music career aside from AudioJungle or whether this is the main thing for you.

If you have any other thoughts or feelings about this, or just wanna share stories about your music careers they are most welcome! I think it’s really cathartic to share our experiences, pains and victories in the tough world that is the music industry!

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gballx says

Hi TortoiseTree – nice to read a bright and optimistic thread! I am now committed to a living from music due to ill health and I suppose I have come back to what I originally set out to do after university. I do this and lots of freelance work for a multimedia company and they are slowly pushing me on to some very valuable contacts in the film and tv arena. I have previously done loads of tv here in the UK and have worked with boy bands and worked on a west end musical. It still is a buzz for someone to purchase a track and I have never made as much music as before joing Audio Jungle!

Loving it

Best of luck for 2013 to everyone.

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garethcoker Envato team says

Not the best part of my career, but certainly one of the most helpful. I currently have a huge dental bill which without AJ would make things a little trickier (especially as its tax time as well!).

AJ has allowed me to have a residual income that allows me more time to focus on my long-form custom/original music commissions, such as video-games and films. When you start out, generally a lot of the longer ‘artier’ projects don’t pay much money so you have to find a balance between earning a living and working on projects that will generate buzz for you as a composer. You do that long enough, and eventually those low/no budget projects early on in your career that you took on, perhaps the assistant director of that short film goes on to direct a commercial, perhaps the producer of that short film ends up producing a TV show, the director of that indie game ends up getting a publishing deal, etc. etc.. You just never know where working cheaply can lead to in the future, as long as you’re not getting exploited.

This is not to say that I couldn’t have done all these projects without AJ or other music library income (I work for one of the boutique library companies and write music that is NOT royalty-free), but the residuals that come in every month from Audiojungle, and every 3 months from BMI, have certainly made things a lot easier and as a result I can take on the really low-paying projects without worrying too much. The only thing that doesn’t allow me to take them on is my schedule (I have a couple of high-paying long-form projects going on too, which of course, came from cheaper projects…) Doing any film/TV/game work – high budget or low budget – generally allows me to interact with real people face-to-face, which library/royalty-free music generally does not. Once you do that, you can generally ‘reach’ more people directly and increase your chances of success / getting more work in the future. I’m probably old-school in this regard, because I know for sure there are plenty of fairly successful film/TV composers who have never met their directors in person, but thinking LONG-term, I personally believe it’s better to establish the human connection rather than just be in front of a screen all day. The entertainment industry is generally run by groups of friends and it is much easier to get hired by your friends. You only have to look at how many successful composer/director relationships there are. Most of these relationships are more than just business, they are personal friendships. I think this is something that a lot of younger composers underestimate…. BUT …. not every composer wants to do this, and there are ways of making lots of money in music without meeting anyone at all – just look at the Top Authors here!

I’m just detailing my approach, because personally, I do not get great personal satisfaction from selling music on Audiojungle (I do not have the same thrill or buzz that gballx has). The thrill I get is when I watch people play a game, or sit at a screening of a film with my music and see if people are actually engaged or not. I prefer to see the end result, the final production, and how it affects people, and I like to see it in person. That’s not something I can get by Youtube comments, Facebook Likes, or AJ sales, because it seems very ‘impersonal’ to me. But again, that’s just ‘me’.

In summary, residual income has allowed me to work the way I want to work. AJ is not the ‘best’ part of my career, but it is certainly the most helpful. It’s basically a virtual assistant that generates money for me and finds ways to put music in places that I previously wouldn’t have access to. I don’t pay much attention to it (I pay more attention to the forums than my profile) but I do appreciate it.

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TortoiseTree says

@gballx, I hope your health gets better soon man. No matter what, its great to hear you’re still pushing through with your music career and you have a pat on the back from me for doing so. Thanks for sharing too, it’s great to hear you have stuff going on outside of AJ.

@garethcocker. Thanks for the info Gareth. I visited your website too and may I say I was really impressed with your stuff! It’s great that we have a successful film/game composer here to give us advice on the forums and anything from you is greatly appreciated. May I ask, I read somewhere (I dunno if it was in a post of yours or somewhere on your profile) you graduated from USC and a few buddies of mine have told me that the reason USC is so good for film scoring (aside from the excellent program and the state of the art equipment) is because of the great film department and the amazing contacts you can make there. Out of interest, would yu say most of your contacts sprung from your USC years or did you make them outside of USC?

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urbazon says

Although now I’m mostly focused on sfx, I do also have a few music tracks here on AJ, so I’ll give my input anyway :)

Back in 2008 I released my first release ever, on a “real” label :) It was a short EP of experimental/IDM music. To this day, it only sold 2 or 3 times, and I got $7 in total for it :D Oh, and I also had to BUY my own copy of the cd :D Apart from that, I released a few techno tracks, both as solo as well as in collaboration with another artist – a few techno singles in total. And I did some remixes. Summary? I never got a cent out of those…

Then I discovered AudioJungle and thought – why not? And so, a few years later, here I am, with my cute grey/silver paw. Yes, AJ was and still is the best part of my (music) career :)

But, I’m not really a musician by call, I’m supposed to (finally) graduate from the uni in a few months (if I stop being lazy :D ), studying computer sciences, so who knows where I’ll land in professional aspect of my life. Yet, I’m confident that AJ will continue to be my primary place online.

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gballx says

Thanks TortoiseTree! :)

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bosone says
I am not a professional musician and I make music mostly as hobby and in my (little) spare time. Neverthless in the last 12 years I set up a nice studio, collected a lot of ethnic musical instruments, guitars, bought top software and hardware, recorded more than 100 songs, looking for highest audio quality and taking music lessons mainly for my pleasure.

I discovered AJ in the last year and I uploaded my portfolio. I never imagined to sell something here but things are going beyond my imagination… Now I have more than 60 sales and I am motivated to make some more music, even better than in the past.

I neve imagined to make money with my music… But I also must admit that AJ is not the best part of my music activity. Some years ago I made a lullaby CD for the newborn baby of a friend of mine. Later, I placed the CD on CDBaby and iTunes and I had quite a lot of sales… still the earnings from that CD are higher than the ones on AJ. I’m still overwhelmed by the success of that CD! :)

http://cd05.images.airplay.jango.com/airplay_pictures/pictures/000/227/255/9dd58cb4986e765b5852571e3ff5ebcf_lg.jpg
BTW:how I insert an image here???

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TortoiseTree says

@ Urbazon. Good luck with the completion of your university degree. You are quite the entrepreneur here on the envato marketplace as I see you have expanded outside of AudioJungle. Efforts outside AJ can be quite tiresome and often great efforts result with few fruits. But the messages from Gareth and gballx should stand as a positive reminder for all of us that with your head in the game and being resourceful one can advance in their music career.

@Bosone. Wow I’d love to hear that lullaby, can you post a link to it? Good on you for making money in the “normal” music industry. I agree, before AJ I was so lost as to how to make a buck with my music but ever since I got here I’ve been writing more than ever. If you want to post a picture you’ll need to host it elsewhere then copy the html code from the host website in and an image should come out!

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bosone says

@Bosone. Wow I’d love to hear that lullaby, can you post a link to it? Good on you for making money in the “normal” music industry. I agree, before AJ I was so lost as to how to make a buck with my music but ever since I got here I’ve been writing more than ever. If you want to post a picture you’ll need to host it elsewhere then copy the html code from the host website in and an image should come out!
hi! thanks for your interest! you can listen to the youtube previews:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7At60z-eu7M
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSafNflsIwI

over 30.000 views for the second video are not bad at all! :)

BTW, some of the songs are also available for licensing on Audio Jungle

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bosone says

@Bosone. Wow I’d love to hear that lullaby, can you post a link to it? Good on you for making money in the “normal” music industry. I agree, before AJ I was so lost as to how to make a buck with my music but ever since I got here I’ve been writing more than ever. If you want to post a picture you’ll need to host it elsewhere then copy the html code from the host website in and an image should come out!
hi! thanks for your interest! you can listen to the youtube previews:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7At60z-eu7M
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSafNflsIwI

over 30.000 views for the second video are not bad at all! :)

BTW, some of the songs are also available for licensing on Audio Jungle

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