I know this is kind of an old topic but I wanted to say thank you to everyone who contributed to it and especially give a shout out to the friends that posted long and detailed responses and those who wrote me personally. It was truly a great (christmas) gift to receive so much advice and may we all have a great 2015!
So when I first joined AudioJungle, nearly 3 years ago, I got very excited. I think this happens to most of us as we discover it’s a simple and relatively fast way to get our music out there and get it making money. I began writing a lot of music and uploading everything I wrote as I really wanted to improve and see what people thought of my music. I was so excited I would compose about one track a day. I would also listen to music and then get ideas, it was brilliant and very exciting. I was also really happy when I started pulling in figures that helped pay the rent, not just measly money that paid for a bit of extra gear here and there.
So after about 2 and a half years here and about 200+ tracks written I started to get really bad dry spells on ideas. I found I either re-composed music I had already written or was writing really bad and cheezy music. It was awful, as if I had run the idea factory dry. So pretty much since July my output has halved (possibly even less) and I have certainly felt it in sales. Actually, up until September I was ok due to the large size of my portfolio and my “bestsellers” keeping me alive but ever since I’ve really felt the pinch and have seen both my rank and my sales take quite a dive. I mean I do understand that we’ve had some strange months and also that competition has gotten mad tough around here (we even have an Emmy Winner and a Grammy Winner as AudioJungle authors so really, the big boys have come here to play ball!) No matter what, seeing sales and rank fall so much is a worrying thing.
Initially I thought buying new gear would help me, and so I saved up and really splurged during the black friday sales. Initially this helped as I did begin getting new ideas as I was playing with these new “toys” but soon after (about 2 weeks) I ran dry on ideas again.
This really bothers me as before I had a set time I would sit down and compose and an idea would come out no matter what. Now I can spend the whole evening in front of my keyboard and often nothing comes out.
My idea dry spell has lasted nearly half a year now and I’ve even tried staying away from music for weeks to try to “re-ignite” my ideas. Nothing has really worked so I want to ask you, my fellow authors how you get the inspiration back?
Have any of you felt/feel the way I do about all this? What are you doing to try to solve it?
Personally, I think it’s quite tough to do well with Electronic music in general here due to the (false) impression that doing electronic music is easy. There is a perception that since there are theoretically unlimited sounds one can make from just a couple of softsynths (many coming built into the DAW’s we buy for free) one can just take off from there and make countless electronic tracks. I too thought this prior to joining AudioJungle but after speaking to people who create electronic music and watching some documentaries about it I realise that’s far from the truth. Actually many times electronic artists buy MORE gear than those of us doing other types of music as having “fresher” and “newer/more unusual” sounds is so critical for them to stay popular in this highly competitive genre. Also they spend AGES on creating new sounds and tweaking those sounds during performance. Many times I see them spend hours on creating just ONE sound.
So yeah, I think since it’s quite cheap to buy a couple of softsynths (compare to let’s say buying good orchestral samples) and the structure of electronic songs seems simple (again, not always the truth) I think a lot of people think that it’s easy to write electronic music and hence a lot of it gets submitted here on AudioJungle. Because of that, I think reviewers are a lot pickier when it comes to electronic music (due to the high volume of it coming in) and even among what is approved there is a lot of competition.
Furthermore, a lot of the authors here on AudioJungle come from Northern and Eastern Europe where Electronic music is a big thing so a lot of competition coming from there to produce good electronic tracks.
Start a new account.
Take advantage since you had the good luck to check forums before starting to upload. Check out the forum thread’s that give guides to new authors and take it to heart. Really spend time planning and designing the visual theme and feel of your author site. All the top authors here have really good site designs. Also do plan out your uploads, I’m assuming you have back-catalogue of a few songs, so as to remain on the front page as long as possible. Try to limit yourself to uploading one track a day (and probably only one or none on the weekend) to keep the stream of new songs constant. Of course eventually you will run out of catalogue (it’s very hard to write more than one song a day, let alone one) so start estimating a new tempo for uploads after that.
Hope that helped!
Matt, you’re an absolute hero mate! Thanks so much for the info and for doing all the research! Three cheers for Matt!
But what happened to your portfolio than?
I deleted all my songs because of the tax thing, I replaced my avatar with the color of the page! I’m still here pickled in spirits though.
You can still upload to other “smaller” websites. You probably won’t make as much money but I know they don’t do the tax thingy and you do make a couple sales every now and then. The exposure can’t hurt either as you may get a commission from it if someone really likes your music.
Yeah! Mat is a really nice guy with a great sense of humor! Great having him as a reviewer!
Right, honestly those who are moaning need to stop. Simply put, YES. AJ does know what is and what is not commercial. The whole Envato business model is successful because of this, in a time where other stock sites are closing their doors because they just cant compete.
I see the same authors who complain about their tracks being rejected backing each other up, and again submitting more items which again get rejected. You’re not doing you, your fellow authors, or the users any favours by saying ‘yeah your right, I had my tracks rejected too, AJ don’t know what their doing’.
By doing that, you are encouraging other authors and yourselves who have been rejected that your material is in fact suitable for use of AJ or other stock sites. You’re wrong.
If your material is of commercial use then AJ will accept it and it will go live. I have never had a single track rejected, apart from one where I messed up on the actual description – it had nothing to do with the audio. Why? Because I watch and listen to trailers, films etc and see how things are trending, so I can keep up with the current industry and make sure I am creating commercial material.
If you want to write music because it makes you happy, then thats fine, put it up on YouTube or iTunes, whatever, but if your submitting work to AJ then it better be written for commercial use, not just ‘I like it, so maybe others will too’.
And those who have commented who have said don’t AJ realise that not all composers can afford a proper studio, equipment or samples etc…..
My question to you is what are you doing here?!
If you cannot create music which is up to scratch then that is not AJs fault, sure its an expensive list of equipment and samples, but thats what you need. I am not a wealthy man, I have good samples because I have saved up, worked, used my student loans on samples and equipment and ate beans for a month etc. There are always ways to get the materials you need to write music which meets industry standards.
However if you think for a second that AJ should let up on authors and accept their tracks because they can’t use samples that sound realistic because their too expensive then you are really in the wrong place.
I sell music on other sites as I am non-exclusive, and I have too say AJ is the strictest, but it also has the best quality of music, and they didn’t get that by accepting authors items because their friend said it was cool, or by pitying those who cannot afford the correct equipment to complete the job.
I tell you what, I’ll go open a surgery and use a butter knife and spoon to do open heart surgery on people. I think I’m pretty clued up on how to operate, I’ve not been medical school, but I’m a fast learner, and I cant afford all the fancy sterile equipment that everyone else uses who operates successfully, so the butter knife and spoon will have to do.No? I didn’t think so. Time to sort yourselves out.
+1 Great article, mate. 100% agree with everything. AudioJungle should make every prospective author read this or at least embed it into their “be an author” link!
Interesting answers indeed. I’ve been part of this debate for a couple years now as many authors have asked this and am happy to throw my hat in again (good to see you have too Joel!)
I ran an “experimental” account about a year ago where I wrote 30 tracks first uploaded them to AudioJungle to see how much they would make and then once the account got “tired” (stopped consistently making money due to no more new uploads) I then decided to pass them onto other sites letting the AJ account go non-exclusive for a while).
Result: I still made more money on AudioJungle.
Now to make it a realistic scientific report I do have to clear up some irregularities that the experiment had.
1. I mostly wrote corporate songs in that account, I was also experimenting what the effects of having an account with just 1 genre in it to see if it had stronger brand identification with customers.
2. I admittedly didn’t keep it non-ex for more than a couple months as I “missed” the AJ earnings and put it back on exclusive after a few months.
Now I realise if perhaps I had fielded my Mega TortoiseTree portfolio (with 200+ tracks) then perhaps results may have been better as it is a more varied and larger account and we all know that to do well in some of these other sites, volume is a must.
I have heard other authors say that AudioJungle is their best earner and it is for me too. I know there is one other site that is sometimes other people’s best earner but as far as I know with the exception of this other site (which allows you to fix your price hence perhaps altering total earnings) I know most of the others are duds.
Now there is the exception of “Boutique Libraries” I know those pay handsomely and also some sites do have an “exam” period or no longer let people in. But yeah, generally I’d say stay exclusive here, especially if you’re not going to field a mega-portfolio (in terms of number of items).