Failure and success

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bakerstreet
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Failure and success

Post by bakerstreet » Tue Jun 18, 2019 4:40 am

Hi everyone, this is a question for the successful members please. Success meaning full-time income from music placements.

It is early days for me and I'm submitting every week. No forwards yet, let alone placements. However I am under the impression that I'll need to submit 100 tracks before I start hitting the mark. I'm treating each return as an opportunity to learn from the valuable feedback.

My goal is to be full-time in 3 years from now. I have a business that provides me with an income but my life-long dream has been to write music. I was a professional Deejay for many years in London's Westend Clubs. I find I love orchestral film music and have invested over the last few years in Vienna Pro and NI.

I've also completed a music production diploma with distinction in 4 of the six topics covered in the course, so I'm feeling good with where I am. So what is my question?

Quite simply, should I expect to get any placements during the first 100 submissions or is it all going to be just learning. I'm happy either way and will keep plugging at it. I've found Taxi to be a tremendous opportunity and great learning experience. I'm just trying to keep my expectations in check. I set a goal to submit 50 tracks between rallies and right now I've averaging 1-3 submissions per week but I feel I still have to find my way so I'm looking for any comments or suggestions to help me see my way.

What was your experience? How did you get through it. I'm hoping to get from it rather than just get through it, but there is no denying that return after return when I think "I must have nailed it" is a little hard to take. I've only submitted 9 tracks because I keep quality controlling myself. 91 to go!

Anyway, thanks for taking time to read/respond to this in advance.
Paul Howes (aka Reg) - Don't ask, unless we are at the bar.

"The greatest art in the world is the art of story telling" - Cecil B DeMille

I hope you music tells a story.

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Re: Failure and success

Post by ttully » Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:46 am

Hi bakerstreet,

It is EXTREMELY difficult to tell if you will get any forwards from your first 100 submissions.... you may get 1 or 10 or 50 or 100 or 0.

Also, 3 years seems pretty ambitious to go full time to me.... But still possible.
I think it took about 238 submissions before I got my 1st deal with a library and a total of about 3 years before I got my 1st placements on TV.

And the income was tiny at the start.... I think I made about $300 the first year I started getting placements.

Fast forward 13 years and about 2500 tracks later...I am doing this full time.
BUT it was not easy and took a LOT of work and a TON of music to get here... I mean A TON of MUSIC..... and a TON OF REJECTION.


I believe your attitude will help you greatly.... just keep writing and submitting..... and don't give up!!!


My 2500 cents worth,
Tim

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Re: Failure and success

Post by cosmicdolphin » Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:58 am

Hey Paul aka Reg

Tim is right...and I defer to his 13 yrs experience as I have only been at this 3.5 yrs and still have a full time job. Here is what I can tell you I have learned so far.

After 3 yrs I had earned about £300 from my music ..that's about £200 MORE than the previous 25 yrs making my own albums and putting them on Spotify etc. Obviously I have spent far more than £300 to do it ! More like £3k

X number of Submissions or Forwards is pretty meaningless and you can't draw much conclusion from that alone. It's about the music not the numbers.

I had 26 Forwards in my first 100 submissions ( also a run of 30 straight returns between submission 70-100 ). Submission 30 earned the first Library Deal in 2016 - Only 2 Placements have landed to date from about 70 tracks they have signed though..my first placement on a reality show earned £5.80 from PRS ( I am in the UK also )

Diplomas etc don't count for anything in this game. Me & my best bud did this together as he is a working full time music performer. He has an honours degree in music performance and production from a few years back , could run rings around me for knowledge of scales etc. has over 100 cues in Libraries but no placements thus far. I am the opposite and taught myself , don't really know much about music theory or read music and with a similar amount of signed cues I am up to a dozen placements now.

I haven't been paid any royalties as yet for ANY of my placements. The first one was too low to trigger a payout, the others haven't filtered through the system yet as they are US productions. There is a lag of what seems to be 12-18 months from it airing to hitting our PRO here in the UK. I was expecting something on the last distribution but nothing came through. The bit of money I have earned is a few micro licenses and some small up front consideration fees. About 8% of the music I have in Libraries has been placed so far.

Tim is correct about the rejection , even the people who have made it get rejected. I just had a run of 6 tracks rejected by a Library..but then the following 4 accepted

Don't back off the day job, I did this as I have a lot of freedom where I work to do as I please and now after 3yrs I am missing out on commission for not hitting my sales targets which I was hoping could be filled by music earnings but isn't even 1/20th ..but I also love doing it so that makes me want to carry on and keep getting better,

Mark

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Re: Failure and success

Post by ttully » Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:09 pm

Hey Mark,


Yes I agree with you completely.!!!

I too knew NOTHING about music when I started..... I didn't know anything about chords or major or minor or anything!!!! I still barely do.
I just play what sounds good to me.... and some how it works.....usually.....

My additional 1 cent worth,
Tim

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Re: Failure and success

Post by cosmicdolphin » Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:46 pm

ttully wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:09 pm
I too knew NOTHING about music when I started..... I didn't know anything about chords or major or minor or anything!!!! I still barely do.
I just play what sounds good to me.... and some how it works.....usually.....
I know. It's not like we are scoring Hollywood Blockbusters though is it ? So you are about 10 yrs ahead of me. Hopefully I can get where you are one day. Just waiting on that first Royalty Payment is a killer

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Re: Failure and success

Post by ttully » Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:01 pm

Ha!

Funny....My good friend who started doing this about the same time as me IS scoring the biggest of the big Hollywood Blockbusters.
That really gives me something to shoot for!
well time to go load up.....

My .357 cents worth...or is it a .22,
Tim

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Re: Failure and success

Post by bakerstreet » Sat Jun 22, 2019 2:37 pm

Wow Tim & Mark, thank you so much for taking time to provide such detail of your early days. This is both heart warming and exactly what I needed to hear right now.

I believe I can work a good 30 hours per week whilst still running my business so I'll keep going, keep loving it, and keep learning. You both understood where I'm coming from and your comments are most welcome.

2500 tracks seems like a long way off but it is just a case of write every week, submit every week & develop every week. I also agree with the music qualifications mean squat statement. I did the course because I wanted to pickup skills, not for my CV. I've been self-employed since the age of 25 and I'm now 52 so I'm pretty much unemployable. I think that's a good thing.

Nice that we have such like minded people here to chat to though. Thanks again guys.
Paul Howes (aka Reg) - Don't ask, unless we are at the bar.

"The greatest art in the world is the art of story telling" - Cecil B DeMille

I hope you music tells a story.

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Re: Failure and success

Post by VanderBoegh » Sat Jun 22, 2019 3:04 pm

Getting to full-time status in three years is a pretty lofty - and dare I say it - unattainable goal. Not because the quality, or the quantity, or the workload isn't there.... but simply due to the time it takes the process to work. You're going to run into delays in every facet of this business, until you get through the initial waiting period and can have all the "early years" stuff behind you. Here's a quick list of all the delays you have to look forward to, in chronological order:

  • 30 days for the Taxi screening process
  • 1 week - 6 months (or longer) to hear back from a library... supposing they're interested
  • 1 week - 2 months for the library to ingest your music into their system, database, sound miner, source audio, etc...
  • 1 week - 3+ YEARS for them to find the right project to pitch your music to
  • 1-3 months for a music supervisor & editor to select your piece and place it in a show
  • 1 week - 3 months for the show to actually air on TV


and THEN, once your music finally gets placed on a show and airs on TV, you've got a "2 full quarters, plus the remainder of the current quarter" wait before your PRO will send you the money. This is another 6-9 month delay, just to get the money you've rightly earned.

So, all in all, you're looking at a realistic time delay of at least 2 years before the stuff you're writing right this moment ever starts to pay off.

I tell people all the time that writing music for TV is the single worst business plan in all of creation, and that any university business professor would laugh at a business model where you have to work 30 hours per week for 2 years before ever even getting your first dime.

But, if you can survive the waiting game, the rewards are there. And they are BIG rewards. Trust me on that. You just gotta get through those agonizing first 2-3 years.

So, not to rain on your parade, but you might temper your expectations a bit and shoot for a much more realistic 5 year plan for attaining full-time status.

~~Matt

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Re: Failure and success

Post by ResonantTone » Sat Jun 22, 2019 6:16 pm

VanderBoegh wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 3:04 pm
Here's a quick list of all the delays you have to look forward to, in chronological order:


~~Matt
Man, this is such a great write up... so helpful! Thanks Matt!

Paul,
I’ve only been in this about 4 months now, but I’d say pretty confidently that all 3 of these guys that have chimed in know their stuff. I’ve been in a similar spot as you with the trying to figure out how quickly I can start seeing some decent income... but there was something said to me early on that has stuck with me: Control what you can control. Work hard at everything within your power, and just keep writing quality music. Write, submit, forget, and repeat.

Pulling for ya man! Keep us updated on your progress. :)

Andrew

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Re: Failure and success

Post by ttully » Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:09 am

Hey Matt,

You know why your post is the best....... NO...not because the advice is 100% spot on....
which it is.......it's because of the cool green letters and the bullet points!!!

Nice touch!...... see...it's the little things like that ....that get YOU TO STAND OUT from the crowd.
Its the same with music.

Just wait til my next post....I'll show ya, every letter is gonna be a different color!!
Then I might go for the gold....and throw about 50 of those emoji things in..... it will be a masterpiece.
Anyway, a great post Matt........ now get back to work!!!

My 0 cents worth!
Tim

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