Making significant $ with film/TV music

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rolanoid
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Re: Making significant $ with film/TV music

Post by rolanoid » Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:11 am

Your songs are real good - it would take me a lifetime to make 100 tracks like yours and that's a sobering thought.

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Re: Making significant $ with film/TV music

Post by johnnythunderbox » Sat Dec 05, 2009 4:15 am

Thanks to all for the excellent tips.

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cameron
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Re: Making significant $ with film/TV music

Post by cameron » Thu Nov 04, 2010 9:33 am

My dad always told me that to be successful in business you need to do something not everyone can do. Lots of people think they can cook, so lots of people start restaurants, and most of them fail. People who have a specialty that not everyone can emulate usually do better, assuming there is a market for what they're doing.

The big problem I see with Film/TV, looking at it strictly as to what makes business sense (rather than a labor of love) is that inexpensive home recording and the Internet have made this market accessible to a whole lot of people. A lot of people now think they can do this, and many of them will be your competition. That is why Taxi is thriving.

Of course, the cream will always rise to the top, and if you are better and smarter and work harder than the thousands of other people out there who are trying to do the same thing you are, you will be successful. And of course, if this is a labor of love for you, none of this matters. I wouldn't be taking out business loans or plan on making a living at this any time soon though.

There's nothing wrong with dreaming. I'm chasing the dream of being a Nashville songwriter, and I think I'm making some decent headway. But without a decent paying day job and some expendable income to finance my demos, it would be a hard road indeed. I've probably spent about $35k on demos, air fare, hotels, etc. trying to get my first cut. Not a very wise business investment, but probably cheaper in the long run than buying a boat or an airplane.

I think you need to create an identify for yourself too, just like any product. Don't try to be like everyone else. Be known for something. Subaru created a niche not by copying Toyota, but by going after a certain segment of the market, the outdoor, rock climbing/tree hugging/granola crowd.

See you at the Grammys!

Cam

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Re: Making significant $ with film/TV music

Post by mojobone » Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:54 am

There's a spectrum of music, from 'commodity music' at one end, to fine art at the other, and the commodity end has long been the larger market, as there've been only a few composers writing/recording the majority of the commercial music. If you make commodity music, you could find yourself in a rat-race to the bottom. No disrespect to Matt Hirt, he's a fine example of someone who can write and produce convincing high quality commodity music to order and in short order, and do so more inexpensively than his competition, but the 'convincing' bar is getting higher every day and the amount of competition continues to increase. I think that some specialization will benefit composers in the TV and film markets, going forward.
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Re: Making significant $ with film/TV music

Post by timbutler » Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:48 pm

Good info, thanks for sharing.

After two and a half years, I've placed around 150 tracks in 5 or 6 libraries. My upfront income from commissions, etc. is around $500 a month. The royalty income from ASCAP is still lagging, no more than $15-$20 per quarter. I hope to see that increase soon!

Custom scores are few and far between, but they've earned about $1000 each on average.

Are these numbers typical for any of you? I imagine it's quite different for each composer, with so many different variables possible.

It definitely is a marathon, rather than a sprint.

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Re: Making significant $ with film/TV music

Post by chi » Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:48 pm

Very helpful and informative post - thanks everyone for sharing your wisdom!

This has filled in some more missing pieces in our puzzle for how to tap into this industry segment, and it looks like the right step for us to take now is developing some home production chops, given that Chi is a fairly prolific composer, we both competently play a good array of instruments, and have repeatedly been told that we have a perfectly viable "niche product", so to speak. We just need to develop a cost-effective way of producing/editing it on a quick turnaround and figure out how to accurately target for the listings. ;)

Many thanks again,

Brenda K (and Chi)
Been "Keepin' it Real" since before that phrase was even invented!

Brenda K for Takashi "Chi" Saito
http://www.panacheorchestra.com/
http://www.reverbnation.com/panacheorchestra

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Re: Making significant $ with film/TV music

Post by chi » Tue Nov 23, 2010 4:49 pm

P.S. Another valuable aspect of this forum is that it can head you off from wasting a lot of time/energy/money trying to drill down dry holes! 8-)
Been "Keepin' it Real" since before that phrase was even invented!

Brenda K for Takashi "Chi" Saito
http://www.panacheorchestra.com/
http://www.reverbnation.com/panacheorchestra

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Re: Making significant $ with film/TV music

Post by denisturbide » Sat Dec 18, 2010 5:24 pm

Wow, I've got a lot of work to do! 100-150 tracks? A LOT of work to do!

I was a Taxi member for two years and let my membership run out a couple of months ago. Money's tight right now, can't afford what you can't afford. When I was a member, I had over 40 forwards leading to signing several non-exclusive contracts. Then I started looking into other libraries, submitted some tunes, they liked them enough to offer me more non-exclusives. I presently have almost everything I've recorded, about a dozen tracks I consider good enough, on nearly a dozen different libraries, always looking for more. I'm still waiting for that elusive 1st placement at this point but Taxi showed me how to get this far so I can say, without reservation, that it was worth the money.

I need to get busy in the studio!

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Re: Making significant $ with film/TV music

Post by writeontime » Tue May 31, 2011 7:40 pm

Thanks, Casey. As a newcomer to this side of the business, you gave very helpful perspective.

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Re: Making significant $ with film/TV music

Post by Casey H » Tue May 31, 2011 7:48 pm

writeontime wrote:Thanks, Casey. As a newcomer to this side of the business, you gave very helpful perspective.
Your welcome... Most of what I posted up top comes from our very own Matt Hirt (matto) who is the father of the "five year plan". Check out some of the links at the beginning of the thread- I think there are links to Matt Hirt videos.

Good luck!
:) Casey

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