Royalty Free Libraries For Game Music?
Updated: Jan 10
Following on from yesterday's post regarding using Fiverr as a video game composer, I thought it would be good to do a follow up on Royalty Free libraries. These are sites you can upload your music to, and earn income from, each sale of your music.
I could save you time here and just say; If you have pieces of music you have written just sitting on your hard drive then it's not a bad idea to upload them to these sites, but writing video game music for them is not going to earn you much money in my experience.
However, people do make money through these sites and I do too, but the vast majority of this income is from music written with videos in mind, not games. I think this is generally down to how most creators make games, they will often use unlicensed music for their production phase and then, when the game is nearing completion, find a composer to write a bespoke soundtrack. In contrast, video makers will often be getting music as they go along from one of these libraries (usually as part of a description these days) and thus you are much more likely to get sales if you choose to go down this revenue source.
So don't bother then?
How I have used Royalty Free libraries, in regards to video game music, is by writing music for clients on Fiverr and if they have decided to go for a non exclusive license, I will then put these tracks on the sites which have made the most sales in the past and aren't a pain to upload to.
Which Royalty Free Libraries Are The Best?
I think the best thing to do here is name the sites and give my experience with each one, so here goes:
Pond5 - The easiest to upload to and generally gets a few sales a month. Probably the best starting place.
AudioJungle/Envato - Horrible uploading process, you have to watermark the files yourself and a very saturated market place has meant I haven't bothered with this one in years.
Motion Array - Not a big earner but a fairly straight forward uploading process (though you have to put watermarks on the music yourself) and if the music you have can be slightly tinkered with to make it appropriate for videos, you can then increase your sales.
123RF - Don't bother, just don't.
Motion Elements - Fairly easy upload process and earns me some pocket money each month, not a bad place to also put your music.
Songtradr - An interesting site that straddles the line between Sync music (for TV/Film etc) and a royalty free site. I have had a couple of higher paying sales from here but not with video game music so it's a hard one to recommend.
I may add to this list in the future if I try any more. You can upload to all of these, as they are non-exclusive sites. Sites, such as Premium Beat, have an exclusive agreement which would mean you can only list the track with that one company. I have not tried these out yet so can't comment on whether this is a good idea or not.
Better places To Upload My Music?
I put it off for quite some time but have now uploaded 20 albums to the Unity Asset Store. They have a massive wait time in order to approve your assets, as they're known there, so I will write an article when they are live and I have something to report back.
In conclusion to this post though, don't write game music for Royalty Free music sites, but if you have some spare music laying around, it's not a bad idea to put them on the better ones. Better than just sitting on your computers hard drive!