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how to value my music correctly


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Hey dear composers,

i've got this offer through a friend to compose some music for a film. I've never done this kind of project nor sold my music before. So i am wondering how to know, how much my music is worth? How does this whole thing with music selling work?

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Upload it to iTunes and see reaction! Raitings of music sometime is not depend on quality of it but on marketing. You can see that rhere are a lot of stupid songs with stupid lyrics and awful music but because of good marketing they are popular!   

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 7/19/2021 at 1:57 AM, Indiravik said:

Hey dear composers,

i've got this offer through a friend to compose some music for a film. I've never done this kind of project nor sold my music before. So i am wondering how to know, how much my music is worth? How does this whole thing with music selling work?

I'm sure that since this post is two months old you figured it out by now, but the thing is...there's no real way to determine this.

Any number you put on it is ultimately arbitrary and has no theoretical limit. You could charge per minute, which is normal on projects in the video game world. A fairly-common professional rate is between 500 - 800 per finished minute of music.

Since you're probably not at that level, you'd probably not be able to get anywhere near that much.

I would ask them what their budget is and what they're willing to pay for the music. Perhaps you could also start on a per-minute rate. The thing is, first person to name a price typically loses. If they come out saying something you think is too low, just say that you thought it would be higher. This can give you negotiation room.

If this film is not likely to be popular, you will want to make sure that it not only pays something worthwhile but also that you get to keep the rights to your music. More than likely, this is a student/indie film which (to be frank) will not be very good and not seen by a lot of people. 

To compose for a film is a TON of work. I've worked in both the game and tv/film industries and I can honestly say, I wouldn't compose a custom score for a film, certaintly not feature-length at this point unless the money was good, but truth be told: The money is only really good in custom scores for films at the highest productions levels...

So what I'm saying is: Is it worth your time to do the film score at all? If you feel that it is, but the money isn't great (like a 4-digit figure at least), then you absolutely need to make sure to keep the rights to the music. Otherwise, you'll pour in a ton of time and effort, few people will even watch the movie/hear your score, and you'll be left with practically nothing to show for all your work and will have signed the rights away, so you can't even reuse the music.

This is a very, very big topic that couldn't be covered in a single post, but this is a good starting point I'd say

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