Prices for high quality music

I’m gearing up to release a large amount of music on the Marketplace and would like to hear peoples’ opinions on pricing.
I have been composing and producing professionally for Tv, Film, Theatre and Tourist Attractions for 15 years and have classical training from Oxford University and the National Film and Television School. The music I want to release is a mixture of single tracks, and sets of specially composed, layered pieces, which can be arranged within the engine to perform different adaptive functions- e.g. different levels of intensity, or specific stings/sections which can be triggered over the top of over tracks.

Obviously writing music like this is not ideal and can never replicate the effect of bespoke, tailored music, but I see this as a chance to make some new relationships in the industry and offer people a chance to use some polished music in their indie games for a reasonable price.

If you have the time, please have a look at some of my demos and any suggestions towards possible pricing would be massively appreciated.

Also, if anyone is looking to include music with their Marketplace assets and would like to come to an arrangement please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Completely depends on the use, the company and more.

You can’t charge an indie company much, and depends, are these pieces precomposed? If they are pre-composed they won’t be worth thousands.
Check other sites like envato. Those are worth maybe 15 - 20$? depends on the quality.

You are better off making a bunch of them, posting them on youtube, selling them 10$ each for royalties and free to download to listen too and maybe 1$ - 3$ for albums. Then apply to larger movies/game companies and offer them custom music while providing them with your other samples/credentials.

Well, Audio Network charge around £500 for a single track for a single TV/radio/online production. They don’t have any game-specific pricepoints without you getting in touch with them, but I’m guessing that their prices are reasonable as far as quality is concerned.

I would pay much more for a heavily layered piece, maybe coupled with some example blueprints on how to set it up in UE4. I also think that would be more profitable as you would have something tangible extra to offer compared to the cheaper alternatives available.

Nice stuff. Personally I would love to see some Pain Killer type sound tracks. Makes me want to go out and frag someone. :wink:

The thing about marketing and setting a price has nothing to do with what you might think your work is worth but what the free market is willing to spend based on options made available as well as branding.

If you were John Williams you could set your price to almost anything and people will buy it.

But trying to be helpful no one knows how big the marketplace is as far as individuals who have access to it through subscription, and I doubt Epic will tell you, or what prices will be as to products that will be similar to yours.

To figure this out there are two things you might want to do at this stage.

  1. Wait to see if similar products comes to market and see what their prices will be. I suspect that there will be a lot of price adjustments being made in the first while as the marketplace balances it’s self out.
  2. Market a test flier.

A test flier is a simple constructed product intended to test the depth of the market based on volume of sales calculated against the rate of return.

Simple idea. You sell something for a buck, and since Epic has to pay you, this will tell you just how dynamic the marketplace is with out having to know the total number of subscribers.

If you can figure out those two setting your market price is an after though and the only consideration is the hours of work worth the rate of return?

I think the price of your product will depend on the company issuing more

Audio Network is hard to compare as the industries work so differently- I’d actually expect game developers to pay more than the tv companies since the composer would lose out of broadcast royalties- but since we’re looking at a largely indie developer community here I can’t imagine too many people buying tracks for £500 each. Maybe £100 tops. ALso worth considering that TV companies will pay a high price for quality library music since there is nearly always a time-pressure issue, whereas game development takes much longer, and so developers can take the time to commission original scores. In other words, game developers have little reason to use high-priced music libraries.

The Unity Asset Store has a huge range of prices and standards of quality, but I notice the majority of ‘packs’ are just .ogg music files with little in the way of adaptive options. I’m going down the route of heavily layered files with blueprints, although I predict the upcoming integration of wwise and fmod will make the blueprints redundant. I’ll probably release a flier as suggested, and maybe free limited versions of larger paid-for packs, all with example levels to demonstrate different methods of usage.

Thanks for all your suggestions

Even with third party solutions available, I think there will be developers preferring to keep it simple with a blueprint setup.

It would probably make sense to have a tiered pricing system, based on the revenue of the company purchasing.

e.g. Tier 1 is Hobbyists and Non-Commercial, Tier 2 is Indie, Tier 3 is Commercial Studio > $5000pa*

*totally arbitrary number, but you get the point

The world’s biggest tech companies are preparing to introduce high-resolution audio files that will increase the price of both digital music and the new devices designed to play those files.

Apple, Sony, and Pono, a music-player project spearheaded by Neil Young, are planning to release new products that play music in high-end formats that will likely command premium prices. Pono was finally released on Monday.

The prism-shaped device can play music in higher resolutions than iPhones or Android phones can. It might seem weird that some people want a portable standalone music player when they can just listen to music on their smartphones, but Pono managed to raise over $6 million on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter.

Pono claims to make music sound better through the use of high-resolution audio. The Pono music store sells digital audio that has a higher bitrate than music sold through iTunes, meaning the music technically sounds clearer, without compression or limits on the high end. The bitrate is the number of bits per second, or the density of the encoded information in the music file. The more dense the file, the richer the sound.

Here’s a chart from Pono that shows the different kinds of music qualities:

But as Gizmodo reports, it’s actually pretty difficult to hear the difference between a normal-resolution track downloaded through iTunes and the kind of file you’ll be listening to on Pono. A blind study revealed that listeners couldn’t identify when they were hearing a normal track and when they were hearing a larger high-resolution file.

If you can hear the difference between normal and high-end audio, then you’re going to have to buy your music again if you want to listen to it on Pono. Here’s the problem: Buying high-resolution music is considerably more expensive than buying albums on iTunes.

Let’s look at an example. The most recent album from AC/DC costs $9.99 on iTunes, a reasonable price for an album. But on Pono, “Rock or Bust” is priced at $17.99]( And it’s not even at the full bitrate that Pono supports. That seems to imply that as albums get released in larger formats, the price could increase even more.

It’s not just Neil Young who wants to make you pay out for your music all over again, either. Sony is releasing a new Walkman devicethat supports the kind of high-resolution audio that Pono sells.

YouTube/The Verge
The new Walkman device highlights another problem with high-end audio: The files are huge, so you need a large amount of storage space. The Pono costs $399 (which isn’t too bad), but if you want to store a lot of albums, you’ll need to buy memory cards, which sell from $45.

Don’t think that the new Sony Walkman is a cheap alternative to the Pono, however. It retails for over $1,100. The price is so high because it comes with 128 GB of storage, enough space to store plenty of high-resolution audio albums. As music goes up in size, the devices needed to store and play them are going to become more expensive too.

We also know that Apple is developing a new music format which could depend on you buying all your albums again. U2 frontman Bono has dropped hints about the technology in a series of interviews, describing it as a format that can’t be pirated. The format will apparently “prove so irresistibly exciting to music fans that it will tempt them again into buying music” — or at least, that’s what Apple is hoping.

The Guardian has collected reports on Apple’s new music format, explaining that it’s a different way of packaging music together. That could mean that Apple isn’t about to expand into high-resolution audio, instead focusing on a more visual experience.