AudioJungle (AJ) composer, RedOctopus recently shared his tips and advice on how to succeed on the marketplace using his Five Point Strategy. Read all about how implementing his strategy this year has helped build his business and fast-tracked his journey to becoming an Elite author at Envato.
Hi! I’m RedOctopus, an AudioJungle composer. Recently, a lot of authors have been asking me for tips on how to succeed on AJ. They all wanted to know how I made it so fast. In January 2017, I started to implement my strategy, which quickly gave me around 600 sales per month. It looks like I will reach the elite in less than a year since I first started regularly uploading tracks.
I figured that if I could put my thoughts together, they can help other authors – especially the new ones. Why am I doing this? Because AJ has an incredible community and because this kind of discussion can make both our work and the whole of AJ more attractive to potential buyers.
First of all – be prepared that the market is oversaturated. Right now, there are almost 17 000 author profiles on AudioJungle, more than 600 000 tracks and SFX, and a few hundred items added every day. You need to make tracks that are of the highest quality, are universal, and have a high commercial value (see: the AurusAudio article). And even when you do all that, it is still very hard to rise above the competition.
And what about the buyers? They do not want to spend a lot of time searching, so they have a tendency of choosing the well-tried tracks with high sales’ figures. That is why popular tracks tend to sell in thousands while other (of similar or even better quality) have low or zero sales. Thankfully, Envato is trying to balance the popularity and freshness. Without this, the market would quickly become unattractive and outdated. One of the key Envato tricks is to automatically position new and/or popular items higher in some search results, like “best match” or “trending.”
Usually, tracks sell best shortly after they are uploaded. The sooner – the better. The bigger the sales in this first period – the better. All of this increases the “visibility” of an item. Without a good visibility, tracks land in the far pages of search results. This, of course, means that they have a smaller chance of being found. Unfortunately, it is very hard to keep the high visibility – all tracks lose it sooner or later.
Do not despair! There are ways to stop that from happening. If your track gains high sales rapidly, it will take a high place in search results. Your track can also be used as a Featured File in a big Envato market campaign, land at the top of Popular Files, you can invest in its promotion on social media/youtube/vimeo, your track can become a hit on VideoHive etc. However, all those tricks still don’t guarantee a long and decent visibility. And they themselves are often hard or even impossible to do.
Let’s try to think how we can increase the visibility and keep it high using AudioJungle tools only.
If you are a new author, you should spend some time exploring various genres and different types of items. Upload tracks to many categories to test which one is your favorite, how quickly you can make the best quality music in each one, and which kinds of tracks have the biggest sales. Do not judge the category based on only one or two tracks, try to upload at least a couple items in each. Learn how to write nice descriptions and test different titles. Upload, observe.
2. Regularity and Quantity
The next step is to choose your favorite and most ergonomic category. You will need to work extra hard, as every new author has a very small “starting visibility”. This means that even after a few months, the most fabulous tracks of yours will probably be almost impossible to find by buyers using a browser and typical keywords. They will sell extremely rarely – but still – they will build your portfolio.
Try to upload regularly – only that way will you increase the odds that some of your tracks get a higher visibility, even in such overcrowded (but most popular!) categories like Corporate. After a few months of regular work you can start to get a nice passive income, but without uploading new tracks this income will start to decrease. At this stage, there is a small (but growing!) chance that one of your items becomes a bestseller with a constant, high visibility and regular sales.
Try to attract more potential buyers. They should be constantly finding your items in different places on the market, visiting your portfolio, using hyperlinks in your item descriptions etc. Only that way will they make more purchases.
- Create different versions of your tracks, especially shorter ones for commercials or jingles. One long version can also be very attractive (psst… remember that an item’s price is fixed to length. That’s why authors like to make tracks at least 2 minutes long!)
- Create different tracks in your category sorted by type (e.g. song, background, opener, infographic, lullaby) and mood (e. g. motivating, epic, positive, technology, startup)
- Create packs, kits and logos related to your track
- Use appropriate keywords in descriptions and tags
- Test different titles. Search engine favors those with popular keywords, but less popular titles have more of a chance of being found after a loss of visibility. The key thing is to properly describe their mood and main instruments, their attributes and their usage
- Make a HTML catalog and collections
- Try to think about video makers and VideoHivers. What music do they need?
- Create an interesting, big, regularly updated and diversified portfolio. This makes buyers want to explore your music instead of searching the whole market. Some of them will keep coming back in the future
- Make sure to explore different genres and categories from time to time.
4. Find your niche
So – you have a nice portfolio and a regular income. The next level is to find your niche. Why is it important? Because this is the way to attract more returning buyers and bigger licenses. In some genres, you will be more attractive to VideoHive authors. You can be asked to create custom music as well. Or, perhaps, you can even get a job working on a bigger tv/movie/game/project etc. in a publishing or music software company, as a sound designer or a composer! Think about AJ not only in terms of sales but also as an online portfolio.
Buyers focused on one genre will stick to your profile, and this will nicely affect your visibility in search results. At this stage, you can start to create less tracks and concentrate on quality and creative ideas instead. But you also need to keep in mind that a lot of AJ buyers look for simple tracks so you have to balance this rule:
simple tracks = regular sales
creative tracks = unknown amount of sales, but more valuable buyers, sometimes bigger licenses and more possibilities
Let me show a few examples of a portfolio focused on a niche:
@MartijndeBont – an author making mainly blockbusting Hollywood trailers. I bet some of his clients ask him for custom trailer music
@AurusAudio – specializes in all kinds of energetic, inspiring music, not only in one genre like rock, corporate or electronic
@Boomopera – makes great electronic bangers
@SFmusic – focuses on soft, rhythmic backgrounds
@turkaynisanci – his portfolio contains mainly oriental music
@Mexikus – another trailer music composer. He also started to make great sample libraries for Kontakt. His company is called KeepForest.
@COSMONKEY – good old hip-hop
@Hyperprod – just jazz
You can also think about making huge collections of similar items. For example, if you make 20 short jazz piano logos, you will have small sales. But try making 10 packs of such logos, sorted by mood, length or usage and expect some big licenses and royalties coming your way!
5. PRO, CID…
This one will not increase your sales, but it’s a standard in stock music and can give you some extra money.
Register your tracks in the local PRO (usually, it’s totally free). This will allow you to get royalties every time your music is broadcasted on TV or on the radio, played in public places, released on physical supports etc. And this includes when it happens abroad. We can upload PRO registered tracks since 01.2017, so it’s quite a fresh thing and we still do not know how big the royalties will be. We are expecting them in 2018 and later.
Register your tracks in CID like AdRev (it’s free) to monetize or block videos using your music without a license (e.g. with a watermark).
Register your tracks in TV broadcast monitoring software like TuneSat (50 tracks are free). It can show you where your music has been used, so you can verify (on your own) if a proper license has been bought or if they have properly notified PRO organizations about its authors.
Unfortunately, buyers do not always purchase the proper license or diligently report authors to PRO. So, it’s on you to control it. Do not hesitate to write a formal, official-sounding, yet polite e-mail to the buyer or the broadcaster with a question about the license or the royalties. Usually, they are eager to help, as nobody wants to have copyright problems (but not always!). If a buyer does not respond, you can ask Envato or your local PRO for help.
Work and wait…
In my case, this strategy worked incredibly fast. How did it look exactly?
- In 2016 I started to upload various tracks on AJ and observe their sales. I was doing it only from time to time with a few very long breaks. Consequently, I was quite disappointed, as they were not selling well. During the whole year, I had only 145 sales.
- In January 2017 I decided to take a risk and become a full-time AJ composer, with a lot of regular uploads. I focused on “Inspiring Orchestra/Electronic” genre. After three months, I reached 131 sales only in March. For me, that was enough to make a living from AJ. I was also creating tracks in different genres, from time to time.
- In spring I have found myself on a huge wave of typography video and percussive music trend (having made only a few percussive tracks in my portfolio!). Videohivers started to use my music in typography projects and my stats were going up like crazy. Yes, that was an incredible stroke of luck.
- So – I started to create various percussive tracks and consequently, it has become my niche. I really love creating music in this genre!
- As I am writing this, I’m looking for a second niche because the percussive category is becoming oversaturated. New percussion tracks have much lower sales than in the past and some older tracks are losing their visibility. Time for changes!
This was my strategy. I would like to confront it with your observations in the discussion below. Feel free to write your thoughts. I hope they will be “inspiring motivating and uplifting”!
You can catch me on facebook and feel free to write me here.