The Worth Of Your Old Music Compositions (Don't Delete Them)
As music composers, we're expected to constantly produce new music for commissions but what happens to all our old music that we dismiss as not good enough? Are we right to ignore it, leave it behind, or delete it?
THE BACK CATALOGUE
Whether you produce music professionally or as a side income, you've probably come up with loads of ideas over the years to the point where you have a lot of music compositions in your back catalogue. Now ask yourself, how many of those have been used in projects or uploaded to a selling platform?
If you're like me, you might have realised that by sifting back through your old DAW projects, you will soon discover a lot of unfinished or finished songs that either weren't accepted by the client who commissioned the work or were written on a whim. At first thought, these might seem useless but you'd be surprised at the worth these songs have.
OLD SONGS, NEW INCOME
The first thing I try to do with unfinished work, when I have the time to in quiet periods (eg. pandemic), is to re-listen to what I had and see if any creativity sparks so that I can finish the song. You might be thinking 'that's all well and good but what's the point when no one has asked for this song?'.
I wrote a series of blogs a few months back about composing music for stock music production libraries. Usually, these production libraries require you to have a fair few songs ready to upload straight away (about 40+) and, although most stock music libraries curate the uploads with varying degrees of strictness, a few out there don't curate the music at all.
Before joining stock music libraries like Pond5, MusicElements, and 100Audio, I had about one hundred old songs, dating back to 2010, that had never been commissioned and so just sat there on my hard drive, taking up space. By thinking 'what the hell, maybe they'll be worth something', I decided to upload these to production libraries and see what would happen. It made me realise that, even if you have a song you think is rubbish, someone out there in the big wide world will like it and potentially buy it.
To this day, the one song I believe to be my worst (and cheesiest) sells the most. I've talked before about the stock music libraries I'm a member of but I also recently joined Motion Array and, despite them getting a little annoyed at me 'shotgun' uploading my old work, they've accepted eighty-one tracks so far. With April being my first full month with the library, and having about fifty songs on there during that time, I made $362. This month, in only ten days, I've made $125 so far.
Say what you want about subscription-based production libraries but, whether you join Motion Array and similar subscription stock music libraries or you try a library like Pond5 where the sales are per song, you will find that your old music does have value. So why leave it on your hard drive doing nothing but taking up space?
If you are looking for a music theory, music production, or music composition teacher near you, I offer face-to-face music lessons in Wells, UK and online music lessons to anyone worldwide. I also have 1000+ royalty-free stock music production tracks available to buy and am available for hire for original music compositions. Feel free to get in touch!