How Much Money Can I Make?

How Much Money Can I Make?

The trailer music industry is very lucrative. You see licenses coming in at several tens of thousands of dollars. But you also get licenses that land at only a few hundred. So how much money can you really make?

First and foremost, the money coming from trailer music will primarily be from upfront fees, meaning they pay you a one time fee and that's it. The secondary source of income will be from royalties you make off the backend streaming channels, such as TV. This income stream is not very big in the trailer music industry, because trailers and TV spots are short and not as prominently played as many commercials, TV shows, and so on.

The size of the license fees (upfront) vary a lot. It's almost impossible to say how much you will get, because your publisher is in constant negotiations for every single placements, and they quote the trailer house that want to license the music a few different quotes. (a quote is a sum of money that your music publisher asks for a license). But there are whereabouts in terms of how much you can get.

It also depends a lot on what type of music they are licensing. If it's simpler, quieter piano music with some strings, it won't be as big of an upfront license fee as if it was a full orchestral hybrid track.

Let's look at a few numbers.

For a standard movie, that has a pretty average budget and decent campaign, you will be looking at license fees for the trailer, granted they license your entire track (2 min long let's say), of about $4000 - $15000. And if you have a deal with your publisher that's 50/50 (more on this later), your share would be $2000 - $7500. These numbers are quite standard. But this is if they license your ENTIRE track.

Let's say only 20 seconds of your music is licensed. Maybe the intro and the outro are licensed. You can expect to get anything from $1000 - $5000 for your share. It can go higher, it can go lower.

In case one film producer is interested in exclusively licensing one of your tracks for a specific period of time the price of the license can go up to $20.000 - $40.000 or even more. This rare event usually either affects big, orchestral trailer tracks with a strong and remarkable melody or another interesting feature (such as cool sounds, vocals, etc.)

Many times, trailer editors also license individual sound effects that only lasts from 2 seconds to 8 seconds. These can give you a couple of hundred bucks to a few thousand at the most.

What does it add up to?

Now, if you are making 3 to 5 tracks every month, and they are all accepted by your trailer music publisher (more on this later), your chances of getting a placement or two every month is quite high after a while. The more good tracks you have, the better. And if you're getting decent placements each month of about $2000 - $5000 each, you're looking at a yearly salary of $48000 - $120000 every year! Now that is quite a lot of money.

In the beginning you probably won't make this, but you can expect to get a license or two every now and then the first year, amounting to a few thousand dollars, so that's a great start to get into this industry!

There's a whole jungle to how much money you can make on this, but believe me, if you follow everything I'm saying in this course, become productive and get your tracks accepted and into the industry and simply don't give up, I think you will have extremely high chances of success.

Now, enough money talk. Let's start looking at trailer music and its structure!