Selling Audio Files Online As Microstock

Selling Audio Files Online As Microstock

Selling audio files online as microstock is probably the next big thing in digital stock sales. Photography has had its heyday. Vector graphics are still booming but so is the competition. And video footage sales, while very promising for many contributors, hasn’t turned out to be the golden goose some were hoping for.

Enter digital audio recordings. This is a market that is still relatively untouched – for both buyers and sellers. The great thing for producers of digital audio files is that more and more agencies are jumping on board with selling audio files. This should mean more and more sales as the demand for them continues to grow, in an increasingly multimedia-intensive world.

Selling Audio Files Online – Getting Started

First things first – which are the websites that will sell your audio files online as microstock? Below you will find all the major players for selling your digital audio recordings, as well as a description of what to expect from them as a contributor.

  • Pond5

    Pond5 is a fantastic marketplace for selling audio files online as microstock. They have been around for ages and are well known as a resource for those looking to purchase audio recordings. The best part for contributors is that you get to set your own prices for your files. So if you think you have created an audio masterpiece and only want to sell it for the big bucks, go ahead. The only downside is that many audio producers often set their prices to the minimum hoping to get lots of sales. But all in all, Pond5 is one of the best options out there for selling audio files online.

  • Dreamstime

    Dreamstime is one of the newest players in audio and music sales. They have a level pricing system which rewards high selling tracks. Even the lower levels have decent pricing. The upload process is much the same as their photo submission – not the best, but by no means the worst either. Some audio producers are seeing decent sales there already.

  • AudioJungle

    AudioJungle is a long-time player in selling digital audio assets. Part of the massive Envato Market network of sites, you are putting your audio recordings in front of literally millions of potential buyers right away. People come to Envato to purchase everything from WordPress themes, to logo designs – so why not pick up an audio track while they’re at it? Here you can sell simple audio recordings of sounds and ambient noises to complex musical scores to accompany the next Hollywood movie (yep, it has actually happened).

  • 123RF

    123RF was fairly quick to add audio sales to its already impressive catalogue of photos, vectors and video. One of the nice things about their audio sales is that there are several price tiers, and you as the producer get to choose which category you want to sell your audio files in. This seems to be a nice balance between giving the content creator flexibility over pricing, while not frustrating the buyer with massive amounts of different pricing.

  • Shutterstock

    Shutterstock sells audio – sort of. You see it carries some amazing musical tracks by some semi-known artists, and sells them at a decent price too. But the catch is at this stage not just anyone can contribute. But if you are someone with a great reputation and high quality music (not just sound recordings) then it can’t hurt to contact them with a pitch.

Selling Audio Files Online – File Preparation

Bear in mind that each microstock agency will have some of its own criteria, but if you start with these points in mind as you prepare your files, you will have most of the hard work done already.

  • Length: a minimum of 5 seconds long
  • Bit rate: 320 kpbs
  • Sample rate: 16-Bit Stereo, 44.1 khz
  • File type: Either WAV or MP3 (or even both) depending on the agency

Along with having the correct file type, you will also need to think about a Title, Description and some Keywords for your audio files. You can learn the basic principles of this in our article on Keywording.

Selling Audio Files Online – The Final Word

There are many reasons to consider selling audio files online as microstock, especially if it already is your field of expertise. For me it was a learning curve, but not an overly steep one. It is certainly an area of microstock I will be continually expanding, as there are buyers out there looking for all sorts of audio (such as my Jungle Sounds recording).

One great thing about selling audio files is you are uploading much smaller files than with photography or video footage, so there is less demand and cost associated with your internet connection. Plus it is cheaper to store and backup these smaller files as well.

But perhaps the best thing about selling audio files online as microstock is that if you get in now, it is still fairly early on in the time-line of digital audio being sold online. So competition is smaller and the growth will be bigger. I will be looking to expand my online audio portfolio – will you?

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