First up you'll learn where you can sell your audio files online.
Then, we'll discuss how to prepare your audio files so that they are accepted.
Finally, you'll see what kinds of audio files & music are currently in demand, so you can shape your content accordingly.
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Where can I sell audio files online?
Best Places To Sell Audio Files Online
The list is growing, but currently here are the best places to sell sound effects and audio clips online:
- Envato Market (also known as AudioJungle)
- Adobe Stock (currently invite only)
- Shutterstock (currently invite only)
Let’s get a little more detail on some of these.
Pond5 is our top choice for selling audio files online.
They have been around for ages and are well known as a resource for those looking to purchase both video 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.
Envato Market (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 Market 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).
Dreamstime is an established stock library. Like with other media types, 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.
Depositphotos has started accepting music and sound effects as of 2020.
They have aggressively grown their presence in the photo, vector and video markets so there isn’t any reason to think audio will be any different. Now might be the time to get your foot in the door and grab some early sales with this huge marketplace that has a very solid buyer base.
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.
How To Prepare Audio Files To Sell Online
Audio File Preparation Guidelines
There are no strict requirements on the type of equipment needed to produce sound effects or music. That makes the entry cost for selling audio online extremely low and very accessible.
You might be able to use your current iPhone or the built-in microphone of your DSLR / Mirrorless camera to capture sound effects. Or you may want to consider a USB microphone for your laptop. As long as the audio quality can meet the following requirements, you should be fine no matter what your approach.
- Length: a minimum of 5 seconds long for sound effects
- 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
Some agencies may have some minor adjustments to this, such as AudioJungle having an optional thumbnail jpg image you can attach. But in general if you follow these file preparation guidelines, you should be getting your work approved without any issues.
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 chapter 4 of our Microstock Beginner's Guide.
What Type Of Audio Files Sell Well Online?
Both sound effects and music tracks are in demand.
So the trick is to start thinking like a buyer. Ask yourself questions like:
- How could I use this clip/track in a commercial way?
- Does this stand out from the competition?
- Does it have a clear usage or purpose?
- Could I imagine hearing this on the web/radio/TV/podcast etc?
Answering those questions is a good starting point to working out what might sell.
But there's more that can assist you along the way.
There is huge demand for well crafted motivational music to accompany things like corporate videos, youtube videos etc. Happy will always outsell sad, so while you can record whatever you feel like, remember that positive tones and uplifting sounds will be in higher demand than those moody pieces. Tracks without vocals are also more likely to be used, as they offer more flexibility.
Some popular categories for music are:
- Drum & Bass
- Folk / Acoustic
- Hip-hop / Urban
Play to your strengths, be original and always think of the end user – there needs to be a clear use for your track for it to be commercially viable.
Sound effects can cover pretty much anything. If you can hear it, you can sell it!
But again, keep the purpose clear in mind so that the clip is going to be useful to a buyer. Limit or remove any other ambient audio and keep your sound effects crisp and clear.
Some of the (many) categories for sound effects can include:
- Game Sounds
- Transitions / Movements
- Nature Sounds
- Industrial Sounds
These sound effects may be all around you. Think about what you hear regularly, and consider if it would make a useful sound effect.
Start Recording & Start Selling
Selling audio files and sound effects online can be a great way to diversify an existing portfolio of photos and vectors. But it can also be a way for new artists to generate passive income online.
With such a small amount of equipment needed, it’s open to virtually anyone with an interest in audio. And even better – the market isn’t completely saturated yet.
So if you think you’ve got what it takes, get started selling your audio files online today!
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