Author Topic: Looking for some feedback on an idea  (Read 381 times)

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Offline mr_lou

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Looking for some feedback on an idea
« on: 19:40, 06 October 20 »
Looking for some feedback on an idea for IndieGameMusic.com

Currently, musicians can sell two types of licenses to gamedevs:
1: The non-exclusive resale license, typically € 10-20 EUR
2: The exclusive resale license, typically € 200-300 EUR

The first one has a low price because it's non-exclusive, meaning the artist can sell it many times to different gamedevs.
The exclusive resale license is expensive because it's a one-time sale. The artist has to remove the track from the site and never offer it to anyone else again.
(Though the artist will always remain the sole copyright owner, in case of making an album some day. The license is only a resale license).

A new idea, suggested/requested by a gamedeveloper on a specific retro platform, is for the gamedevs to be able to buy platform exclusive licenses.
This particular gamedev is developing on the Atari Jaguar, and he isn't really interested in paying € 200-300 EUR for the exclusive resale license, but he is very much interested in buying a license that makes sure he's the only one using the track on the Atari Jaguar. Meanwhile, he doesn't care if the same track is used on e.g. Amiga or Nintendo Switch.

I like this idea. It makes sense and could potentially benefit both gamedevs and muscians.

But wow there are many platforms - and each of them should have individual prices. It wouldn't make any sense if the platform exclusive license for the Amstrad CPC costs the same as the PlayStation 5. So a system should be created.

First thought: Count the age of the platform, and use that as a factor.
Second thought: Also factor in number of sold units, since it tells a bit about the popularity of the platform.

Using these factors, I've come to the following factor-prices for a non-exclusive resale license of € 10 EUR:

Amstrad CPC: Factor 0,21 = € 2,1 EUR
ZX Spectrum: Factor 0,11 = € 1,1 EUR
Atari Jaguar: Factor 0,65 = € 6,5 EUR
Atari Jaguar CD: Factor 0,75 = € 7,5 EUR
Commodore 64: Factor 0,12 = € 1,2 EUR
Amiga 500: Factor 0,27 = € 2,7 EUR
Amiga 1200: Factor 0,65 = € 6,5 EUR
Nintendo NES: Factor 0,45 = € 4,5 EUR
Nintendo 64: Factor 1,14 = € 11,4 EUR
Nintendo Wii: Factor 3 = € 30 EUR
Nintendo Switch: Factor 3,33 = € 33,3 EUR
Nintendo DS: Factor 3,58 = € 35,8 EUR
Nintendo Gameboy: Factor 1,14 = € 11,4 EUR
Nintendo Gameboy Color: Factor 2,28 = € 22,8 EUR
Ninetndo Gameboy Advance: Factor 2,15 = € 21,5 EUR
Sega Genesis: Factor 0,58 = € 5,8 EUR
Sony PlayStation 1: Factor 1,63 = € 16,3 EUR
Sony PlayStation 2: Factor 3 = € 30 EUR
Sony PlayStation 3: Factor 2,77 = € 27,7 EUR
Sony PlayStation 4: Factor 4,04 = € 40,4 EUR
Sony PlayStation 5: Factor 6 = € 60 EUR
Microsoft Xbox: Factor 1,38 = € 13,8 EUR
Microsoft Xbox 360: Factor 2,6 = € 26 EUR
Microsoft Xbox One: Factor 2,71 = € 27,1 EUR
Microsoft Xbox Series X: Factor 6 = € 60 EUR
Microsoft Windows: Factor 6 = € 60 EUR

So if you wanna use the track for a commercial Amstrad CPC game, and make sure no other CPC gamedevs use the same track, then you have to pay € 10 EUR for the resale license + € 2,1 EUR to prevent other CPC gamedevs using the same track.

I'm curious about opinions about all of this. The idea of individual platform licenses, and the price-suggestions above.

Thanks!

Offline tjohnson

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Re: Looking for some feedback on an idea
« Reply #1 on: 03:09, 07 October 20 »
I would think about time limiting exclusivity, you get it on the platform exclusively for a period of time, say 1 year then the artist is free to resell for that platform.  For an extra 2 euro tbh hardly seems worthwhile,  there's a big difference between é300 and é10

Offline mr_lou

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Re: Looking for some feedback on an idea
« Reply #2 on: 07:03, 07 October 20 »
Thanks for the input @tjohnson

No, € 2 EUR isn't much. But do you think Amstrad CPC exclusivity is worth more?
Anyway... it's not € 2 EUR in total either. It's € 12,1 EUR. You gotta pay the non-exclusive resale license (for the rights to use it in your commercial game) and then on top of that the € 2,1 EUR for the Amstrad CPC exclusivity - if you want it.
The artist can still sell the same track (e.g. in mp3 version) to a Windows developer - and offer a Windows exclusivity too.

I don't think gamedevs will be happy with a time limitation. The whole idea with exclusivity is to offer gamedevs music that'll be identified with their game only.

Offline eto

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Re: Looking for some feedback on an idea
« Reply #3 on: 14:54, 08 October 20 »
Exclusivity is always worth more than 2€ (or 12€).

I think a formula is too complicated, just put them into different buckets, depending on the (current) popularity, e.g.

Retro Computers and consoles like Amstrad, Speccy, C64, MSX, Amiga, Atari ST: 25€
16-32 bit Game consoles: 50€
recent and current consoles and operating systems: 75€ (maybe even a bit more)
(all incl. the resale license)

also for the artist this seems to be fairer as giving exclusive rights for a whole platform is a big thing compared to just a resale license.

Offline mr_lou

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Re: Looking for some feedback on an idea
« Reply #4 on: 15:28, 08 October 20 »
Exclusivity is always worth more than 2€ (or 12€).

On a platform like the CPC? It's not exactly a huge community.
Of course € 2 EUR is far from enough if the platform is Windows. But for CPC?

I think a formula is too complicated, just put them into different buckets, depending on the (current) popularity, e.g.

How do you meassure current popularity?

also for the artist this seems to be fairer as giving exclusive rights for a whole platform is a big thing compared to just a resale license.

Which is why the factor is 6 for a platform like Windows. So, € 10 EUR for the resale license + € 60 EUR for the platform exclusivity.

Keep in mind, when the artist is selling exclusivity for the Amstrad CPC (for € 2 EUR), he still has all the other platforms left he can also sell exclusivity for. Add all those up, and the artist will have a decent earning.

Offline tjohnson

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Re: Looking for some feedback on an idea
« Reply #5 on: 23:27, 08 October 20 »
€2 is nothing, can't barely buy a coffee now..  It seems to undervalue the product and if someone wants eclusivity forever that comes at a cost.

Offline mr_lou

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Re: Looking for some feedback on an idea
« Reply #6 on: 06:44, 09 October 20 »
€2 is nothing, can't barely buy a coffee now..  It seems to undervalue the product and if someone wants eclusivity forever that comes at a cost.

I value your input.

How much do you think the average CPC musician would want for an Arkos Tracker 2 track then?

It is my impression that no one is really doing it for the money (not on the CPC anyway). And € 2 EUR is indeed mostly a symbolic figure yes.

I look at it this way:
I create a chip track with Arkos Tracker 2.
If a CPC gamedev wants to use it in a freeware game, he can use it for free. If he wants no one else on the CPC platform to use it, he has to pay me € 2 EUR for that. Symbolic.
If a CPC gamedev wants to use my track in a commercial game, he can use it for e.g. €4 EUR non-exclusively. If he wants no one else on the CPC platform to use it, he has to pay me additional € 2 EUR for that, coming to a total of € 6 EUR. Again, all very symbolic, we agree.

Meanwhile though, this all applies only to the CPC. I can still sell a non-exclusive resale licenses to gamedevs on other platforms like PlayStation5, Xbox Series X and Windows. (Could be an mp3 rendering, which I typically set a bit higher than the AKS version, let's say € 5 EUR for the sake of example). And for these newer platforms, the platform exclusivity license has a factor 6 resulting in a price of € 30 EUR for each of those platforms, meaning a Windows gamedev would pay me € 35 EUR for the same chip track. So now my total earnings are € 41 EUR - and I still have all the other platforms left I can sell the same track to.

PS5 gamedev comes later? Total earnings now € 76 EUR. Xbox Series X dev? Total earnings now € 101 EUR. And still lots of platforms left. Android, iPhone, Nintendo Switch etc.

I can only see it as a total win for both the gamedev and the artist.

And in the case the gamedev is very ambitious, wants full exclusivity for all platforms, he can have a discount called the "exclusive resale license" which covers all platforms. The artist sets this price himself.

It is also important to notice here, that no artist is selling the copyrights. He is only selling resale licenses and platform exclusivity. The artist will always remain the sole copyright owner, and is therefor free to create an album with his tracks later. Could be an album on Soundcloud, or a musicdisk on the CPC. But he's obviously not allowed to use his own tracks in his own game if he has sold the platform exclusivity for that particular platform, or the exclusive resale license.

Does any of this change your view?

Offline Targhan

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Re: Looking for some feedback on an idea
« Reply #7 on: 12:16, 09 October 20 »
Are people really paying for music for an 8-bit game? I did music for many people, never wanted to get paid, never got paid.
Plus this exclusivity thing is strange for our community. I'd never spread a composed song, unless I got the authorization of the "product owner" (like, to put the song in the AT2 package).

Anyway, ripping a song and using it in another production is a thing of the past, now people want original songs in their prods, and there is enough musician to provide whatever music is needed. To me that exclusivity thing has no meaning on 8-bit community, where "business" doesn't really exist.

Sorry if these thoughts go against what you try to achieve.
Targhan/Arkos

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Offline eto

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Re: Looking for some feedback on an idea
« Reply #8 on: 13:23, 09 October 20 »
On a platform like the CPC? It's not exactly a huge community.
Of course € 2 EUR is far from enough if the platform is Windows. But for CPC?


Let me put it like this: If I want an exclusive song for my game, I would be more than happy to pay 25€ for it. I would immediately do that. 25€ is not a lot of money. it's the equivalent of a trip to McDonalds for the artist and family. Not even a good dinner. But for me, it's a lot of help to get my game out and make it special. Maybe the other buckets can be a bit cheaper than I suggested, but below 25€ is no acceptable equivalent for the right to be exclusive.


[/size]

How do you meassure current popularity?

A "well defined" mix of age and gut feeling.

Offline mr_lou

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Re: Looking for some feedback on an idea
« Reply #9 on: 15:15, 09 October 20 »
heh, it is interesting to see two very different sides / opinions on the matter. One can't believe anyone would charge anything at all, and the other thinks far too little is being charged. And it seems both sides are focussed on the CPC platform.

I suspect there might be a bit of confusion about the various licenses, what they mean etc.

First off: There's a difference between freeware games and commercial games.

Almost all of my own music (and many others) is offered for free if the game in question is also free. This is called a "freeware license".

It is only when talking commercial games that I ask for a low fee for a "non-exclusive resale license", typically between € 5-20 EUR depending on format, length, quality and platform. This means the gamedev is allowed to use my music in his game and make money on it, once he pays me this low license fee.

And if my track is new and hasn't been used for anything else before, I can offer an "exclusive resale license" for the track. This is usually a much higher amount, € 200-300 EUR. If anyone buys this I gotta take down the track from the site afterwards and never offer it to anyone else again. I also have to take the exclusive resale license offer down as soon as someone buys a non-exclusive resale license, or I grant someone to use a freeware license. For this reason, you can choose to only offer an exclusive resale license for the first 6-12 months or so. (Give the rich gamedevs a chance). And then add a non-exclusive resale license offer later. And later again offer freeware license.

When the gamedev uses the search form, he can select which licenses must be available.

This new request from an Atari Jaguar developer, is to add a "platform exclusive license" option, which can be applied to the non-exclusive resale license, as an alternative to the exclusive resale license: Instead of buying the whole exclusivity for € 200-300 EUR, the gamedev can buy platform exclusivity for single platforms.
This Atari Jaguar developer is only interested in preventing other Atari Jaguar devs using the same tracks as he is. He doesn't care if an Amiga dev uses them, for example. In other words; he wants semi-exclusivity.
This means, he wants to pay the non-exclusive resale license fee + an additional fee to get the exclusivity for Atari Jaguar only.

In other words, the € 200-300 EUR for the exclusive resale license should kinda be split up into all platforms in existence......

To me, this makes a lot of sense. Because obivously an Atari Jaguar gamedev should not have to pay for an exclusive resale license, when he's only targetting the Atari Jaguar. And the same thing applies to gamedevs on any other platform, like the CPC.

And this is where I say, the CPC part of this, considering the age of the CPC and the size of the community, should only be € 2 EUR. That's less than 1%
The Atari Jaguar part ends up at € 6,5 EUR.
For Windows it'll be around € 60 EUR.
And so on.

Makes more sense now?

This doesn't force you as an artist to charge anything at all though. Every artist is free to offer the freeware license, or even the non-exclusive resale license for € 0 EUR if he wants, or even the exclusive resale license for € 0 EUR.
And you can decide this per filetype version of your track.

Personally I'll typically want a symbolic fee for my music if it's used in anything someone else is making money on. But I'm also offering most my tracks (+1 year old) completely free if the author of the game is not making any money on it either. And many other musicians does the same. We offer our music for free if the game is free, and charge a small non-exclusive resale license if the game is not free. I trust you're not shaking your head about that.

All of my Arkos Tracker 2 tracks (AKS files) are offered with both a freeware license and a non-exclusive resale license of € 0 EUR. No exclusive resale license offered. So any CPC gamedev can use my tracks for free in his freeware or commercial game. For the mp3/ogg rendition of the track however, I want € 2 EUR for the non-exclusive resale license. And if a Windows developer wants the platform exclusivity for it, the factor is 6 = € 12 EUR, so he has to pay € 14 EUR to use it in his Windows game while being the only Windows game that uses this track. And CPC gamedevs can still use request it.

To get original music for your <insert platform here> game - i.e. music that hasn't been used in other games on that platform before - the gamedev just gotta search for music available with an <insert platform here> platform exclusive license. The artist (you) can offer this for no charge too. This happens automatically if the price for the non-exclusive resale license is € 0 EUR.

Do you feel fine doing music for free knowing the rest of the team will be making money on it? Then fine, that's your decision. It is normal practice though, that the musician either gets some revenue or else at least a symbolic fee for his contribution to the project. Especially when talking project work.

Are people really paying for music for an 8-bit game? I did music for many people, never wanted to get paid, never got paid.

Apart from the more modern formats (mp3/ogg/wav/flac) for modern platforms, I've also sold a lot of MODs to gamedevs doing commercial games on various retro platforms at this point, and had chats with other musicians who earn revenue from commercial retrogames. And we know this; there are plenty of new commercial titles coming out in awesome packaging for the various retro platforms. So there's definitely a business going on there. Then we can discuss how big it is, but it's there alright.

But no, so far I haven't sold any licenses to AKS files (which of course I wouldn't have since I offer the non-exclusive resale license for € 0 EUR), nor the mp3/ogg rendition of it, as far as I remember (and I think I would have remembered).

Plus this exclusivity thing is strange for our community. I'd never spread a composed song, unless I got the authorization of the "product owner" (like, to put the song in the AT2 package).

Well, that is your right as the copyright owner, which you automatically have as the composer, but also again entirely your own decision. I'm pretty sure most "product owners" would only appreciate if you did include the tracks from their games in the AT2 package though. "Theme from <gamename>". Free advertisement.

Offline eto

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Re: Looking for some feedback on an idea
« Reply #10 on: 15:44, 09 October 20 »
I don't think we are on a different page. I just think "exclusivity" is such a special right, I think it's OK to give something relevant back for it.

I also totally agree, that it's also OK not to charge for it at all and just do it for free, I just wouldn't expect it on such a website or when I otherwise don't have any connection to the artist.

Btw: I looked into it now and I love your tracks! If I manage to understand how I can play Arkos tracker sounds from Basic, I might want to use one of your tracks for my project. Do you know if the file size is then also the amount of ram required?

Offline Targhan

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Re: Looking for some feedback on an idea
« Reply #11 on: 16:17, 09 October 20 »
Off-Topic:
Quote
If I manage to understand how I can play Arkos tracker sounds from Basic
Contact me if you have trouble with that, this is something lacking in the tutorials.

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Offline mr_lou

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Re: Looking for some feedback on an idea
« Reply #12 on: 16:26, 09 October 20 »
I also totally agree, that it's also OK not to charge for it at all and just do it for free, I just wouldn't expect it on such a website or when I otherwise don't have any connection to the artist.

There can be many reasons why a musician would want to supply music for free. Maybe he's just really passionate about the same platform as you. That could happen.

Btw: I looked into it now and I love your tracks! If I manage to understand how I can play Arkos tracker sounds from Basic, I might want to use one of your tracks for my project. Do you know if the file size is then also the amount of ram required?

Thanks for the positive feedback. :-)
I've made the AKS files available. That means you must create the export to binary yourself in Arkos Tracker 2, and thus decide yourself which address to use etc. The binary export will tell you how much RAM the song itself takes up. Then add the size of the player routines.
If you find a track you'd like to use, please use the "Request track" form on the site. Helps me keep track of everything.

Offline tjohnson

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Re: Looking for some feedback on an idea
« Reply #13 on: 18:23, 09 October 20 »
I agree if you are asking for exclusivity then euro 25 seems fair.  To be frank for someone to spend time creating a song and only charge euro 25 for the right to use it seems like a bargain to me.  How much does a 1 hour music leason cost, probably min euro 25.  As for PS4 and the likes, I imagine just to publish a game costs thousands so even your higher numbers seem low.