Does anyone use stock audio websites to either buy or sell sound effects? I was checking out Audio Micro and they at least give you 50% of net profits for being 'non exclusive' (60% for 'exclusive')

When I was searching sfx under most popular the most downloaded sound I could find was 18 downloads. On the other hand, some of the effects have THOUSANDS OF PLAYS with only 5 downloads What is wrong with that picture?!

Yet, on Audio Micro, blastwavefx, hollywoodedge, sounddogs, and other reputable libraries are represented.

Is anyone out there making money from this?

Does anyone buy stock sfx?

8 Answers 8


I make about 90% of my living from stock libraries and instruments, though the vast majority of that is from direct sales. I still do have some good relationships with 3rd party distributors that are worthwhile. People do definitely by sfx, different types for different markets. I think most people on here sell dry material geared toward sound designers to manipulate further on their own. My work is more thematic "pre-designed" sounds or music for visual artists to drop directly into a project. Fairly different market there. And I also do virtual instrument libraries, which are obviously just for musicians.

For straight-up sfx I think AudioJungle.net is a really good place to be. They have a large user market. While music sales there far outweigh sfx, it's still a good spot. They have very fair royalties and it's super easy (and free) to get on board. I know of a handful of people who make their living pretty much purely from music sales on there.

A new outfit called Sampleism launched recently. Looks like a really decent concept, but they charge a weird tiered subscription fee just to sell, plus they take substantial royalties on top of that. I've been in the stock audio/sample/patch market for a decade now. My work has been sold in a number of shops online, and in large retail chains like Guitar Center etc. I've never once paid a fee to have my products carried. Distributors take a chunk of the sales, that's the "fee". It would be kind of like Stop n' Shop charging the milk company a monthly fee to cover their electric bills. Sorry, doesn't work that way. And the upper tiers promise promotional priority, which smells kind of like payola to me. I dunno, maybe I'm just missing the point.

I've just started getting into doing stock libraries for iOS developers. This might turn out to be an interesting market. These devs need all kinds of little interface elements, button pushes, transitions, etc and in the beginning they may not have the cash for a custom design. I've had a few so far start with stock material and then get in touch with me later to replace them with custom sound and music once they have a handle on sales etc. I am exploring this now and it seems worthwhile. There are loads of people selling stock UI elements for iOS app developers, same concept.


I sell some sounds on Audiosparx. Not too many, I have maybe 200 sounds up there. I make a few hundred bucks per year. Not huge money, but it offsets some expenses. I know there are sounds of mine that have been downloaded more than 18 times.


I work as an audio designer for a games company and I purchase stock sfx all the time. The site I regularly go to is sounddogs.


We have a company account with SoundDogs and to be honest we don't use it that often, usually if there is a particular sound from a particular library we'd want I'd look for it there, but it tends to be our last port.

  • @RedSonic Does this mean that for most productions, the preference would be first to make/record your own, then if not possible, to search a library? Sep 27, 2011 at 10:43
  • @Sonic Fields - it really depends on the sounds we are looking for. There is basically 3 choices for any sound, record ourselves, Out Source or Libraries. which one of those we do is balanced between quality / budget / time - e.g. I know people who have access too and can record better cars than us, so it is a logical out source. Foley for instance we record ourselves (some is outsourced as well) cause it is much faster, easier. If I need e.g. the ambience from a desert then I'd go to a library.
    – RedSonic01
    Sep 27, 2011 at 11:33

I'm a big fan of SoundSnap. The prices are amazing and sounds are great and variety is wide.


I vote for pond5


I've got a few sounds up on Audiomicro. I get a few sales every month. It's never been a lot but it's really not a lot of sounds (around 250). Ends up paying for Netflix or Dropbox each month.



I'd just like to point out that Sampleism doesn't charge a fee. The basic account is free, instantly available and pays royalties at 50% for non-exclusivity...

There are additional subscriptions you can choose if you desire which will pay out higher royalties but our entry level account is free and always will be....


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