Hi Audio Professionals,

I would like to develop a Music Sample Library but then i have a couple of doubts mainly on the business side, before I start working on it.

Ok, now lets assume that i have recorded & edited the samples & its all set.

  1. Now, do i have to sell it on my own (by starting a website) or find another sampling company to buy my stuff, which one would be the better way?

  2. If i make a sample library content worth of 1GB, a. How much do i charge for a CD or DVD of it, if im selling it on my own website? b. How much to quote to a sampling company if im selling the stuff to them on a buyout deal? c. Does the pricing completely depend up on the richness & rareness of the library? d. Does Ethnic & folk Music Genre has more sales capability than the regular Pop, Rock, Hiphop etc...?

Kindly Advice,

Looking forward to hearing from you guys,

Best Regards & Season Greetings!!!


  • Do you mean sample instruments? or production music? They are very different markets
    – user49
    Dec 20, 2011 at 23:30

4 Answers 4


Hi Bala,

it sounds like you still have more market research to do before you're ready to launch.

I'd go check out the kontakt forums for a good source of guys that are already out there doing it. Once you see what they do and what they charge you'll have a better idea of where your stuff fits in the marketplace.

Aditionally, go look at soundiron.com and maybe buy a pack or two so that you can see how much you get for the 30-50 bucks you may spend on a library. also check out the documentation and marketing materials, as you'll have to create all of that as well.

also, go check out jetstreaming.org, where Paul has put up a number of very informative articles related to this biz.

  • Thanks for the advice Rene, Im gonna check out the kontakt forums, Pauls site was really informative. Thanks again, Cheers!!!
    – Bala
    Dec 21, 2011 at 23:53

I'm not able to answer the questions you've asked, however, I would offer some advice on the distribution front.

I would almost definitely include a digital download of the tracks as well as/instead of a CD/DVD. The amount of facilities who will need tracks NOW, ready to download will be far greater than those who will wait for the music to come through the post will be far greater.

Another option is to make a library of music (you can probably charge for the physical CDs), send it out to all customers on CD/DVD and get them to notify you only when it's been used. This means you can charge for royalties, however if you're going through the 'buy the track once' route (which I believe you might be) this isn't really an option for you.

I hope this helps,

Good luck with your endeavour!

  • 1
    Thanks Fred,I forgot about the downloading option & i really like the idea of sending the CD/DVD to the customers & get them to notify when it's been used. Your advice is much appreciated fred, Thanks again. Best Regards & Season Greetings!!! Bala.
    – Bala
    Dec 20, 2011 at 20:29

Forgive me if I'm being slow, but I've re-read your question several times and I still can't figure out exactly what you're looking to do. Some mixing of terminology happening I think.

Sample Libraries: Loops, individual musical elements, riffs, sound fx, standalone sounds etc. typically designed for musicians to use for music-making purposes.

Music Libraries: Complete pieces of music (songs, tracks, whatever you want to call them) typically designed to accompany visual/video/game productions.

Which are you referring to? I can probably provide some good advice for the first one as I've been making "soundware" professionally for about 10 years now. I have also done a fair amount of stock music over the years as well, both for other libraries and on my own. Please clarify. :)

  • Hello, Many thanks for the reply :) Im referring to the first point.My aim is to make Sample libraries - Loops, individual musical elements & riffs. Your help is much appreciated, kindly advice. Cheers!!!
    – Bala
    Dec 21, 2011 at 23:50

In that case, here's some random bits of info in no particular order. I'll try not to ramble, I could go on all day about this stuff. I'm actually working on a little ebook on the subject. :)

Digital Downloads are a Must: You might have romantic thoughts now about burning disks and packing envelopes, but they will turn from dream to nightmare quickly. The medium is dead. Customers want the product now. It adds nothing but financial and time overhead. Instant downloads immediately after paying are required. There are a ton of super affordable solutions for this. There's no excuse not to do it.

Choose Your Market/Platform(s) Wisely: Different platforms have different kinds of users. From genre, to likelihood to spend money, to quality (bit/sample rate) needs, to you-name-it. Marketing massive multisampled orchestral instruments to Fruity Loops users, or cheesy techno loops to Kontakt users is missing the mark.

Forget About Piracy: There is literally nothing you can do about it. Piracy does not equal lost sales. That person was never going to buy anything from you anyway. Do not complicate the process for the customers who do pay in an attempt to thwart pirates. Complete waste of time, and nobody wins.

Understand Your Customers: There are intrinsic potential negatives with the soundware business which are baked right in from the beginning. The biggest one is so glaringly obvious that people almost always fail to see it. It's this: Your customers are musicians. To put a finer point on it; Your customers are computer musicians. Breaking this down, and speaking in broad strokes, this can mean a few important things...

They are young. They don't have much money to spend, partly because they are young. They are artists. They are fickle, and opinionated. They want things cheap, and they want them now. They are tech-savvy.

Obviously these are gross generalities, and there is plenty of margin for exceptions. But in general terms, there is some real truth to a lot of this stuff. Understanding it, being cool with it, and working your business model around it is essential.

Be Awesome: In this age of the App Store, much of the world is living under the assumption that everything digital is free. Or maybe, if it's really great, it's worth .99 cents. The upside is that this same world is the one that allows independent creatives to easily go into business for themselves and make a career with their passions. But you must be good. The cream rises to the top, poor quality is called out instantly and dissatisfaction spreads on the web like wildfire. Be exceptional, or don't bother charging money for it.

I'll stop there. Hope some of that is useful for you. Good luck on your new venture!

  • Im really sorry for being late. That was just an awesome piece of advice, I'll inject each & every word of these in me before i start working on the project. Its just so good that people whom ive never seen before are so helpful & usually close pals don't do it. Thanks again mate. Merry Christmas & a Prosperous New year. Bala.
    – Bala
    Dec 24, 2011 at 12:30

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