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Make money online by selling royalty free audio tracks

Updated on June 28, 2012

If you happen to be at least a semi-professional audio artist even if you do audio (musical and non-musical) recording as a hobby, there is an avenue to have a residual income. The surge of online photo and illustration sales has been around a few years now with the likes of istockphoto, shutterstock etc., and some of these companies have expanded and extended their trade to include flash, video and audio tracks. In fact, there are some companies that exclusively trade audio tracks.

There are certain requirements that are common amongst most of these online companies that sell audio tracks wherby an audio artist can earn a percentage. As a contributor you will have 

The term royalty-free means that once the content is licensed under a set of guidelines, the licensee is normally free to use it in perpetuity without paying additional royalty charges.

The residual income that an audio artist receives comes from a percentage of the selling price for each and every download.

  • Signup for a FREE account. This is a simple process, and the usual username, password and email is required. Some sites may require more information such as your social security number, and a scanned picture identification as a part of your application as a contributor.
  • Enter into an agreement that the audio files are royalty free. Even though the tracks are royalty free, the contributor will retain rights as creator.
  • Be the Creator of the Audio Tracks. Even if you have rights to use sound files (such as techno and drum loops) does not indicate that you are the creator. Some websites are stricter in this principle than others.
  • Upload THREE (3) samples of your work. This is a huge part of the application process, as your files will be screened to verify if you have taken note of the specific file requirements.
  • A medium through which the Artist will be paid (usually a paypal account will suffice).

As gruesome as it may be, make sure to go through the policies of the particular web-company that you choose to submit your artistic pieces.

Where To Sell Audio Tracks?

There are four (4) websites that are prominent in the trading of audio tracks.

Audio tracks that are only contributed to a particular website are exclusive. The contributing artist would be considered an Exclusive Contributing Artist.

Each audio track is valued a certain number of credits. The cost associated with a credit varies amongst websites and credit packages, for eg. istockphoto sells a credit from between $0.95 and $1.52.


istockaudio (which is linked to istockphoto) has an excellent traffic flow and the sales are quite noteworthy. As a contributer you have the potential to earn 20% to 40% per credit of each download of an audio track. As an exclusive contributer, you will be able to earn the highest possible percentage which is 40% per credit.

istockaudio categorizes audio files into standard audio and pump audio. Standard Audio is anything from the sound of a cat's meow to a massive orchestral composition. Pump Audio is geared towards independent (indie) artists who desire to increase their presence and popularity and at the same time earn from sales of their tracks whether they include vocals or not.

As a contributing artist or buyer, you can also earn $10 for each referred buyer who makes a purchase within 14 days of signing up.


buystocksound makes it possible for contributing artistes to earn from 50% to 70% per credit of each audio track bought and downloaded. The affiliate program is probably the most lucrative.

For Users
For Authors
For Buyers
Refer a new seller and receive 10% from every sale for 12 months.
Upload media files and make 50%-75% from every sale.
Up to $15 bonus if you put $100 on your account balance.
Refer a new buyer and receive 50% from their first deposit.
buystocksound's compensation


audiojungle allows contributers to earn 40% to 70% per credit as exclusive contributers. If an audio artist is a non-exclusive contributer, then the rate is 25% per credit. As a referrer, one will receive 30% from the first purchase or cash deposit.


digasound gives audio authors the opportunity to earn 70% per credit. It is possible for a contributor to earn 90% per credit depending on sales volume, but it is not clearly stated what this volume is. Furthermore, to request payment a contributor will need to have earned at least $100.

Key Points For Selling Audio Tracks

  1. Keywords are those specific words that potential buyers put into the search bar of the website. These are pathways to your audio tracks and therefore It's very important that you choose such words carefully.
  2. The Description of Files involves the clear and concise explanation about what the audio track is about, that can even include what the track can be used for.
  3. Files Commonly Downloaded include non-musical tracks such as an assortment of mouse clicks or a scream of terror. It pays off to take note of the sound files that have a lot of downloads, and use that information to choose the tracks that you upload and market.
  4. Blogging is a proven effective way to market particular products and services. As an audio artist, your unique artistry is your mark. Writing articles, video and audio blogging can reach out to potential buyers. For instance, istockphoto has a blogging feature to cater for this.

The reality is that anyone can sell audio tracks online, but naturally the particular standards must be upheld. It can be highly motivating when your audio files, as simple and silly as they may be get downloaded over and over again. It's also a great way for the more professional artists to earn more money and build a greater fan base. Originality is key for the Artist, so keep creative.

Every Audio Artist Needs at Least One Pair of Good Headphones


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    • profile image

      Eric 5 years ago

      Nice advices!

    • profile image

      medicatation 6 years ago

      thank you :)))

    • profile image

      Fish4Stock 7 years ago

      Great article. If you are interested in uploading your music and photography, take a look at They are a new exciting stock audio and stock photography site.

    • theblackedition profile image

      Shane Brown-Daniels 8 years ago from Jamaica

      Thanks! Go 60dc indeed! Yep, there are so many ways to earn some cash online. I'm glad you learned something new.

    • wavegirl22 profile image

      Shari 8 years ago from New York, NY

      I had no idea about these sites. .and so tbe once again you have taught me something! Great Hub! Go 60dc :)