Making Royalty Free Music (Part 3)

The beginners journey from composition to production to release.

Let’s cut to the chase. There are 2 dominant websites that are leading the market for stock media these days, Pond5 and AudioJungle.

As of September 2016, AudioJungle gets 158k daily visitors. Pond5 comes out a little bit under that at 91.8k daily visitors (go here for the full web traffic stats). When people on the internet want stock, royalty free music, they visit these 2 sites. So let’s take a look at what each of these sites have to offer…


Pond5 is a library for stock footage, music, sound effects, photos etc. You as the author set the price of your content and receive 50% of the revenue per sale. You are not bound in any exclusive agreement to only distribute with them, which means you can distribute the same media on other websites and locations if you want. Your content is required to be of reasonably high/professional quality, Pond5 is quite a flash website that distributes quality products and has a good reputation (here is the list of specs for audio submissions on their website). Also, you need to verify your identity with Pond5 so that they can link you to your work to prevent theft.

Overall the site is professional and secure as well as aesthetically pleasing. Tags on your products help people refine their search to get exactly what they’re after so be sure to use the tagging system to your advantage.


The Envato Market is a marketplace similar to Pond5 where you can purchase stock media. AudioJungle is the subsidiary of Envato Market specifically for stock music. The percentage revenue you make off of your product has a few factors involved which you can view with a handy graph on their website here. The gist of what you need to know is: You set the price, but Your earnings are quite a bit higher if you are an exclusive author as opposed to a non-exclusive one. As an exclusive author you agree that any item you upload on that account will only be made available exclusively on AudioJungle. Making an account is as easy as your average account sign up. You can still make separate music and distribute it on other sites, you can even have a non-exclusive account running simultaneously, (the exclusive aspect applies to the product you upload to that account, not everything you make as an artist).

Upon first glance, AudioJungle seems a bit more over saturated and overwhelming than the minimalism of Pond5. Just from my first impressions of browsing, there seemed to be more of a varied quality of production on the site. The highest quality products obviously rise to the top and make the sales. But it seems that new artists may struggle to find some footing and get noticed/get sales on their work. However, AudioJungle is the leading marketplace and with appropriate tagging and a quality product, anything is achievable.

Browse these sites for yourself, see what kind of music is doing well. Personally I prefer the simplicity and professionalism of Pond5, but many stock music composers have varying results on which of the 2 sites they gain the most income from. Of course it is a good idea to check out and diversify your income on smaller stock music libraries too, try your luck everywhere. Sometimes smaller sites tend to be a bit harder to crack for new composers, or the sites simply don’t receive enough traffic to make a decent amount of sales. However, I can guarantee that as a newbie to stock music, your sales will show most significantly on the 2 most popular sites.