Making money in my (son’s) sleep

You don’t have to be a parent to understand the value to a person’s health and sanity of their child sleeping through the night. You also don’t need to be a parent to know what a struggle it can be, especially when they are young. It’s important to stack the deck in your favor wherever possible.

Our family lives in Brooklyn, where ambient noise is inevitable, whether it’s creaky floorboards, loud neighbors, or street traffic. To combat these noises, we have played a rainstorm track on loop in our son’s room at night to act as a white noise barrier, cancelling out some of the ambient noise of the cityscape.

We loop the same track over and over, and have since he was only a few months old. This track has played all night, every night, for the nearly 2 years of his life so far. It occurred to my wife and I that whoever created this track has been receiving streaming royalties this whole time. This was the lightbulb moment. Why should this stranger be receiving all this money when we could just as easily create and distribute our own rainstorm track that we knew would work for our son? Fuck that noise (literally).

So here’s what we did:

1. Bought a commercially licensed stock audio file of a rainstorm from AudioJungle. I checked out a few different services, but that’s where I found the most pleasant sound that I knew would work for my son’s bedroom. He’ll have it on all night, after all. ($4.00)

2. Used Audacity to edit the audio file to ensure the track worked as a loop. Originally we started the loop at 10 seconds.

3. Found a nice stock photo of a peaceful sleeping baby to use as cover art, and added a nice soothing blue gradient and the title in Sketch. Settled on the title “Rainstorm loop for Sleepy Babies” and “Sleepy Baby” as the artist. I am not sure if SEO for online music stores is a thing, but we gave it a searchable title nonetheless.

Peaceful AF

4. Signed up with Tunecore to distribute the track to the online music services. ($9.99/year). They informed us that the 10 second track might be flagged by the retailers as stream fraud. Apparently I’m not as original as I thought.

5. Increased the length of the stream to 1:30, and re-uploaded the new audio file to Tunecore.

6. Clicked “Distribute.” Within a few weeks, the track began to appear on the online music stores.

Total investment: $13.99

To be fair, we know this isn’t going to make much money as, according to the Verge, “Spotify admits the average “per stream” payout to rights holders lands somewhere between $0.006 and $0.0084.” We’re not talking big money here, but it’s a worthy experiment nonetheless. I’ll post an update in a few months with the results!

In the meantime, if you want to support this wayward experiment you can buy or stream the track from:

or just about every other music service you might use, just search!


Jeremy is a Freelance UX and Product Designer in New York. He also offers specialized consulting services for VCs, Incubators, and Funded Startups. He embarks on these pointless endeavors between projects.