Today’s topic comes from a thread on reddit:
How the hell can these people justify charging that much? I get it takes time & effort to make these loops. I’m just trying to open a discussion on it since there seems to be no real guideline for pricing structure on visual loops.”
Lets looks at why packs are so expensive on big sites and the challenges this presents for people that want to get into VJing.
Update: the pricing above from VJloops.com is $9 for a royalty free license. The price for a single 720p loop with a live performance license is $6).
The Big Sites: Resolume.com, VJloops.com, Videohive
When you first start looking for VJ loops these sites are likely to be some of the first ones you see. Like the OP you may be wondering why are the packs so expensive.
One of the big reasons is commission. When creators sell VJ loops on these sites, the site earns a commission for every sale. For example, VJLoops.com has an even 50/50 split on every sale. So if a loop sells for $10, the creator earns $5 and VJLoops.com earns $5.
Now some people may view this as unfair:
“You put in all the work for the product and they just have the utility to host it so that justifies taking half the profits??”
However these sites give creators something that they may not have when they’re starting out.
Why Creators Sell VJ Loops Through Big Sites
Attention of a large audience
“There are so many content creators out there and only a few websites which sell pretty well or people check on a regular basis (Resolume is the biggest in the VJ world)” – LAAK (reddit)
When creators are starting out, it’s unlikely that they have a large audience that are willing to buy. To build a large audience takes a lot of time.
Rather than wait to build up a sizeable audience, they can get their loops in front of a large established audience. Whether the commission amount is fair or not is up for debate, but there’s no doubt that being able to reach a large audience is worth something.
Big Sites Host and Showcase Loops
Another benefit of having loops on a site like Resolume.com or VJLoops.com is that they handle the hosting and presentation for the loops. This is really valuable because full HD quality loops take a LOT of bandwidth, which would drive up the cost of hosting them yourself.
What About Selling On Your Own Site?
In response to selling on big sites, the idea of creators selling on their own sites came up.
“I feel like it would be more work but better to host on your own website. Though I suppose then you don’t get the reach that some of these sites have. Tough choice”
The option for creators selling on their own sites is available but there are pro’s and con’s.
You have to create your own site (and pay for it)
If you’re selling on a big site you don’t need to worry about having your own site setup, you just focus on creating loops and they take care of the rest.
Your Site, Your Price
If creators sell loops on their own site than they do have control over what they charge. They can afford to sell their loops for a little less than on a big site because they don’t need to cover the cost of commission and they get to keep the majority of the profit.
However they still need an audience that is willing to buy. Without an audience it doesn’t matter how much the loops cost if no one is there to buy them.
They would need to sell more loops at a lower prince point vs. less at a higher price point on a big site to make the same amount. So it is a tradeoff that needs to be considered.
“I did lower prices on my self as I wanted to draw people in… but there is so much spam, banners, people screaming about new content or websites and new packs, it’s hard to grab people’s attention that quality and democratic prices can go hand in hand. ” – LAAK
It’s also worth nothing that just because some loop packs are sold independently doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be cheaper than a big site.
For example, artist collective 1000 Errors offer packs on their personal site and the prices range from 50-65 euro.
How Much Should Loop Packs Be Worth?
The OP has a good point regarding the varying price structure for VJ loops. When you compare the cost of VJ loops to the cost of things like of music for DJs its confusing.
DJs have record pools where they can pay an affordable monthly fee for access to a large variety of music. And when people buy albums or singles you can expect to pay $1 a song or around $10-15 for an album.
With VJing you have packs going for over $100 or even $9 for a single loop. if you bought 10 individual loops you’re looking at $90. Can you imagine a DJ with only 10 songs in their library?? You’ll burn through that content fast.
Now this isn’t discounting the time and effort of loop creators, they deserve to be compensated for their efforts. But it does present a challenge for people like the OP that are interested in VJing but can’t get into it because of the high price.
Does there need to be more of a range in pricing for high quality loops or is the only option for beginners to learn how to make loops themselves?
“If it’s too expensive, don’t buy them and make them yourself, you soon find out it takes more time to make em than makes money to buy them” – LAAK
If you’re a creator I’d love to hear your comments and if you’re someone who buys loops how do you feel about the current pricing?