I really enjoy recording and creating sound effects.
And it would really be awesome if I could find a way to monetize and earn some passive income from that passion of mine.
One way to, theoretically, accomplish this is through stock websites such as Audiojungle.
So I decided to give it a try and now, after 7 months, I want to share the data I’ve collected.
Relative Monthly Profits Graphic
Take a look at the following graph:
The blue line represents my relative monthly profit.
It’s not really in dollars. It just means that if in the first month I made an X amount of dollars, then in the second month I made 2.3 times that amount and so on.
The orange line represents the total number of sound effects I had in my Audiojungle library that month.
On the first month, I uploaded 21 sound effects and made an X amount of money.
On the second month, I had 33 sound effects and doubled the profit. So I didn’t need to double my library to double the profit. Cool.
On the third month, though, I almost doubled the size of my library and yet the profits dropped 13%.
This was a deal breaker for me.
Progress and Regress
The route to success is typically not instant. Even when you do everything right, you still need to follow a certain progression curve. There are typically 3 kind of progression paths:
- Linear Progression (constant effort provides constant growth);
- Logarithmic Progression (constant effort provides fast initial growth that eventually slows down);
- Exponential Progression (constant effort provides slow initial growth that eventually speeds up);
At the end of my second month, I was really excited. I thought I was in a linear progression curve, silly me.
Then I entered the third month.
As I said, during that month, I had an increase of almost 100% in productivity and effort, to get a -13% decrease in reward.
That is not indicative of a linear progression.
It is not indicative of a logarithmic progression.
And it is not indicative of an exponential progression.
Instead, it is indicative of unpredictable chaos and regression.
And in the face of unreliability, unpredictability and regression, it is not obvious why one should continue. After all, those are signs that one is not in the path to success.
There could be some explanations for the drop on the third month.
(a) The Quality Factor
Maybe I started rushing the creation of my sound effects and their quality dropped? No, this is not the case. At the end of the seventh month, as things have stabilized, sales statistics don’t support the idea. In fact, as of today, some of my most sold sound effects are among those created in the third month.
(b) The Summer Factor
Maybe it could be due to the third month corresponding to a summer month, when sales naturally drop?
Summer months can affect sales, in some cases dropping them by 30%.
I’m sure that’s a factor, but let’s not forget that I also doubled my library during that month. Even with the summer factor taken in consideration, the worst thing that should have happened was, maybe, not doubling my profits.
It turned out that not only did I not double my profits that month, I didn’t even reach the same profit from the month before.
So this doesn’t seem to be the case either.
(c) The Algorithm Factor
To me, it seems clear that it all comes down to Audiojungle’s search algorithm. This is the algorithm that determines which sounds to show first in the search results.
The newest sounds have a priority in being shown first.
But once a sounds become old – and they become old fast – it is not clear how the algorithm behaves.
What is clear, however – and many agree with me – is this: once you upload your sounds there, you are dependent on an algorithm that works in a way that doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you will be rewarded by your productivity.
Your sales will be uncertain and you won’t be able to make reliable predictions.
You won’t be able to roughly determine how many sounds you need, to earn, say, 1000 dollars a month in sales. Maybe you’ll need 1000 sounds, maybe you’ll need 3000. Or maybe you’ll need 10000 sounds. Who knows?
And even if you were able to determine that, it is not clear the algorithm would keep things that way for long.
Audiojungle as a source of Passive Income
Let’s say you don’t have any specific profit goal and don’t mind the unreliable algorithm and, therefore, unreliable profits.
Can you still use Audiojungle as a source of passive income?
Well, there are some factors that may be inconvenient to that goal.
(d) The Dilution Factor
Consider this fact: Every month, thousands of new sound effects are added to Audiojungle.
This means 2 things:
- If you stop uploading new sound effects, you stop having those sweet sales that usually come from having a sFX in the front page, and at the same your old sounds will quickly become diluted in the search results.
- Even if you don’t stop uploading new sound effects, you still need to keep creating them at a rate that exceeds the dilution rate.
Audiojungle is oversaturated and there’s no turning back. Every minute that passes is contributing to the decay of Audiojungle as a viable passive income source.
(e) The “Don’t Send Them To Your Competition” Factor
You may think that perhaps you don’t have to rely on Audiojungle’s algorithm to generate you sales. You’ll just promote your sound effects outside of the platform and send your clients to buy the sounds there.
Well, if you’re going to do that, why not just sell the sound effects directly yourself?
And also, don’t forget this:
If you send your clients to Audiojungle, you are effectively sending them to your competition.
And you’re facing two kinds of competition:
- Other sound designers: sending your clients to a platform where there are hundreds of thousands of sound effects may make them realise that, perhaps, they don’t want to buy your sounds after all. Maybe they’ll explore other options and buy those instead.
- Audiojungle: Audiojungle itself is your competition. Like I said, sending your outside clients to buy your sound effects through the platform is wasting an opportunity to sell them your product directly. Remember, Audiojungle takes at least 50% out of your sales. They are your competition.
Concluding: My Advice to You
Look, I don’t know everything.
There are success stories on Audiojungle. They are a minority, like you’d expect, but they do exist.
My bet is that they rose to the top when the market wasn’t saturated and have kept their position there until now.
But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe they have this really special talent for understanding which sounds sell a lot, and make only those. Maybe the search algorithm likes them and favours them for some reason.
Success stories show that, somehow, there are ways to have success on that website.
If my experience didn’t convince you and you still want to give it a shot, good for you. Maybe come back in a year and leave me a comment below to teach me a thing or two I might have missed.
Sill, though, if you are looking for some kind of success on Audiojungle, and are not doing this as some kind of careless hobbie, my advice to you is this: keep a close record of your progress like I did.
Create an Excel sheet with graphs. Let the data paint you a picture on which path you’re on.
That way, decisions you may take to continue or quit are properly founded and grounded.
And if you end up realizing that Audiojungle is not the way to make money creating sound effects, maybe then you’ll join me on the journey of exploring the other possibilities that exist.