Sinewave Lab’s Sound Library was a Failure

By the end of 2018 I explained why my experience of selling sound effects through the Audiojungle marketplace hadn’t been that great.

And then I started to wonder how I could monetize my sound effects in a better way.

I tried to find an answer and launched the Sinewave Lab Sound Library.

I had many variables to test: what’s the best strategy? Should I be counter-intuitive and release both a high-quality PROFESSIONAL and a low-quality FREE version of the library? Where to host the sound effects? How to get traffic? These were all questions to be tested through trial and error.

After the first month, I got some answers and decided to eliminate the FREE version of the library.

Now, as I write this article, another month has passed and I had the opportunity to test more variables.

And the data is clear: selling sound effects on my own is a terrible idea. Even with all its faults, fees, and algorithmic unpredictability, Audiojungle still proves itself to be far superior in terms of profit.

The Sinewave Lab Sound Effects Library is now officially declared a failure. All the sound effects can still be bought, but only via my Audiojungle portfolio.

Wait: isn’t it too soon to declare it a failure?

Recently, I have learned something that, perhaps, is obvious to other people… but wasn’t to me: when you’re testing an idea, don’t wait too long to declare it good or bad.

It is true that if success is to be achieved on the Internet, it must follow some sort of exponential path.

But this is dangerous, because if you don’t have success initially (and you rarely do), you have no way of knowing if that’s because (1) you still have to put in more work until you achieve exponential growth or (2) your plan of action is just bad and you will never achieve any kind of growth long-term.

These two possibilities begin similarly, but they lead to very different paths long-term!

So, how to know, beforehand, in which path you’re on?

Up until now, I thought you didn’t have a way to know and you could only rely on your faith. But that’s naive.

Sure, you can never really know, but you can at least look at the damn signs! When I uploaded my first sound effect on Audiojungle, I made one sale in the first day! On the other hand, my Sinewave Lab Library experience made zero sales after two months.

“It is a military axiom not to advance uphill against the enemy, nor to oppose him when he comes downhill” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War

When trying ideas, one should try to find those that, effortlessly, provide little hints that they’ll be a downhill battle (and sure, they’ll still be a battle), and then focus on those wholeheartedly; while avoiding time, energy and money on ideias that are an uphill battle.

Audiojungle is ranked as the 4405th most popular website on the internet. It’s a very popular marketplace. Yeah, it’s a very saturated marketplace, but it also has a constant influx of buyers.

And at the end of the day… it’s better to be a small fish in a big pond than to be a big fish on dry land.

So, is two months too soon to declare the Sinewave Lab Sound Library a failure?

Thomas Edison said this about his discovery of the light bulb: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

What people forget about this quote is to do the math.

If you’re going to fail 10000 times until you find success, you better not wait too long between your failures. Wait one day, and you’ve spent 27 years exploring ways that don’t work.

So, is it too soon to declare the Sinewave Lab Library a failure? No.

Yes, I will have to give up on the goal of making any decent passive income off of my sound effects, but that’s how things go.

Hopefully I’ll have a downhill battle idea next time.

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1 comment

    • Jorge Vasques on March 4, 2019 at 10:32 am
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    Excelente artigo!

    Isto é algo que deveria aplicado aos meus projectos musicais porque acabo sempre por perder demasiado tempo em projectos sem futuro.

    Por exemplo, passei a segunda metade do ano passado envolvido num projecto acústico de covers com outro vocalista, com o objectivo de mais tarde comecar a injectar originais, e foi mais um projecto falhado. O maior falhanco foi o de nao ter aplicado algo do género que descreves no teu artigo, o nao esperar demasiado tempo para ver se é bom ou mau.

    Quando ao fim de 2 meses de uma média de dois ensaios por semana apenas 4 músicas de 12 soavam apenas razoáveis e as outras ainda muito fracas, eu senti que nao ia resultar e deveria acabar e partir para outra, mas mais uma vez, aquele velho ditado “Dá tempo ao tempo” foi mais forte e ao fim de 6 meses de projecto, acabou. Eu aqui já sabia que era mau e deveria ter imediatamente considerado o projecto um falhanco. Mas nao.

    As conclusoes a que tinha chegado ao fim de 2 meses estavam 100% correctas. Ao fim de 2 meses eu achei que o vocalista nao tinha capacidade de aprender e memorizar músicas suficientemente depressa, insistia que queria tocar a segunda guitarra mas sem muita habilidade para tal, nao tinha ideias para letras e melodias originais, etc. Se vissemos isto num gráfico, o potencial teria que comecar nos 90% e os outros 10% seriam a evolucao, o aperfeicoamento, polir o existente ao contrário de o que aconteceu, polir uma grandessíssima poia. Aqui o caso foi que o potencial estava nos 40%, nunca iria sair nada de especial com um potencial tao baixo.

    Este teu artigo ajudou-me a reflectir sobre este ultimo projecto e todos os outros anteriores. Para mim até agora nao era óbvio que andava constantemente a esperar demasiado tempo para considerar algo um falhanco, tanto que uma história muito parecida tinha acontecido no ano anterior e todos os outros, tipo um padrao de 6 meses de projecto e 6 meses de frustracao a planear ou procurar o seguinte, isto todos os anos sem falha.

    Eu agora comecei outro projecto, desta vez a solo. Acústica instrumental, primeira fase aprender músicas de Tommy Emmanuel, Chet Atkins, Andy Mckee, etc, e ir tocar ao vivo em Open Mics, segunda fase tentar escrever originais para injectar pelo meio. Já lá vao quase dois meses, até agora sinto que tem potencial…

    Obrigado por mais um artigo muito interessante. Um abraco Micael 🙂

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