Selling and Distributing OSTs

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  • Creator
  • #4006
    Alec Galambos

    Hi GANG,
    I’m Alec, an NYC-based composer and new member of GANG! I know a few of you personally and thought I’d finally make it real and join the community. I have a question about OST sales that I hope is helpful for a few of us indie musicians.

    I’m in the process of negotiating a salary as a Composer and Audio Lead with a young game studio in NYC. I’ve been working with them as a freelancer in the lead-up to our first major game release, but just now starting the transition to full-time. Part of our negotiation is around the OST sales; specifically keeping the rights and whether or not to distribute on my own or share the ownership in exchange (maybe) for more salary. For the sake of negotiation, what sort of figures might one expect for a OST distributed through all the normal channels (Bandcamp, Spotify, Steam bundles, etc..) for a medium-popular indie game? Our game is releasing on PS4 in the spring and we’re shooting for Steam too. A lot of unknowns here (myself included) but wondering what sort of experiences you all have had.

    Any brief thoughts would be helpful, as well as on the topic of marketing OSTs.

    Thanks, GANG, and looking forward to meeting more of you!


Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • Author
  • #4008
    Elliot N Callighan

    Great question, Alec. I’d really like to hear insight on this as well!

    Kole Hicks

    Hello Alec & Welcome!

    On an Indie title I think you can realistically expect to sell maybe a few hundred copies & (rarely) up to a few thousand. I’ve noticed that anything associated with the game directly does better than the OST on its own. For example, unless you have a pretty large fan base it’s hard to imagine that the majority of your sales will come from Bandcamp, iTunes, etc. On the other hand, bundles are a good idea & the OST up on Steam has performed the best for me.

    I always recommend retaining as much of the rights & revenue to your work as possible, but if the company is willing to additionally compensate you for a % in the OST revenue then it’s worth considering. Especially if they’re open to the idea of OST + Game Bundle sales on multiple platforms. They’ll have some overhead for calculating your %, so they’d probably want to offset that cost & make a little on the side as well.

    Good luck!

    Alec Galambos

    Hey Kole,
    Sorry it’s been a while, but thanks so much for the thoughtful response – this makes a lot of sense and is similar to what I’ve heard from other indies and some “AAA” composers I’ve been able to talk to. Will ask this in another thread also, but have you (or anyone else?) had any experience with digital distribution platforms (Zimbalam, Loudr, Tunecore, etc..?)
    Thanks again and hope all’s good,

    Alec Galambos

    Actually think all these questions are equally relevant so let’s keep the discussion here – anyone have any experience with their OSTs on digital distribution platforms? A lot of composers will talk about how most of their success comes from Steam (with OSTs bundled with the games) but will also make sure to have their music available in itunes/spotify/google/etc through one of these distribution/promotion services.


    I’ll chime in and say I have used Tunecore before. It’s not a bad service, but going back to what Kole said, Tunecore just makes it easy to get your music in lots of digital stores, it won’t make you sell any more albums on Itunes than you could expect from your fanbase. People go to Itunes (usually) to find something they already want. On the other hand, people go to Spotify and Pandora (usually) to find new things, which can drive traffic towards Itunes or bandcamp or whatever. So for the $100 or whatever it ends up being to be everywhere for a year, I think it’s a worthy investment for just about anyone. What do you really have to lose by being everywhere you can be? Go for it, man.

    Kole Hicks

    Ya I use Loudr for digital distribution to most places & that works nicely. In addition to that I use Bandcamp, Steam (as mentioned above), & OverClocked Records. Each one has a slightly different purpose (ex. I have more direct/immediate control through Bandcamp).

    Just a note, CD Baby either just did (or is about to) acquire Loudr’s traditional digital distribution. Loudr for the most part is only going to focus on covers.


    Hello everyone,

    My name is Greg and I’m VP of Licensing at Sumthing Else Music Works. For those of you not familiar with our label, SEMW is a sponsor of Gang and we’ve been licensing and distributing game soundtracks for the past 15 years. Feel free to check out our site I have a lot of experience with video game soundtrack distribution in all formats, so I probably could provide some insight. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to reach out to me direct

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)

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