Oscar and Marie are the amazing couple behind Stockwaves on Audiojungle. Their venture into the stock music world began in the fall of 2013, and one year ago they reached Elite status, surpassing $75,000 in earnings.
How Stockwaves made a business out of stock music, while raising two children
They are well known for making high quality music, matching the trends of the moment, and you can see they work hard just by listening to their portfolio.
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As an observer, you can’t help but notice every little piece of music that you buy from them has a entire history behind it. Authors on AudioJungle often struggle in the beginning, but find a way to turn their passion into something tangible. In 2013, that was Stockwaves. Having just had their first child, the couple, based in Sweden, moved to a rural part of Stockholm. Marie was on maternity leave, and Oscar was looking high and low for work online as a musician. At the time he was a part-time web consultant, part-time jazz musician, part-time DJ, part-time piano teacher, basically a part-time everything. His only goal was to establish a viable business working from home.
They partnered up on the work front, and started submitting tracks to a wide range of stock audio marketplaces and publishers. A few months later, they brought their learnings to the table, and filtered through the different experiences to decide which would best serve them in the long-term. AudioJungle was by far the most rewarding outlet for stock music, but they still kept a few other channels running to start.
About a year later, they were able to downscale a lot of Oscar’s part-time gigs. They saw that their efforts on AudioJungle were starting to pay off, and started to move more and more of their music into their ThemeKeeper portfolio, exclusively. As they continued to do this, their fortunes on AudioJungle began to rise, as they carved out a space for their style of stock music, as well as stock sound effects, which has been fundamental to their success today.
“We don’t like to have all our eggs in the same basket,” says Oscar. “But…As long as our stuff is selling, we don’t want to be taking our stock elsewhere.”
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What makes Stockwaves’ portfolio standout, among other bestsellers, is its focus on niche genres. This is not an accident, and came after a long period of trial and error. “We put all sorts of stuff out there just to see what would happen,” Oscar tells me. “We quickly came to the conclusion that the popular genres were being saturated, while there was lots of untapped niches where tracks could have longer shelf-life.”
Thinking long-term has proven to be a critical aspect of their business model. As Marie notes, they don’t have any individual tracks that are “super-sellers,” but rather, have a portfolio focused on gaining decent exposure and sales, collectively. But with a steady foundation of consistent sales built, they remain on the lookout for opportunities. “I guess we’re still hoping to hit the jackpot at some point. Unless something drastic changes with the search engine or the Popular Files page, the only way to have thousands of sales on an item is to go for the top of mainstream. Maybe now, while we have a fairly stable ‘base income,’ we could afford to give some of the more competitive segments a fair shot.”
Super-sellers or not, what they’ve built so far is nothing to snuff at. What’s doubly impressive, is that they’ve done this all while raising two young children. “It is challenging at times, but in a good way,” Oscar says. “We do understand that trying to make it in the music business is generally a bad idea, but we’re committed to this, as we’ve come to feel it’s what we’re best at.” The hardest part for them is the work-life balance. Oscar can only work when the oldest is at daycare, Monday through Thursday, and Marie chips in when their youngest is asleep. “If you don’t have kids of your own, you have no idea. It’s heaven and hell!”
The steady growth of both their business, and rising popularity of their portfolio meant they could pretty accurately predict reaching Elite Status well in advance. The day they ticked over the $75,000 mark was a satisfying one for the couple. But, with kids to raise, and a business to run, the celebrations were brief. “We celebrated with a toast, but other than that it was business as usual.
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The Elite badge carries some symbolic value, and they wear it with pride, but for them it’s mostly just a milestone, because their goals are ahead and beyond.
When we asked them about other inspiring moments along the way, Oscar explains they usually occur while working on new tracks. “When I’m able to surprise myself with new levels of creativity and production, that’s when I feel most at home.” Marie also points out the occasional broadcast and film license sales also help motivate them to continue.
What began as a search for a job Oscar could do from home has ultimately led them down a path that’s seen them create a business that is, by all accounts, a success. And, with such a sturdy foundation layed, the only way for them to go is up. We’ll be watching as they do.
Find out more about the author of this article, fellow ThemeKeeper community member, SnailMusic