I agree with you to some degree about AS. Let me explain:
I agree that AudioSparx is NOT the best production library out there. However, for what they give you, it’s almost more than fair and okay.
If I am not mistaken, the exclusive contract is for 8 years, and you always have the option to take tracks out, if they don’t perform. In almost any library it’s the case. Doesn’t matter even it’s exclusive or not. So if you see that a track had no results, you write them, and you will get a solid answer back. The team is great, I could solve any of my issues within a few days. That’s what I have experienced. You write them today, tomorrow you have an answer. (That’s service, even though they have almost 1 million cues.)
Again, you can place your own prices as you wish. If you want a track to be licensed for 475$, you can. AJ can do that? I am not sure, but even if “yes”, the clients are definitely not big Hollywood productions, however, at AS I see every 3 months, who’s track was licensed in a “more or less” bigger production. They do have placements, you just need to have much more tracks, so they can push you the ladder up. (My tip for sites like AS: if you make a lot of awesome tracks, you will get placements, because most of the tracks are not very “Hollywood Standard”.) Yeah, maybe the reputation sinks that way for the whole site, however, it’s your chance to beat all others tracks!!!)
And another great thing is, they do care about your royalties, at least that’s what they promise on their site. They take care of all the BMI stuff, that I would do myself that takes extra time.
There are definitely some cons like…the site looks like Windows 95, you need to do all the tags yourself (and it’s A LOT OF WORK!!!).
But at the end of the day…you have statistics how your tracks perform. Other libraries don’t have these features. The site is not a scam, it’s working, otherwise I wouldn’t have had a real buy and a track that had 6k+ plays in 3 months after uploading.
What I believe is: no matter where your music is, you will always find your user and listener, but you just need to have a tone of tracks that are amazing in all possible ways. People don’t get results because they don’t have any music (numbers) to show. But if you have 3000+ cues, at either AS, AJ or Pond5, you WILL get placements. The more tracks the library has, the more tracks you need to have there to get anything back.
There are exclusive libraries out there that have 3000 tracks inside and on average every composer has 10 tracks there. Now imagine if you have 300 tracks there. Obviously it’s a matter of time when you will get you first big GIG!