Does The Wire pay off?

Discussion in 'The Marketplace' started by Dima0037, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. I've been meaning to film and publish something on The Wire for a while, and I think that this summer is a good time for that.

    My question to experienced Wire artists is: on average how much do you get paid for a release?

    I know that this is a somewhat inapproppriate question, but let me explain.
    I am finishing high school this year (tomorrow is my last exam) and am starting university in the UK in October (I'm not from the UK). Needless to say, it will be a huge financial undertaking for my parents (but hopefully it will be more of an investment), and it would be great to help them out at least with something. I believe that the Wire could be a small source of "income", like a summer job, but I am unsure about the average payment that I should expect.
    This sounds very greedy on my part. Oh well.
    I have nothing against free stuff, I am actually happy to do things for free, as long as I enjoy them and get at least some acknowledgement for them. I've been helping out my classmates with exam preparations since January, just for the sheer enjoyment (and challenge) of doing something I am in charge of. The same would be the case for Wire releases, however, now I'm starting to see it as a potential source of income as well as fun (after all, it is a marketplace). I haven't bought much things from the Wire yet and feel somewhat uneasy asking money for something that might not even be worth the price (and there is also the common problem that Europe is generally more expensive than the USA).
    What I have to offer is some flourishes (not very groundbreaking ones, but perhaps not below average either), a collection of card flicks and spins and such, some (hopefully original) controls and switches, some interesting moves (that really only work for yourself or the camera, but are very fun to practice), and maybe some effects from my notebook. I really can't judge whether these are good enough to be published, but I want to try nevertheless. The production quality should be decent, but I am not guaranteeing more than English subtitles.
    So my question again: is The Wire a suitable way to make money (I'm thinking aroung $100-200) over the summer?

    Also, maybe some helpful tips and advice is appreciated. :)

  2. I seriously doubt you'll make that much over the summer. Think about it mathematically. From the page you get: " 60% of net revenues". Which means to get $100, you actually have to earn about $166. Since a lot of the stuff from new artists is going for $1 or $2, you're going to have to make about 83 sales in order to get your minimum goal.

    I know several people haven't ever gotten a payment from Theory11 because they haven't sold over $50 yet.

    I'm not saying it can't pay off at all - but I would be surprised if you could make anywhere near $100 in 3 months on products that even you claim aren't practical or necessarily even original.
  3. This is how I would calculate it:

    First off, I'd be fairly confident I could make 3 sales right off the bat to people who want to put the video on a torrent site, or who are just curious. You could increase this to about 10 with a high-quality, memorable and intriguing trailer which represents your product in the best light. To ensure you get this right, you'll need to have some understanding of advertising and marketing.

    Then you'll be looking at your close circle of friends, family, magic buddies and the like. What's your network like? As the saying goes, your network is your net worth. How many people owe you a favour, or are close enough friends that they would buy your product just to show support? Let's say you have 10 of those people, so that adds 10 sales to your total.

    Then, you'll need to mobilise any influential friends you might have to help you sell. So, do you have any friends with a strong network of their own? Do you know anyone who people would pay attention to if they posted about your product on social media or a forum, or recommended it at their local magic club? A good conservative rule of thumb for your calculations is "1 in 10,000". In other words, your conversion rate from a recommendation is probably going to be around 1 sale for every 10,000 people who see the recommendation. So, let's say you know 1 reasonably influential person with 30,000 Twitter followers who's willing to tweet about your product a few times to ensure that as many of their followers as possible see it. You can add another 3 sales to your projection.

    Now, can you get in touch with any influential people who might be kind enough to give their opinion on your product? Depending on their level of influence, and how glowing they are with their opinion, this can make a huge difference. For example, if you had a quote from David Blaine or Penn and Teller saying your release was the best thing they'd ever seen, you're adding 1 in 10,000 of their fans to your number of sales. But let's be conservative. Let's say you get recommendations from people with a total of say, 50,000 fans. Therefore you would add another 5 sales to your projection.

    So, doing that, plus having a decent product in the first place, assuming you're approaching this as an unknown, you're looking at a projection of around 15-20 sales. So, not enough to hit your target, I'm afraid. You might get lucky and get a few extra unforseen sales if, for example, someone well-known uses one of your flourishes in a video, but it's not something that can be relied on.

    All is not lost, though. The reason this projection is so low is because you're unknown. You don't have a track record or a fanbase of your own. So, get one! Produce ten tutorial videos, make sure they're all shot, edited and taught as professionally as you can, and then give them away for free, releasing one a week for the next ten weeks. The important thing is that, even though they're free, you market them as if your life depends on it. Do all the things I recommended, mobilising your influential friends, getting recommendations from well-known magicians, etc. This way, maybe you get your 15-20 downloads on your first video, but now more people know your name, and if they like your move and know there's a new one coming next week, then they'll check back in. Maybe you can expand your network enough to get 20-25 downloads on the second tutorial. By the tenth video, if you don't slack on the promotion and consolidating new contacts, you'll hopefully have expanded your network enough to hit a hundred or so downloads. Then you can start charging a dollar or two for the next couple of tutorials you release and, if you've maintained your network well enough, you might well hit your target. The important thing is to not think about the first free videos as a waste of time, or a loss. Each time one extra person downloads one of your tutorials, you increase the value of your brand, and it will pay off when you come to ask for money.
    Rex Sun likes this.
  4. Hey guys!

    The Wire certainly can pay off! The sky is the limit when it comes to your sales. We have multiple artists on The Wire that consistently have more than 500 downloads sold each month. Your success depends on a wide array of factors, many of which you have direct control over:

    - The strength of your trick. If you are trying to sell a variation on something everyone knows, sales aren't likely to be high. If you sell something the magic world has never seen, then you have a huge amount of potential.

    -Production quality. If it looks like a webcam production, you can't expect the majority of people to give your trick a chance. Learn what you can about video recording and editing, then produce the highest quality product you can. It will pay off.

    - Marketing. If you have never released a trick before, don't expect the world to come rushing to buy your trick. You need to build a name for yourself. The most successful people on The Wire have a fan base that they have been growing for several years. Watch how they interact with their fans and learn from them. Share your tricks with others. Use social media. Making a name for yourself takes time, but in the end it is one of the most important things to do if you want to sell successfully.

    There is no secret to success, but these points are all something you see with the top artists on The Wire. Your success is completely up to you. Success requires hard work and dedication. There is no limit to how far you can go if you are willing to work for it.

    We look forward to seeing you on The Wire!

    // L
  5. Hey Lyle - I'm just curious - How many people are currently selling stuff on the Wire?
  6. Thank you for the great responses! I sure did not know much about marketing strategies, and though I probably can't implement them all, I will keep them in mind.
  7. I have had products on the Wire since almost day one. On a good month I might get 10 buys on a bad month I wont get any and I have 4 products on there. It took me about 6 months just to pass the threshold the first time.

    If you haven't submitted anything yet, odds are it's a little harder to get approved than you would initially think. Also new flourishes are probably not the most lucrative. There are tons of good flourishes on the Wire for free including stuff from Michael James, Zach Mueller and Andrei Jihk.
  8. The Wire rocks. :)

    Hi guys,

    My two cents worth...

    We released our video, "Watch" on the Wire a little while back - best idea we could have had.

    We put the time in to produce what we think is a quality product, and we did a lot of marketing on social media. Response has been incredible.

    If you've got something unique to share with the magic world, and you can produce it professionally, do it. The Wire is everything good Theory 11 claims it to be.


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