12 Apr Everything creators need to know about selling content usage rights
If the brand you’re collaborating with really loves your work, they may want to repurpose it.
They might decide to reuse it in their wider marketing materials, in boosted posts, ads, or ecommerce sites. But to do so, they’d pay for usage rights so they could legally use it for a specified amount of time.
Understanding this potential will help you price your content correctly. Receiving a fair fee is incredibly important, but if you’re new to selling your content’s usage rights, or you’ve been burned in the past, it can be a tricky path to navigate.
35% of the creators we recently surveyed said that ‘knowing how much to charge for usage rights’ was one of the hardest things about being an influencer. If you’re in agreement, this article is for you. We’ve outlined the kind of things you should take into account when pricing your content. Including the benefits of selling rights, what precautions you need to look out for, and everything else you need to know.
What are usage rights?
Simply put, usage rights refer to the contractual agreement between you and a brand, in which you grant them access to use your content for a certain amount of time, across other marketing channels in exchange for a fee. These could include Instagram and Facebook ads, print advertising, or website and ecommerce placements.
You still own the intellectual property of your content when a brand purchases the usage rights, they’re simply licensing your content for a specific use over a period of time.
The benefits of selling usage rights
More eyes on you
Selling your content’s usage rights means you give your work more opportunities to land in front of the eyes of more people. The more people who see your work, the more discoverable and recognisable you are. This can help you grow your audience, especially when your content gets boosted across social media.
Vamp creator, @bethbluu said: “I’ve never had my content boosted before my campaign with Adobe. When they decided to boost my paid partnership post, I saw a massive increase in engagement, activity, and new followers on my account. These new followers were also engaging with some of my older posts.”
Make that money, honey
We know exposure doesn’t pay the bills, so of course, another major benefit (if not the biggest) is the higher earning potential. Selling usage rights is another way for you to monetise your content and increase your pay.
When applying for a brief in the Vamp app, it’s vital that you include your usage rights fees in your custom rate. Once you submit your application, you cannot negotiate your rate. That’s why we give you a little reminder when you get to this stage of the brief application process.
Win more work
Finally, selling your content’s usage rights can further develop your relationship with the brands you collaborate with. This potentially means more chances to win repeat work with these particular brands.
It can also be an impressive attribute to add to your resume, which would help increase your chances of securing more work with other brands. Collaborators loving your work so much that they bought the usage rights gives you major bragging rights. It shows just how much of an asset you would be to their influencer campaign.
Three things to be cautious about when selling usage rights
#1 A brand may edit the content they’ve purchased usage rights for in order to better suit the channel they’re repurposing it across. For example, they may animate a static image when using it in an Instagram ad as videos tend to perform better. This means you need to be comfortable with not having the final right of approval.
#2 As we mentioned earlier, selling your content’s usage rights is not the same as transferring copyright. If you do transfer copyright, you’re giving ownership of your content to the brand. This would mean that they can do whatever they want with it, for as long as they like. If you were to transfer copyright of your content, that would require the brand to pay a much higher fee.
#3 Find out where the brand will be using your content, for how long, and whether or not it’s an exclusive deal. For example, if your content’s in an ad for Coke, and the brand has paid for exclusivity, then you wouldn’t be able to take on a deal with Pepsi.
How to price your content correctly for usage rights
If we could tell you exactly how much you should set your usage rights fees for, we would! But in reality, there’s no one simple answer. Each individual creator will have a unique fee that they deem appropriate for themselves and their work.
What we can tell you are all the different factors you need to consider, that will ultimately impact how you price your content:
How long it’s being used for. The longer a brand uses your content, the more they will have to pay you. If your content is being boosted, you should also consider the platform’s requirements. For example, TikTok requires Vamp to gain boosting access for a minimum of 60 days.
Where it’s being used. After working with many agencies across the globe, we know that they price their talent’s usage rights fees based on the market location where the content is being used. The bigger the market, the higher the fee. You should also consider which marketing channel your content is being featured on.
The potential work you could miss out on. You’ll be associated with that brand for the full length of the usage rights period, so factor in work that you will need to turn down because of it.
Factor in extra costs. Include any relevant tax or duties required in your country.
Be competitive. Only a handful of creators who apply for a brief on the Vamp platform are selected for a campaign. Remember, it’s very easy to price yourself out of a campaign. So make sure your usage rights fees are competitive enough that you’re comfortable with the final rate.