Music Industry

Always Be Listening: How One Simple Motto Transformed a Production Music Library

4 Minute Read |

Jonathan Parks

I’m pretty sure that if there was a way to detect it, you’d find music coursing through my veins. It’s part of my very being… filling my downtime and fueling my business.

And I’m grateful.

After all, anyone lucky enough to turn an obsession into a career is already successful. So, yes… I’m grateful for the production music library that this obsession has inspired.

I also know that ALIBI wouldn’t be what it is today – nine years later – if not for a rather simple motto:

“ Always Be Listening.”

Before you call me Captain Obvious or refer me to the Duh Department, I’m not talking about listening to music, although that’s certainly a requirement too. By Always Be Listening, I mean really taking the time and care to find out what your clients want, what works for their audiences and what brings it all back full circle.

And it’s not only being proactive about collecting that customer feedback, but it’s also being able to quickly take action based on what you hear, whether positive or negative.

Customer Feedback Fuels Our Growth

I’ve been listening since Day 1, when I had to draw it out of them, as clients didn’t usually offer up negative feedback while we were chatting one on one. I would hear a lot of nice things and, while the positives were great, I’d always be thinking, “I want to know what we’re doing wrong.” So I would make a point to seek it out.

“Really... what could we do differently?” I’d push. And once they’d tell me something, I would look for a way to make that happen.

As ALIBI grew to be a larger team with “listeners” spread out around the world, this process became a little bit easier as it wasn’t always me as the founder doing the asking. ‘Always Be Listening’ became a motto embraced by the entire staff, and clients would feel a little more comfortable sharing constructive criticism at different levels.

Listening Between the Lines

It wasn’t just the answers to pointed questions that we listened to. We also paid attention to the indirect feedback, learning that certain client requests actually spoke volumes about what we could do to make our library that much better.

In the beginning, it was the requests for single instrument stems. Quickly it became clear to us that this had to be an important part of our offering.

alibi music stem track

Then we started getting requests for drones or tracks based on key, and figured we’d better start adding those keys to all our tracks so people can find them easily.

production music library search results

When editors asked if tracks could be sped up by 3 BPMs in order to match their edits, we found a way to make that happen. For years, we would either use Pro tools to do it for them or go back to the composer. Today, ALIBI’s new site gives editors an easy way to do it themselves, but more on that later.

My point is what each of us heard, we downloaded and discussed. By listening to each other and broader industry trends, together we determined the best way to implement customer feedback – direct or indirect – into new ideas.

The Rise of Track Versatility: Alt Mixes, Cutdowns & Customizations

As the mantra of ‘Always Be Listening’ took hold, we developed more specialized structures for our tracks, formatted and designed with editors in mind, and optimized for easy cut points and plenty of builds. Over time, we came to amass an extensive offering of alt mixes and stems simply by answering our customers’ calls for versatility and customization.

production track customization with alts and stems

If something couldn’t be put into action immediately, it was added to a long list we created to keep making it better. For example, by listening carefully to customer feedback and clients’ requests, we could tell that ALIBI’s former website and search functionality needed a pretty major overhaul in order to match the quality of the robust library we had created.

Many customers were asking for stuff we already had. Yet with the constraints of our then platform, the right tracks weren’t easy to find. Again we listened, and determined the best way to

was to invest time and resources into a .

A New Website is Born

Now, this newly launched website is the product of eight years of listening and feedback. Today, our versatile library caters to multiple industries and project types, from

, to , to , to , and .

music licensing platform

Outside of the website, there’s ALIBI Extension for Adobe Premiere Pro, another product that was born to make editors’ lives easier by adding ALIBI directly into their workflow within Premiere.

‘Always Be Listening’ is something that’s worked for me since the company was just one person, and it continued working as I brought on a staff that helped target the place we are now in terms of catalog content and infrastructure.

In essence, our robust music and sound effects library is what it is today thanks to information crowdsourced from the amazing people we work with internally and externally.

When you keep hearing about things that need to be done, you keep chipping away, one by one, until they’re done.

Let us know what you think. We’re listening.

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