Buying beats online.
All you need to know about buying and selling music online
1. Getting into music and are planning to take it seriously
2. Have some experience in music and want to take your music to the next step
3. Looking to make the move from use of tagged beats to buying
We worked with labels, companies, number of artists and music producers.
YOu need to know this
Can you really get music for free?
In the music industry, the term “free beats” entirely depends on what the beat maker clarifies it means. Free beats are categorized by:
1. Producer tags that play every 30 seconds or so.
2. Beats in your possession without a license agreement from the producer.
How to legally use free beats?
Really, there is not much you can do with free beats; well, nothing commercial or profitable. Most people tend to use free beats in order to:
Test it out before purchasing
Record vocals and test if the vocal keys match the key of the beat
Record a demo for feedback purposes before purchasing a license for the beat
Some producers allow artists to upload tracks created with their free beats on their social media platforms. However, these producers have total control over the uploaded material, if they want it taken down you have to comply. The statutory damages of copyright infringement are not a joke. So instead of playing with fire, get into the business of buying beats.
What is a License Agreement?
When you buy a beat, you are purchasing material copyrighted by the relevant producer. With this purchase comes certain leeway and rights the producer grants you over the beat. This is what is called a License Agreement.
Non-Exclusive Beat Licenses (Leases)
Non-Exclusive licenses grant specific user rights on the beat purchased for recording lyrics and vocals on it. Note that this doesn’t mean that you exclusively own the beats. The producer still retains all copyright ownership. All this means is that the producer keeps the right to license the beat to whomever they want until they get a buyer who wants to purchase exclusive rights.
So, once you purchase a non-exclusive license and record your vocals on it, do you have a level of copyright rights on it? Well, yes and no! In this case, all you have done is created derivative work. So basically, you have copyright over the lyrics, but not on the beat you have recorded since the music copyright still belongs to the producer.
With a non-exclusive license, you get 0% of the publishing rights.
Exclusive Beat Licensing
Owning exclusive rights to a beat basically means you can master your song without limits user rights. With this type of license, you can actually make money commercially, globally. Your range of exploiting the master is vast without any limitations. More so, beat licensing is now a non-issue because you will now own the exclusive rights to the song you created using the beats.
Copyright Issues & Publishing Rights
The issue of copyright sharing in exclusive beat licensing has been a major controversial topic of discussion amongst producers. They differ in how they define ‘exclusive’ rights. However, most negotiate for a fair 50/50 split of publishing rights and maximize the song’s potential. Most terms are negotiable between the artists and the producer.
What should you choose: Exclusive vs. Non-Exclusive
The biggest difference between the two is that non-exclusive licenses for one beat can be sold to numerous artists but exclusive licenses are only sold once to an individual artist.
What works best for you?
If you are looking to get serious about the beats and have the potential to make it a hit, then Exclusive licenses are your best bet. However, if you are a young artist coming up working on your mixtape or first album, then it does not make sense to spend all that money on exclusive rights. A non-exclusive license will adequately help you in building a fan base and getting your music heard.
1. Basic Leases
These partially professional licenses are suitable for platforms like Mixtapes and YouTube Video Uploads
With a basic lease, you get to enjoy:
Max 100,000 Audio Streams
Max 100,000 Video Streams
Sell 5,000 copies
Use for max. 1 Music Videos
This type of lease typically works out for upcoming artists.
2. Premium Lease
This lease is used as a professional license for an album or single releases, music videos and live shows.
Artists are provided with:
Tracked Out Files
Max 500,000 Audio Streams
Max 500,000 Video Streams
Sell 10,000 copies
Use for max. 1 Music Videos
Radio/TV Airplay on 2 stations
If you are an artist whose name is hitting the airwaves and becoming more and more serious in your music, premium leases will give you the push and support you need.
3. Unlimited Lease
Such a lease enables you to upload to streaming platforms like Spotify and iTunes, and you can sell your track limitlessly.
Benefits and provisions include:
Tracked Out Files
Unlimited Audio Streams
Unlimited Video Streams
Sell unlimited copies
Use of max. 1 Music Video
Unlimited Radio and TV Airplay
With these leases, the more expensive it is the more rights and benefits you get from the producer. On top of that, the more expensive your lease or license is, the better the quality of the audio file.
good to know
How to buy beats effectively?
1. Finds beats you like
This is the first and most obvious step in beat buying. You need to find a beat that inspires you and gets your creative juices flowing. Depending on how picky you are, your beat selection process can be either a long or short process. Some of the best platforms you can use for finding music producers and beats are YouTube, SoundCloud, Our Beat Store, Beatstars.
2. Explore producers’ pricing
The next step is to look at and compare producers’ pricing. Although prices vary, most beats prices range from $20 – $100 for typical beats and $500+ for exclusive ones.
3. Look and understand their terms
Most producers selling beats online have similar terms and conditions in their contracts. Most of these contracts discuss the set amount of units you are allowed to sell, the crediting of producers on the song, and a couple of other things. Note: When purchasing cheaper beats, you don’t always get a contract a to sign, but this doesn’t mean that you can do whatever you want. In these cases, make sure you come through the terms and agreements of your purchase.
4. Write to the beat before purchasing
Sometimes, just because you have found an amazing beat, it doesn’t mean that you can write to it. It is highly recommended for artists to try writing to the beat before buying it. Don’t let the fear of losing the beat tie you down.
5. Purchase the beat
At this juncture, you have scoped the market, found the beat that you like, compared and decided on the price, wrote your lyrics, and are now ready to make it official. Now that beats are being sold online, it is fairly easy to find and buy beats from producers. Other than looking for how to buy beats from producers’ profiles, you can try looking for some of their stuff on these platforms Soundclick, BeatStars, Airbit.
What if one of my songs produced on a leased bit becomes a hit?
If you work well within your payment and benefits agreement then you will not be fined or penalized for being a success. Instead, what will happen is you will need to talk and negotiated a deal with the producer.
If he still holds the exclusive rights to the beat then you will need to come up with a payment agreement for you to upgrade and buy the exclusive rights to beat. However, if they do not wish to sell their rights, then you will either have to agree on a deal that hashes out sharing and distribution of the profits you make or, unfortunately, take down the track if that is their wish.
Safe online beat buying
Most producers use a Beat Store Provider to sell their beats online. This is why most of their websites all look the same. These platforms have stellar reputations for representing producers and their music. The deliver instant delivery upon payment and checkout.
New terms in agreements
Recently, some producers tend to install new terms into their license agreements. It’s mostly a term that gives the producer all the power to end your term before your license agreement expires. In return, they will have to pay you triple or double of what you initially paid for the beat. Don’t fret, because more often than not this does not end up being a problem for you. That is unless your song becomes a huge success. If you handle your business correctly the possibility of these scenarios becoming catastrophic are rare, so happy shopping!
You bought a non-exclusive license, and then someone buys the exclusive rights for the same beat
When you buy beats online, you are guaranteed to enjoy the rights that you received and agreed on upon payment of the beat. Therefore, when someone buys the exclusive rights, it will not immediately affect you.
Nowadays, producers sell licenses that are valid for about 2-4 years. This means that once your license expires after this term, you can renew and buy another license for the beat.
So in a case where someone buys the exclusive rights to the beat during your term, all it would mean is that you will not be able to renew your license after your term. All this and more is usually explained in the full terms and agreement when you are buying the beat.
Ready to get started?
Release a dope song today! 🔥