Buying beats online has spiked tremendously in recent years with new artist emerging. With the increase of new technology, it has become alot easier for an unknown artist to create a hit song and distribute their own song in just months. There is nolonger a need for a big budget or record label, Artist can now distrbute their music on their own terms with variouse music distribution services.
For as low as $30, any artist can purchase beats online, record a single, EP, or album in their very own affordable home studio. Artists are blowing up everyday from simply leasing beats online.
Buying beats online can be a tedious and confusing process. What license option should you buy? What does each term limit mean? What does a non-exclusive and Exclsuive license mean? Not having the knowledge of buying beats along with having to many options to choose from can cause any artist to feel overwhlemed and eventually not wnat to buy.
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In this post i will be discussing beat licenseing and help you get a better unederstanding of each term along with how to choose the best license for yourself
Non-Exclusive vs Exclusive License
Beat license fall under two categories when it comes to buying beats online; Non-exclsuive and Exclsuive.
When purchasing a non-exclusive license you are not purchasing the full rights/ownership to use the beat, you are simply leasing the ability to use the beat any a limited capacity based on the producer you are buying from. The producer keeps 100% ownership of the beat granting you, the artist, the right to use said beat in what ever way you choose, depending on the producers license agreement terms. The producer can still sell the same beat to multiple other artists until someone buys the exclusive rights to the beat. After the beat is bought exclusively, no other artist is allowed to buy the beat, and the artist who purchased the exclusive rights is the only artists allowed to use the beat going forward ( depending on when the beat is bought).
Beat licensing terms can vary from producer to producer. In most cases the higher the beat license, the more costly it will be to purchase what you need for your beat. Most non-exclusive licnese also come with term limits. These limits involve the number of copies the artist can sell of their song (distribution), how many audio/video streams the artists is allowed to achieve( spotify streams, youtube views), broadcasting rights and more. Once these limits art met, you will need to revist the producers website to purchase a higher tier license to continue to use siad beat.
No matter what license you choose to go with, always make sure to read the full license agreement before purchasing any beat from any producer. If you ever have any questions always reachout to the producer directly to get a better understanding of their terms. Below are my license terms for non-exclusive licenses
When you purchse the exclusive rights to a beat from a producer, you are granted unlimited usage rights to the master (your song). The beat will always and should be removed from the producers store/website and can no longer be sold to any other artist.
When it comes to royalties and publsihing, the two are usually split 50/50 and it usually involves a split sheet, leaving the producer the sole owner of the music/instrumental they created. The standard for royalties/publishing splits is usually 50/50 unless otherwise stated by the producer. Sometimes splits can be negotiated between both parties. If you need a better understanding of music publsihing, Songtrust has an amazing breakdown you can check out here
Which License Should you choose?
It solely depend on your needs as an artist. If you are an alread established artist and generating enough revenue from your music to recoup buying exclusive rights, the purhcasing exlcuisve rights to beats will be your best bet. However, if you are just starting out in your musical career, then a non-exclusive license will do jjust fine.
Beat File Types And Which Will give You A Better Overall Song
When buying beats online, there are three different file types that you receive when purchasing a beat. MP3, WAV, and tracked out stems
This is usually the cheapest option when buying beats. If you are on a very tight budget and have no choice then go with this options. however if you can stretch it out a bit i would not recommend using an Mp3 file of a beat to record a song over. MP3 files are nothing more than compressed WAV files of a beat. It is also the slowes audio file you can get of a beat.Professional songs that are recorded are never done over MP3 beat files. Some times cheaper does not mean better. If you have in your budget I highly recommend getting iether the WAV file or Tracked out Stems.
WAV file is a better, Higher quality audio file of the beat. Wav files are the most common files to record over if you don't have track stems. Wav files are usually included in higher tier licenses and give you more bang for your buck than an MP3 file license would.
Tracked Out Stems
Tracked out stems are the individual sounds that the producer used in his/her beat making process. Purchasing track stems gives you the aritst a more professional sounding song. this allows for your engineer to adjust anything that you may or may not like in the beat, even take some things out. If you hate the way the producers mixed say the snare, kick, or even a simple sound used, this your best iptiion to be able to make those adjustments, If you plan on recording in a more profession recording studio, then having track stems of your beat is ideal. 99% of the songs heard on radio were mixed using track stems. Track stem license usually come with unlimited rights and give you more for your money than a MP3 license or WAV license would.
The cool thing with my license terms, is that no matter if you choose the WAV license or STEM license, you will be granted unlimited rights to the beat your choose to purchase. I truly believe that any artist that invest with me at whiteboibeats.com, should be able to create with no limits.
What about "FREE Beats"?
You may have been on youtube looking for beats and saw the word [FREE] next to the title of a beat and thought that it meant "free for profit use"; NO!. When it comes to free beats on sites like youtube or soundcloud, it typically means it is free to for non-profit use meaning, that you can not use that versio of the beat for profit or to make money off of it. Typically a producer list the beat as free because welllets be honest, alot of artist are looking for free beats when they are first starting out, and what better way to get your beat out there than to list your beat as free (even though its not). You may have also experienced frustration when clicking the description of the beat you like and see a purchase link. Dont fret alot of producers still offer the free version allowing you to demo and write to before your decide to purchase the beat. For more insight on what "FREE beats" really means watch this short video here
One thing you should be aware of, is to never post a song on any streaming platform using a "FREE" beat (unless you are given permission from the producer). If this is done the producer can come after you and have your song taken down
I hope this post helped give you a better understanding a the different types of license and how to choose the best one based on your needs. There are tons of options to choose from when buying beats and even where to buy or who to buy from. As long as you make the initial step to start making progress and never give up, you will see results. I wish you nothing but the best in your musical journey and cant wait to hear you as the next big artist to break out!