Buying beats online can be daunting if you’ve never done it. In this short article, I uncover everything including free beats, license agreements, exclusive rights & copyrights.
Stay AWAY from Free Beats 🙅♂️
The first thing & most important thing in my opinion, is understanding the importance of licensing beats.
As an artist, you’ve got to understand that there’s no such thing as free beats.
There is a fundamental misconception whereby an artist can just go and download a “free beat”, record on it, distribute it and not buy a license.
There are no such thing as free beats but there are free licenses.
This is where the producer grants you a free license that allows you to use the beat(s) but without this you’re running a HUGE risk.
Ultimately, this is what it comes down to:
If you’re using a beat for which you haven’t received a license agreement in writing from the producer, you’re unauthorised to use it.
And you could get in serious trouble.
As you can see, the damages you could end up paying are ridiculous.
Trust me, it’s not worth the risk and is totally worth the few bucks to get a license.
What Are License Agreements? ✍️
When you purchase a beat online, you’re purchasing a license agreement for the audio files copyrighted by the producer.
License agreements outline the rights granted by the producer for the beat you have purchased.
There are different types of licences you can buy:
Non-Exclusive Licence – This is where the same beat can be sold to multiple artists and remains on the beat store.
Exclusive License – This is where the beat is sold only to one artist and removed from the store right after purchase.
There are different types of non-exclusive licenses you can purchase.
On my site, these are the options that I offer:
Each license is progressively more beneficial depending on what exactly it is you’re looking for as an artist i.e. Upload To Spotify, Music Videos, Radio etc.
If your aiming to create industry-standard quality music right away – I would definitely recommend you go for a licence with tracked out files/stems which in my case is the “Premium” option.
I write about why Tracked-Out Files/Stems are essential here
If you can not afford a more expensive licence, you can always upgrade later. You will only pay the price difference between the both licences.
Purchasing an exclusive license (exclusive rights) is almost always going to be more expensive.
However, if you’re an artist who’s looking to use beats that are exclusively yours and not being used by anyone else, then this is definitely an option to consider.
The moment you purchase exclusive rights to a beat, it gets taken down from the beat store and you are instantly transferred the exclusive license.
Do I Own Any Copyright? 🔒
When you write a record your lyrics on the beat, you will own the copyright to your lyrics only.
The song created will be legally known as “derivative work”.
This means that you will own 50% of writers share and the producer will own the other 50%.
You do not own the master or the sound recording rights in the song.
You have the right to use and commercially exploit the song based on the terms and conditions of the licence agreement you purchased.
How Long Does a Non-Exclusive License Last? ⏰
Every non-exclusive license comes with a 2-year term.
This simply means that the license agreement will last for 2 years before you have to renew or upgrade it.