The beat selling world has a lot of nuance to it and you have to be aware of how everything works to be able to do business effectively.
A frequently asked question online is whether you can sell a beat twice or not.
A beat can be sold an unlimited number of times and the logic to this is:
In beat licensing, A non-exclusive beat license allows the producer to lease out a beat to an unlimited number of people. Any person that purchase’s, record’s and makes a song to the non-exclusive beat owns only the copyright to the lyrics while the Producer of the beat owns the copyright to the beat or instrumental.
This means the producer can lease out the beat non-exclusively to as many people as he wishes.
Non Exclusive beat licenses
In a Non Exclusive beat license, The producer sells the beat but retains the ownership of the copyright for the beat.
Since the producer owns the copyright, they are at liberty to license the same beat to other people.
Non exclusive beats will usually cost between $15 to around $300 depending on the producer and the conditions of use.
A person that makes a song out of the non exclusive beat is only the copyright owner of the lyrics while the producer of the beat is the copyright owner of the beat.
Therefore, a song made with a non exclusive license according to copyright law, will be deemed a derivative work.
A derivative work (which would be the song in this case) is basically work that includes elements of a previously created first work (which in this case would be the beat).
Therefore a derivative work is considered to be a separate work from the original work. The derivative work is considered a modification of the original work.
Uploading such music to platforms like spotify or Apple music where artists are paid per stream of the music, will require the producer to be also listed as part of the copyright owners and most producers will see that this is followed and this will usually be stipulated in the contract.
Typical characteristics of Non-Exclusive beat leases.
1. The purchaser of the non exclusive license will usually be limited to only the MP3 or WAV of the beat and will not in many cases have access to the Tracked out file separates.
2. Some producers will have a limit of the number of audio and video streams that they will allow the purchaser to have with the song made from the beat.
3. Some producers may also limit all performances of the song made with the non exclusive beat to non profit performances. This is usually done to restrict the artist from making money when they don’t own the copyright of the beat.
4. Some non exclusive licenses may also prohibit content ID monetization and may also have copyright protection against it.
5. Furthermore, there may be restrictions on music videos that can be released with the song and this will usually be stipulated.
These terms listed above vary as per producer, this is the reason why some non exclusive beats may be priced cheaper while others may be a bit pricey.
Exclusive beat licenses
These licenses can range from $500 to a higher amount.
Exclusive beat licenses give more freedom to the purchaser and there are fewer to no restrictions.
You can be able to record to an exclusive beat, sell your records, upload to streaming platforms register the works to PROs and many other nuances.
With an exclusive beat license, the producer of the beat sells the work to a person exclusively and does not continue leasing it out non-exclusively or exclusively to other people.
If the beat had already been sold non exclusively to other people, their pending agreements would still be in effect but the exclusive license would belong to the person that purchased the exclusive beat.
In an exclusive beat license the producer can either sell all of his rights or keep his copyright share which is 50% of the work.
These exclusive rights allow the purchaser to be the sole owner of the beat and retain all exclusivity.
This can be advantageous.
The producer of the beat can also sell the exlusive rights which would then deem the work as “Work For Hire”. In which case the producer would grant all rights and exclusivity to the purchaser.
Is selling beats online profitable?
Selling beats only can be highly profitable for a person that has a good number of clients and employs the right marketing strategies.
The online beat licensing industry is responsible for millions of dollars every year and is a great opportunity for up and coming producers.
Most successful online beat sellers such as Accent Beats, have managed to amass a huge following.
Do beat makers make money?
Well established beat makers that have clients are able to earn a full time income.
Beat Making allows for good opportunity and ability to distribute work to a global audience by leveraging the internet.
A good business plan and the vision to see it through can work best here for someone looking to get into this industry. Just as any business would require.
Some of the best selling beat makers on beat stars have often spoken about earning more than enough for a living.
This is highly lucrative industry.