Blog Archives

What If My Song Becomes A Hit As An Upcoming Rapper Or Artist?

What If My Song Becomes A Hit As An Upcoming Rapper Or Artist?

Upcoming Rapper Hit Song

By Gamerro Music

I get these questions a lot! Upcoming rappers & Artists want to know what happens if they only puchased a lease and their song becomes a hit. I get questions like:

”What if my song becomes a hit and I’ve only purchased a lease?”

”What happens for other artists that leased the beat?”

”The song I created with a lease became a hit, but an other artist has the exclusive rights.”

”What if I purchase a lease and the producer sells the exclusive rights to another artist later on?”

Situations like these don’t occur very often but still, you probably want to prepared in case it does happen. 

In this article, I will answer all the frequently asked questions mentioned in the list above. 

Buying exclusive rights to rap beats or leasing the beat.

As an upcoming rapper you may want to buy rap beats, this can be done through leasing a beat or buying exclusive rights. Leasing a beat is when a rapper buys a beat but doesn’t own it exclusively, meaning other people can use that same beat. Buying exclusive rights though means to own that beat and no one else, from the time you’ve bought the rights onwards, can use that beat. Whether or not to lease a beat or buy exclusive rights is, ultimately, something for you to decide. But if you don’t yet have that big of an audience, I strongly recommend leasing a beat. Leasing beats are comparatively much cheaper than buying the rights and if your song explodes then you can buy the rights afterward. But you need to be critical and ask yourself before buying exclusive rights or leasing whether your song could actually ‘blow up’.

You should not let your dreams trick you into spending too much money. If you are an upcoming rapper you can find many good beats for rappers, rapping instrumentals, hard trap beats and the like online. There are also many places you can go to for free beats online. Plus, as I see it, if you are determined and constantly work hard, you will make it big. As the saying goes, the sky’s the limit, so shoot for the stars.

What if I leased a beat and my song blows up?

So, you’ve chosen to lease a beat. Great!

It is extremely important to read the lease terms set by the producer before the purchase as each lease license will have different terms.

So, what happens if you lease a beat and then the song blows up?

If this happens, well you are close to overstepping the terms of your license agreement and you will need to buy the exclusive rights. Not only that, but you will need to negotiate and make a deal with the producer of the beat.

Some producers will follow up with their customers after they’ve leased a beat. This makes things easier as they could be keeping track of how well your song is doing and negotiating a deal with them will come easy as you are already in contact. If your producer does not do this though, you will need to get in contact with them yourself. Show them your song and keep them up to date with everything.

What about pre-existing artists who have leased the beat?

First, I will say congratulations on creating an awesome song that’s blown up! It’s hard to get your song known in this extremely competitive market, but by staying determined and constantly working hard you will make it big!

But now that your song has blown up, the beat that you licensed will very likely have been licensed by other people as well. So, what will happen to them? Will this cause some hassle with you?

Well, no. Not at all. Their lease license will be valid, even if you bought the exclusive rights, until their contract expires. No one else will be able to license the beat, but the people who’ve licensed the beat before you bought the exclusive rights won’t be affected.

What happens afterwards?

But that begs the question; let’s say you bought a rapping instrumental beat yesterday, and the producer sells the exclusive rights to someone else tomorrow, how will that affect your song? Is the potential somehow lost?

Not at all! The exclusive buyer needs to be aware that other artists have licensed the beat before them.

Actually, this is a term in the exclusive contract that they have to agree upon. So, if this happens to you, you have no need to worry. Your license agreement outlines the rights and limitations you have for your song, so make sure to read through it thoroughly. Because if you overstep those rights, it is a different story. Which begs a complicated and messy scenario.

That is; what if you’ve leased a rap beat and your song blew up, but another independent rapper has the exclusive rights. Simply put, if you get put into this scenario it will be very messy to sort out. Therefore, you need to be aware of a situation like this happening before you lease a beat and you need to be aware of ways to avoid it.

You can avoid situations like this by mainly buying exclusive rights, but this may not be an option for you for many reasons. Fortunately, there are more ways to avoid it, you can get close with the producer, show them the potential of your songs by contacting them frequently and sending them updates. If you are close with them, or even if you aren’t, you can ask them if they would consider holding on to the rights of the beat. If you’ve shown them the potential of your song, that’ll be much easier.

Gamerro Music

Gamerro Music

DJ, Producer & Entrepreneur

You might also like these articles…

Did you get a lot of value from this article? If so, please leave a comment below and share it on your socials.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Gamerro Logo

#1 Way To Build A Fanbase As An Upcoming Rapper Or Independent Artist

#1 Way To Build A Fanbase As An Upcoming Rapper Or Independent Artist
Fanbase Upcoming Rapper

By Gamerro Music

Do you want to know how to build a fanbase as an upcoming rapper or independent artist?

If so, you’ve come to the right place!

In this article you will learn about:

1. The easiest and best ways to build a good fanbase as an upcoming rapper and independent artist

2. How to build a fanbase the right way 

3. What you shouldn’t do when building your fanbase 

Table of Contents

Where it all starts 

Building your fanbase as an upcoming is something you don’t need to wait for until you can record in big studio’s or have the dopest music video’s. The biggest artists of today all started out just by putting out their music into the world. They started with releasing videos of covers of popular songs on Youtube like Ed Sheeran or Justin Bieber. And Also The Wknd started out with just releasing his music with a picture throughout the whole video on Youtube. 

Through covers or remixes of popular tracks you can easily start building your fanbase fast. This also counts for upcoming rappers. Just do a lot of remixes of popular tracks. People already searchin for the original track and might like your remix also!

You can really go big with remixes just see the recent example below of a remix that blew up:

The point is that if you want to grow your fanbase as an upcoming rapper you’ll need to start right away and be smart and consistent with it! Getting new fans and interacting with your old fans is part of your everyday life and is always possible on YouTube – no matter where you are in the world. YouTube got billions of users worldwide. Youtube plays a cruicial role in the success of upcoming rappers and artists.

With these tips, you can strengthen your relationship with your fans, increase the number of hits and subscribers, and ultimately influence how your music is shared and recommended.

✔ Find new fans (through remixes and cover but also release some original music)

✔ Be consistent in posting on Youtube

✔ Show fans that they’re important to you

✔ Find support for moderating your channel

✔ Interact with fans through community posts

About covers

Covering popular music and uploading them on YouTube and other channels can boost your fan base. In this way, you are just lifting on the publicity of another artist.

Note that just covering is not always enough. You also need to be proactive and must use appropriate keywords and timing is also crucial. By choosing the right keywords and releasing a remix at the right time, your music video may pop up in the same results as the popular original track! You dont want to release a remix when the hype is at its end. The best time is to release it when its just blowing up or even slightly before! 

So now you know one of the easiest ways to start building your fanbase. But if you develop a big and fast fanbase doesn’t only depend on your music! So I’m going to tell you what you shouldn’t do when your starting out with building your fanbase.

What you shouldn't do when building your fanbase 

A lot of upcoming rappers and independent artist who are just starting out or even been making music for a little while all try to get fans through directly putting their music in front of peoples faces. Like sending mass DM’s on Instagram and most of the time even without a friendly message to check out their music! 

This is something thats really annoying also because everybody is doing it cause it seems like the only way to get heard when you’re just starting out! 

So I get it, I can relate to that cause I’ve been in that same position when i was starting out as an independent rapper! But I’ve learned that it’s not the way to build a fanbase or be heard as an upcoming rapper! And in the worst case you’ll even get blocked by somebody and they will not become a fan of you anytime soon! So you’ll even achieve the opposite of what you wanted to achieve in the first place which is: getting more fans!

Have genuine conversations to build your fanbase

So instead of directly asking people to check out your music (or not even asking and just putting it in their faces) you can have real and genuine conversations with people. Ask them questions about themselfs. 

When you ask them about themself and really listen and respond to them they will eventually also ask more about you. And now you can just tell them about your music and even let them hear something of it! Now its more likely you’ve gained yourself another fan!

See the difference between this strategy and the previous one? 

In the beginnning your music plays a smaller role in getting fans. It is all about making genuine connections and building relationships with people that like you as a person. The more they like you, the more they will support and promote your music! And this is crucial in the starting fase as an upcoming rapper to grow your fanbase fast! 

Once you’ve build yourself a small true fanbase who promote your music on all their social platforms, other people will be curious why they’re promoting your music so much and will look you up! They might also like your music and start promoting. Now you will grow even faster! 

Give your fanbase a place to check out your music

A little side note: If someone asks you for your music, it’s perfectly fine to tell them where they can listen to it ofcourse! You just not want to force your music on people! 

Never released your music on a streaming service before? I’ve wrote an whole guide about how to make money with your music online where I discuss how to upload your music to streaming services! 

My favorite services to distribute my music on is Ditto Music

Okay, so now you know how to get your first fans and what you shouldn’t do. Now you need to maintain your fanbase and grow it even bigger! 

Give your fanbase a reason to keep supporting you

Once you start building a little fanbase you’ll need to give your fans a reason to keep supporting you! 

Your fans are investing their time and money in your career so you’ve got to make sure their getting something in return for their effort. And this is not only about consistenly releasing new music. 

You might know Machine Gun Kelly.

He has build a community for his fans through a private Facebook group where only his fans have access to! This is a great ”reason to keep supporting” because he gives his fans something exclusive and a comunnity to belong to. He uses his Facebook group to:

✔ Strengthen the fan loyalty to him and allows him to build real relationships with his fans and let fans connect with each other.

✔ Update his fans about his career, his personal life and everything else what fans want to know about him. So his fans feel like they are in a personal realtionship with him. They even get exclusive information or previews of music that isn’t released yet. 

So the main lesson from this examle is to give your fans something extra besides your music. For example a community they can belong to or something that makes them feel special and sets them apart from the main listeners of your music!

Besides that you’ll also need to give your genuine support yourself to other people that can be good relationships for your music career.  You’ll need to come to the attention of people with influence or experience who are able to push your career to the next level.

Actively connect with people and get noticed

Now you’ve come to the point in your career to build and leverage the right connections. You want to get noticed by people who will bring you to that next level. People like managers, event organizations, good rap producers and popular artist. This way you can collaborate with them and broaden your audience of listeners and fans. 

In today’s world you can achieve a lot by just connecting with people on the internet, but nothing beats the connections you make face to face. So you’ll need to attend events in the scene and been seen and connect with people in your local area. The more people see you the more they will get interested in you and the more people will find out about your music. 

Eventually somebody with the right influence will pick it up and introduce you to other people or make something happen for you. Also the more valuable connections you have the more credibilty you’ll have as an upcoming rapper or independent artist. 

Once you’ve reached this point and you’ve made the right connections, or even just before you are making the right connections its key to have quality music by now. So maybe first connect with good rap producers like me lol 🤣😆

Deliver high quality content/music to your fanbase and listeners 

You’ll not only want to deliver great quality music to your fans by now but also want to deliver great quality content around it! 

Think about content like photos, videos, social media posts and even content like articles written about your. So at this stage you will also need a good photographer and somebody who handles PR work for you. In this stage it’s all about getting your branding on point! 

A lot of high quality content and music will give you more credibility and make you look more famous than you might currently are. Especially if you’re still an upcoming rapper or independent artist. You will need to create content of the same quality of popular artist so people will think you’re on the same level already! 

Grow your community & fanbase

Okay, now it’s time to grow your community which we discussed before. You’re now able to provide your community with way more value then you did before. Your fans should now get a lot of benefits from being in your community. 

Some examples of benefits they could get from your community is:

✔ Free tickets to your events (might even turn in to a contest to win some VIP tickets)

✔ Free merchandise item (so they will promote you buy wearing it)

✔ Exclusive info and previews of unreleased music (so you can gauge the potential of new music by reactions of your fans)

Did you noticed anything about the benefits I pointed out above? The benefit is mutual! It’s a win-win situation for both the fans and you as a rap artist! This is why community building can help you grow your career to higer levels!

Community building is a lot of work, but once you have a die hard fan base and a strong community it’s hard to lose it and it’ll do great work for your career! 

It helps to build a strong community if you’ve got something unique about you like the way you dress, certain hobbys or the way you walk and talk. Certain people with the same interest as you will be ever bigger supporters cause they can relate to you! 

Show your real personality and emotions to your fanbase

Whether you’re an established rap artist or an upcoming rapper or independent artist, showing your vulnerability can help building trust with your fans and even bring you new fans cause it’s something that is shared a lot if it  awakens a lot of sympathy in people. People love touching story’s and also love to share them! 😉
A lot of upcoming rap artists don’t show that they are vulnerable and like to act like they be poppin champagne all day and got a lot of woman around them and no worries whatsoever. 

Ofcourse this can be considered as a startegy to fake it till you make it but when it comes to building real and strong relationships with fans this doesn’t really contribute a thing! 
So you’ll need to find the balance between showing your vulnerability, for instance when you fail at something, and still have your privacy and image preserved. 

Make sure you have a strong image

Once your career grows a strong image is definitely something you’ll need to develop! The way you look and present yourself will determine if people want to invite you to certain events or if they’re willing to give you something! 
Your image is created by two factors: your appearence and your behaviour.
Your appearence consists of things like: 

✔ Clothing and fashion items 

✔ Jewelry

✔ Hairstyle

✔ Logo which you can get designed on fiverr

✔ Online content 

✔ And even your body type: Skinny, fat or muscular 

The stronger your image is, the more attention you will get. As an rap artist or independent artist you should look exactly like the artist you want to be that matches your personality. 

For example, Ed Sheeran is the artist next door who is very relatable for everyday people and this is also what he looks like. He knew he wanted to be this kind of artist because it matches his personality and thats also what he looks like. Now even he made millions, you will not see him wearing designer clothes cause it doesn’t matches his image. 
On the other side of image you have the way you behave yourself. This is how you act in for example interviews or the statements that you make online. This can make or break you as an rap artist so you got to be aware of the things you say or even think of something you can say or act like everytime you do an interview. 

For example Kanye West is known for his ridiculous statements that create a lot of attention!

Exclusive fan events for your fanbase

This can really help with building a strong fan base. Exclusive fan only events can be events like meet and greets but can also be real events and stuff that you would also do with your friends like invite fans to a music video shoot or invite them to a exclusive listening session of your new album or mixtape. You can even do personal gaming sessions with fans or with all your fans like Offset during quarantine! These events doesn’t have to cost a lot of money and can build a strong relationship with your fans. 

Last thing about building a fanbase

Building your fanbase is an ongoing proces! Don’t expect to build a big fanbase easy or fast! Keep working on it and focus on how many peoples lives you touch instead of the number of views or plays you got on your new release! 
If you want to make it big in music or any other business, you’ll need to take the law of affection in consideration! The more lives you make better or entertain, the more fans and money you will receive for it! So always make sure to strengthen the relationship with your existing fans first before you focus on the numbers!
Gamerro Music
Gamerro Music

DJ, Producer & Entrepreneur

You might also like these articles…

Did you get a lot of value from this article? If so, please leave a comment below and share it on your socials.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Gamerro Logo

Buying beats online for the first time: Everything you need to know

Buying Beats Online For The First Time:
Everything you need to know
Buying Beats Online

By Gamerro Music

Buying beats: If you’re an independent rapper or artist and you’re just starting out it can be a bit difficult to find goods beats to rap or make your song with. 

And if you do know or find a great producer you’re probably need to pay a lot of 💲💲💲 to buy off the rights to use the beat. 

You can ask yourself how to make money with music if you’re just starting out and you need to already make big investments in good beats. This is where buying beats online via beat licensing comes into the picture! 

So, lets dive into online beat licensing! 

Did you know that I’ve started out as an independent rapper just before I became a DJ & rap producer? Probably not. Just after a year i started out as a rapper, a homie back then introduced me to FL Studio, and i started making beats myself. I think it was FL Studio 8 or 9 at the time. But back to my point lol 😅.

Because I’ve started out an an independent rapper I know the struggles of finding the right beats for raps and the struggles of buying beats for the first time. Because i’ve been on both sides of the table, I can relate to the situation you’re in right now:

✔ You’re just getting started with music or you’re planning to make career as an independent rapper or artist.

✔ You’re considering buying rap beats because the free ones are all tagged & lower quality. Also you can’t make profit with these free beats.

✔ Or you’ve reached the point in your career where you can properly license the beats you’re using.

If you recognize one of the situations then you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about buying rap beats online for the first time, and answer all of your questions! 🙏

Table of Contents

Part 1: About Free Download Beats For Rappers

Let’s first take a look at free beats for rappers to download. 

The way you can usually recognise a free beat is by the producer tag you hear every 30 seconds in the beat. Once you buy a license, the beat will no longer have tags in it.

If you’re using beats without a license agreement from the producer, then thats also a free beat. Even if it has no tags in it. If this is the case, you can’t use the beat to make profit. Once you start making profit with the song you’ve created on the free beat you’ll need to get at least a basic license. 

In general, producers hate it if artists ask for free beats. And it does happen very often!

“If you give me this beat for free, I’ll give you credit” is a common sentence you hear as a producer from upcoming rappers.

But, I have to admit, we as producer maybe are to blame because for this by giving beats away for free or putting FREE in the description of every YouTube video!

But let me explain a little more about this…

The reason producers add “FREE” in YouTube titles is all because of marketing strategies and ranking on YouTube. 

But many independent rappers & artists are taking advantage of the hard work of producers and download free instrumentals illegally. 

So, what CAN you do with free beats?

To be honest, you can’t really do much but record some ideas on it to see if it has potential! 

You CAN’T release it online and make rap money with it! 🤑 Even uploading it on social media is commercially these days. Same goes for YouTube and Soundcloud. Both streaming services monetise your music.

So why do producers still offer free beats?

For the same reason a lot of online products or services offer free samples. For online beat licenses its for the following reasons:

  • So you can already record the vocals and see if you want to release it as a official song before you buy.

  • So you can record a demo and get feedback before purchasing a license.

  • It basically means you can try before you buy. Just like you would try out a software product for free with a free 7 day trial for example. This is just like every other free trail to make sure that it’ll be worth your investment.

So you can use free rap beats for all the above reasons, but if you release a song without purchasing a license, it can be taken down! And thats not what you want if you’re building a career. Especially if you’re an independent rapper or artist. 

Don't use free beats if you're considering yourself a real artist!

It’s very simple. Actually free beats don’t exist. Not if you’re taking yourself serious as an artist and want to make money with music. Just like you can’t use illegal software for the long run cause eventually you will need to buy or it can ruin your business. 

If you released a song or rap mixtape with a beat for which you haven’t bought a license, you’re not actually authorized to use it and your accounts on streaming services can be taken down. 

This is why its so important to get a license if you want to build a real career in music. This is also why beat licensing exists. Cause without beat licensing upcoming artists wouldn’t be able to afford the beats. 

I think you understand now why you need to get a license if you want to release music to make profit. But how does the purschasing of licenses work?

Part 2: What do I need to know about buying rap beats online?

When buying beats online with licenses, you’re purchasing the audio files that are copyrighted by the producer. In return, the producer gives you several rights to use the beat.

This is all written down in a so called ”License Agreement”.

There are two different licenses:

✔ Non-exclusive licenses

✔ Exclusive licenses.

The difference between those two is that a non-exclusive license for a beat can be also sold to other artists and independent rappers, and an exclusive license can only be sold once and to one artist only. Thats why its called exclusive!

In this blog post, I will only explain the non-exclusive licensing because its the most common one and most likely the license you’re purchasing when you’re buying rapping instrumentals online.

If you want to know what the difference is between Non-Exclusive and Exclusive Licenses, Click the link below

What If I buy a beat with a Basic License – Can i upgrade later if my song blows up?

Ofcourse! This is always possible! Just send me a message! 

But this is not always the case! This is because not many other producers offer this service. So this means it depends on the rap producer which you buying beats from. Just ask them if they offer this service!

The reason why I offer license upgrades is because i know that money can be low when you’re just starting out! So you probably want to buy the cheapest beat license first right?

The money you pay for the upgrade is most of the times the difference between the licenses.

Do I own any copyright once I buy rap beats?

When you record the lyrics that you’ve written over the beat, you will own the copyright… 

But only to the lyrics!

The song you then create with the beat is also known as a “Derivative Work.”

It basically means that you will own and control 50% of the “Writer’s Share” and the producer the other 50%. 

You can read all about this in the Online Beat Licensing Guide. 

What happens when an other artist buys the exclusive rights for the beat I’ve licensed non-exclusively?

Most of the times this doesn’t affect you or the song you released with the beat. When you buy a license you are granted the rights on the exact moment you purchase the beat. 

So, when artist buying beats with exclusive rights, it only means that from that moment nobody can buy a license to the beat anymore, but the non-exclusive license you’ve puchased, is still valid.

What if my song becomes a hit and I've only purschased a non-exclusive license?

This is a question that a lot of artist have. That’s why I devoted an whole blog post about this topic. 

If you want to learn more about this, click the link below. 👇🏽

Part 3: Is buying beats online safe?

Yes it certainly is! If the producer has a website and a beatstore with one of the most common Beatstore providers:

If a rap producer has a profile and a beatstore on one of these platforms, you can be sure its safe! They all have a good reputation. Just find search for the producer on one of these platforms and purchase from there if you really want to be sure! Most online producers are signed up with one of them and also get a website through one of the platforms. Thats why a lot of websites of producers look the same.

The beatstores on these websites have an ‘instant delivery’ feature included. When the payment is done, you will be redirected to a page where you can safely download the files. Also, you will receive a confirmation by mail. 

Be Aware…  Producers can still create their own license agreements on these platforms. 

So, before you buy a beat, always check the license agreements and licensing terms. You can’t find everything on the price tables on their website! 😉

Some tips to buy rap beats online safely:

✔ Pay with PayPal, Stripe or Creditcard (they have buyers protection)

✔ Search for the producer on BeatStars, Airbit or Soundee player

✔ Always read the full License Agreements 

✔ When you’re not sure, reach out to the producer and see if and how they respond

Part 4: One last thing about beat licensing!

Recently, I’ve seen some some producers placed a new term in their license agreement. This term enables the producer to end your license agreement. 

Some producers includes an exit clause in their agreements that states that they’re allowed to end the license agreement by written notice. 

When they terminate the agreement they will pay you back  double the license fee of what you’ve initially paid. 

This can be a problem if the  song you’ve made with it became one of you’re succesful songs. 

So, always check the agreement before you start buying rap beats online!

Gamerro Music
Gamerro Music

DJ, Producer & Entrepreneur

You might also like these articles…

Did you get a lot of value from this article? If so, please leave a comment below and share it on your socials.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Gamerro Logo

Online Beat Licensing: Everything you need to know

Online beat licensing:
Everything you need to know

By Gamerro Music

Online beat licensing already exists for a long time but just recently became more popular due to some succes stories of online producers & upcoming rappers. 

But online beat licensing had been around since producers selling beats via soundclick and other platforms. 

Today, everyone can make a website to sell their beats from, but there is a lot more to beat licensing then you might think. 

This article will educate you about everything you need to know about online beat licensing and specifically about the what the different licenses mean and what they consist of. This guide is useful for independent rappers buying rap beats and rap producers selling rap beats.  

When you read this whole article you will know everything you need to know about online beat licensing! Enjoy! ✌

Table of Contents

[rtoc_mokuji title="" title_display="" heading="h3" list_h2_type="" list_h3_type="" display="" frame_design="" animation=""]

Part 1: What Is Beat Licensing?

Beat licensing is fairly simple. Artists can buy beats from a producer who has made a beat and uploaded them to their store. The artist that bought this beat from the store can then use it for their songs.

The producer will then present the artist with a license agreement. This license agreement will outline the user-rights that the artist now has to create and distribute a song based on the beat he or she purchased.

Something to take note of is free beats. Actually, there is no such thing as a ‘free beat’. Even if a producer agrees to send an artist a free beat, there is no legal proof or permission for the artist to use it. This is why license agreements are so very important. With a license you CAN use the beat for commercial purposes. Even free beats sometimes come with licenses.

Actually, there are no such things as ‘buying beats’ or ‘selling beats’. This is because the actual product is the license agreement.

Leasing Beats (Non-exclusive)

The most common form of beat licensing is leasing a beat. Leasing a beat is owning a non-exclusive license agreement. These are comparatively cheaper than an exclusive license agreement, ranging anywhere from $20 – $300. 

With this, you are able to release a song on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify or YouTube and still make money off it. When leasing a beat, the artist is allowed to create a song and distribute it using the beat originally created by the producer. However, the producer will still retain ownership.

A license agreement will include the details of the purchase, that is, the buyer’s name, address, a timestamp, the user-right and information of the producer. Usually, this is auto generated.

License Limitations

Non-exclusive licenses will usually come with limitations. These could be for example, a maximum of clicks on YouTube, or sales in iTunes, or streams of Spotify and the like. When this maximum limit has been reached, the buyer will need to renew the license as soon as possible.

Non-exclusive licenses can be, or in some cases, need to be renewed either as the maximum limit is reached or before the expiration date, which can be from anywhere between 1-10 years.

Non-exclusive licenses can allow a number of artists to use the same single beat for their own use under the same, if not similar terms.

This can be a problem, but a general rule is that for a beginner artist, to lease a beat would be their best course of action, while a bigger artist might be better of with exclusive licenses.

The Exclusive License

Exclusive licenses are much more expensive than Non-exclusive ones. But they allow the artist to use the beat to the fullest, without limitations. No maximum number of streams or sales and no expiration date.

When buying the exclusive rights of a beat, the beat could have been previously non-exclusively licensed to others. In this case, the artists that have leased the beat previously will not necessarily be affected, as in every exclusive license agreement there is a section named ‘Notice of Outstanding Clients’. This protects the previous artists from getting a strike.

If you purchase an exclusive license, the producer will not be allowed to license the beat to others. This allows the beat to be exclusively owned by the buyer of the license agreement. However, there are two very important and very different ways of selling the exclusive rights of a beat. Selling exclusive rights AND selling exclusive ownership.

The Difference Between Exclusive Rights & Exclusive Ownership

When selling exclusive rights, the original author of the beat is the producer, and the producer can collect publishing rights.

When selling exclusive ownership, the producer is effectively selling everything about and including the beat. This will be all interest made, the copyright, publishing rights, authorship, etc. 

In this case, the buyer of the beat gets complete ownership of the beat. This is usually looked down upon though, as many people only see an agreement crediting both the artist and producer as the right thing to do.

Part 2: Royalties, Writer’s Share, Publishing Rights

This part of the guide will teach you everything you need to know about arguably the most difficult parts of the music industry you need to understand. Most notable royalties, writer’s share and publishing rights.

Royalties are payments of various types to owners of property for use, in this case, to artists for their music. They are sectioned into two types, mechanical royalties, and performance royalties.

Mechanical royalties are generated when your music is reproduced or distributed both physically and digitally. This can be when CDs are manufactured, songs are streamed, from digital sales and hard copy sales.

Performance royalties are generated and distributed when music is publicly performed. This applies to music being played over the radio, in a restaurant, on streaming services or live performances to name a few examples.

Mechanical Royalties

Whether the artist’s license is non-exclusive or exclusive, in most cases, they keep all of the mechanical royalties generated. This is in exchange for the price they pay for the license. However, If an artist is signed to a label, that label collects the royalties and can choose to pay a percentage of the royalties to the artist.

There is an exception to the artist collecting 100% of mechanical royalties that applies exclusively to exclusive license agreements. This is ‘advances against mechanical royalties’. 

Some producers, in exchange for the beat and as stated in the license agreement ask for a percentage on the mechanical royalties. This usually isn’t anything big, ranging from 1-10% of the royalties.

Advances against royalties work as an insurance for the producer in case the song blows up. As the beat market becomes more and more saturated, the beat prices have dropped, so much so that it’s become harder to close deals of 4-figures. 

So, if a song blows up and you had sold exclusive rights may be less than even $1000 and that song generates thousands or millions of dollars, it’s not that fair, is it? This is why advances against royalties exist.

Performance Royalties

Performance royalties work differently and are collected and paid out by Performing Rights Organisations (P.R.O’s). These royalties are divided into two parts, songwriter royalties (writer’s share) and publishing royalties

PROs divide the royalties to these two groups, with every dollar earned on performance royalties half goes to songwriter royalties and the other half publishing royalties.

Songwriter Royalties

The songwriter royalties are also known as ‘writer’s share’ and will be paid to the songwriters. They are paid out to anyone that has had creative input in the song. So, If a beat is licensed here, then both the producer and artist are considered the songwriters.

If you have leased a beat, then the beat is considered one half of your song and the lyrics the other half, meaning the producer and artist usually split the royalties 50-50.

This is different with exclusive beat licenses though, as a different split can be negotiated and depends on all songwriters in question.

Publishing Royalties

Publishing royalties are usually assigned to publishing companies, many independent artists though, don’t have a publishing deal. So, if you are independent or not signed with a publishing administrator, then you should sign up with one straight away. Half of what you earned is still waiting.

Part 3: Copyright

Copyright, especially in the music industry, becomes very tricky to handle. Copyright in regard to licensing beats will be explained here but I’d recommend researching further or even consulting an actual attorney to really understand the ins and outs of copyright in the music industry.

Performing Arts Copyright (PA-Copyright)

Performing Arts Copyright, PA-Copyright, is the copyright for the music and lyrics of a song. If an artist bought a license for a beat from a producer, then that producer will own one of the two copyrighted elements of the song. In this case the music. If you were making some trap or rap music, the music would be the rap instrumental beat. 

The artist will own the second copyrighted element of the song. The lyrics. Whether you bought the exclusive or non-exclusive rights of the song, you will always own the lyrics and the producer will always own the music, or at least, the copyright to the music.

Sound Recording Copyright (SR-Copyright)

Sound Recording Copyright, SR-Copyright, is the master and sound-recording rights of a song. If you owned a beat license and created a song with the producer, that song will be referred to as the ‘master’ or ‘sound-recording’. With SR-Copyright there is a large difference between holding exclusive or non-exclusive rights here.

With an exclusive license, the artist owns the master and sound recording rights. The sound recording rights will become their sole property and can be worry-free from claims the producer may plea. The producer can, however, jointly claim copyright of what is called ‘underlying musical composition’ as they are the original creator of the music, as stated in PR-Copyright.

With a non-exclusive license however, the artist does not own those rights. The artist has the right to use the beat, but they do not own the master right of the song. They do own PA-Copyright of the lyrics, however.

Derivative Work

You have definitely come across derivative works. They are based on pre-existing copyrighted material and then have someone’s original blended into it. These are remixes, parodies, adaptations, translations, etc.

When producers lease their beat, they are essentially authorizing an artist to create a derivative work using their material.

Beats With Third Party Samples

Another very tricky situation to handle in the beat licensing is when beats contain a third-party sample. This means that the beat the producer created was made with some copyrighted material. Some producers may think that the artist they are selling rights to can ‘clear the sample’. That is, thinking the artist can get legal authorization of the sample and they won’t need to.

This is completely false. If a third-party sample was used to create a beat that was then licensed to an artist, both the producer and artist need to acquire legal authorization. If there are numerous artists and producers, this could get very confusing, which is why I recommend against using samples or beats that contain samples.

Part 4: Exclusive or Non-Exclusive?

Whether to buy an exclusive or non-exclusive license agreement is ultimately up to the artist to decide. The artist will have to have a critical look at their work and consider the following:

✔ How many listeners/fans do you have?

✔ Do you have a considerable consistent number of streams/plays?

✔ Are you stable financially? How big is your budget?

These can be hard questions to answer and I would generally recommend non-exclusive licenses for most artists. Especially so if you are relatively new to the music industry or have not yet made it big. 

Hopefully, this guide has helped you learn the ins-and-outs of beat licensing and music production in general. The music industry is a very challenging industry to get into and understanding this information will only prove to help you. A lot of information was told here so feel free to come back or conduct your own research.

Gamerro Music
Gamerro Music

DJ, Producer & Entrepreneur

You might also like these articles…

Did you get a lot of value from this article? If so, please leave a comment below and share it on your socials.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Gamerro Logo