Everything you need to know
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!
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