Updated: May 20, 2020
Should you Lease or Buy Beats?
Have you went on YouTube downloaded a beat and wrote a fire hook and verse to the beat? If so, then the next step is getting in contact with the producer and obtaining the rights to use the beat. This is important because legally you do not own the rights to the beat. If the song takes off, you can be sued if the producer isn’t paid and has a contract with you. Not only that, but YouTube is now monetizing music and has different copyright laws in place. So YouTube and other streaming outlets can take your music down or won’t allow uploads depending on the copyright registering of the beat on the producer's behalf. It would be in your best interest to contact the producer in the beginning. At this point it can seem like an excellent idea to buy the exclusive rights to the beat – but there are a few things you should think about before getting the beat.
What are the steps in you doing this?
Let’s touch a few things to help with you deciding on the leasing or Exclusive lease.
What are you doing with the Song?
I’ve run into many artists who don’t have a clear goal or realistic expectations when it comes to a potential song. Many simply answer that they think the song is going to “blow up” and “get them on” without a plan to get to that point. Now, if you’re plugged in and have label contacts you can shop the song too, buying the exclusive rights might be a good idea for you,
and you can probably stop reading this and get to work. However, if you are like the majority of artists who are just looking to get noticed, you’re going to need a better plan than posting to ReverbNation and SoundCloud and hoping for the best.
What’s Your Budget?
You need a plan if you want to be successful in this music business and that no doubt that involves spending money. So, after setting your goals, you’ll need to develop a budget for the track. This should include considerations such as the beat (obviously), the recording session, the mixing and mastering of the track, any artwork needed, any video that will be shot, and any marketing and promotions that will be run for the song. Once you have your budget set, you can move on to the next step.
Beat Leasing Non Exclusive or Exclusive?
Beat leasing or Non–Exclusive might be a good idea for an artist who would like to get the beat at a lower rate but depending on the contract you have limits, and it is more beneficial to the producer. There are certain scenarios where purchasing exclusive rights would make sense, but those are very rare and chances are if you’re an independent rapper, leasing a hip hop beat is the better avenue for you also keep in mind other artists can use this beat as well. A typical lease price for a beat can be anywhere from $15 to $50 in most cases, so you’ll immediately save money that can be better used elsewhere. Most lease agreements allow you to sell up to 2,000 copies before renewal, meaning you can still sell the track to recoup your money while taking a smaller financial risk upfront. Also, if the song does blow up, you always have the option to buy exclusive rights to the beat at any time. So by leasing instead of purchasing, you put yourself in a low risk/high reward situation.
On the other hand, Exclusive lease allows you full rights to the beat no other artist can use the beat. So for producers, while selling a beat for a couple of hundred dollars is a nice payday upfront, exclusive rights mean they can no longer profit from that beat, for the most part. There’s the off chance they’ll gain royalties from the track if it blows up, but their earning potential for that beat is likely realized if they opt to sell it exclusively. If you run into a producer who is pressuring you to buy, you might want to find someone else. On Average Price start $750 & up for Exclusive Rights.