It has become ever so popular for independent recording artists and producers to buy and sell beats online. With this trend comes a lot of traffic from inexperienced artists trying to buy beats online. An inexperienced buyer will easily over pay for a beat online. This article was written from personal experience in hopes of giving some insight, not as a hard set of rules to follow, but a guide. Listed below are things beat buyers should know and understand when buying beats online.
Understand The INTRINSIC Value Of Hip Hop Beats And Rap Beats
You can’t touch, bend, break, fold, or smell rap beats. For that matter, you can’t even see them, yet in the music industry, we see them being sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Oh … but you can hear and fell vibrations from beats, can’t you. This kind of makes music like the wind, so I guess it’s fair to say the music industry is selling “air”… not really, but hopefully you get my point. It’s not the price of the beat but the producer or person you are buying it from.
The actual value of a beat or music is based on an underlying perception of its true value, perception being the keyword. Don’t rip yourself off by buying a beat online for $500 if the producer has no credibility or his or her image and stature in the music industry doesn’t give value to your demo or album sales. Look at what Brittany Spears did on her latest album, take note of the album credits and all the popular “Producer Powers” employed, essentially playing a major part in her attempt to revive her career.
Some Internet Beat Pricing Standards And Averages
The average rate on the Internet for a “Non-Exclusive” beat license is $0 – $75. With this type of license you are essentially leasing or renting the beat for a given amount of time or copies. The average for an “Exclusive” beat license is from around $75 – $250. This type of license gives you full ownership of the beat, as if you created it yourself. More popularly noted as “work for hire”. Note: Some exclusive licenses may restrict resale.
Try To Contact The Producer Before You Buy
To get the most for your money, and protect yourself from “beat-jackers” (people who steal other peoples beats and resell them) try to contact the producer first to see if he or she is responsive, email or PM seems to be the best method. Don’t just buy beats from “Joe Blow” without making some kind of contact first. Trust me, real beat makers who are truly vested in their craft make themselves available and they’ll be happy to hear from you (it builds their ego) and will more than likely work a deal out with you if you buy more than one beat from them. If a seller takes more than two days to respond, keep it moving. There are literally thousands of other producers who will stop at the drop of a hat to make a $20 sale in hopes of repeat business and a little recognition. Try starting off with producers that you see are already selling beats to others on the net or have their beats rated high or “Hot”. Obviously they are doing something right and they are more than likely satisfying other beat buyers needs.
Get It In Writing
When you buy beats online, make sure there is some type of printable licensing agreement associated with the beat you buy. A licensing agreement/contract will explain the rights you have with the beats and the terms under which you may use the beat.
Cheap Exclusive Beat
Cheap exclusive beats are the best deals to get but there are very few producers out there who are willing to sell you an exclusive beat from $20 to $40. Check out thebeattrader.com for some of those type deals. There are not a lot of producers on that site and understandably so, but the site became very popular for selling low priced exclusive beats a few years ago.
Cheap Non-Exclusive Beats
The next best thing is a low priced non-exclusive. Remember, the catch with non-exclusive beats is that the beat may have been sold several other times before you buy it, so if you are looking for fresh music, make a list of the producers you like on a site and watch their profiles. Good experienced online producers know to cycle out old beats and update their profiles with new beats at least every 2-3 days.
I’d say a fair price to pay for a non-exclusive beat is about $20. There is an abundant amount of producers selling beats online right now who would fight for your business. Online producers are almost a dime a dozen so it’s really easy nowadays to get unique music for your mix-tape, demo, or album at and very affordable price.
For reference, BeatSwagger.com is one of the best sites to buy beats on. The site has very affordable beats, fast transactions and its easy to use. You basically click, buy, and download your beat instantly from a secured link sent to the e-mail address of your choosing. Plus, you can also instantly download a printable licensing agreement after you buy beats. The site prides itself in its more mature, seasoned music producers and beat makers. The majority of these producers are serious about selling beats and are easy to work with. They typically have the Gold or Platinum Membership.