Beat Licensing Explaint

In this article we show you what types of beat licensing exists and what the key points are

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Beginner / Experienced

Non-exclusive lease

Non-exclusive licensing, also known as ‘leasing’, is the most common form of beat licensing. For just a view bucks, you can buy a non-exclusive license agreement and release a song on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, create a music video for YouTube, and make money from it! 💰

You can instantly buy a license from the online store.

With a non-exclusive license, the producer grants the artist permission to use the beat to create a song of their own and distribute it online. The producer will still retain copyright ownership and the artist has to adhere to the rights granted in the agreement.

Disadvantages compared to exclusive rights:

Non-exclusive licenses have a limitation on sales, plays, streams or views. It also has an expiration date. Meaning that it’s only going to be valid for 10 years. The license will also need to be renewed as soon as the buyer reached the maximum amount of streams and/or plays. Even if that’s before the contract’s expiration date(!) Since these licenses are non-exclusive, a single beat can be licensed to an unlimited number of different artists. This means that several artists could be using the same beat for a different song under similar license terms. 

  • If you have non-exclusively licensed a beat, you do not own the master and sound recording rights.

Tracked Out Lease

Most professional hip hop artists like to have more control over the creation process. This tracked out stems allow the artist to manipulate the instrumental to with accordance the specifics of the songs that are written over the instrumental.

It also gives the artist’s producer or mix engineer more control in the mixing and mastering process of the final recording. By giving the mixing engineer more freedom with the individual stems the music producer can produce a much cleaner higher quality recording for the artist.


Exclusive Rights

When you own the Exclusive Rights to a beat, there are no limitations on user rights. Meaning that an artist can exploit the song to the fullest.

There is no maximum number of streams, plays, sales or downloads nor is there an expiration date on the contract.

The song may also be used in numerous different projects. Singles, albums, music videos etc.

In the case of buying the exclusive rights to a beat that was previously (non-exclusively) licensed to other artists, the artist that purchased the exclusive rights is typically the last person to purchase it. After a beat is sold exclusively, the producer is no longer allowed to sell or license the beat to others.

That doesn’t mean the previous non-exclusive licensees will be affected by this.

Note: The producer remains the original author of the music and is still able to collect writers share and publishing rights.

  • If you have exclusively licensed a beat, you do own the master and sound recording rights.

Free Beats

Free beats are tagged beats in mp3 quality. Use them for auditioning purpose only. You can download them to record a demo to see if you come up with a new song. To avoid copyright strikes and serious legal problems make sure to buy a license before uploading your new song on any platform like Youtube, Apple Music, Spotify and co.