Leasing Beats vs Exclusive RightsHow did it start?
The producer side
With the internet allowing more and more musicians to get themselves out there, a modern wave of opportunity has been taking over online.
Nowadays, you can create and sell music using nothing but a computer and internet access.
Music producers from all over the world can now make a living selling their instrumental music online.
We sell beats too.
The Artist Side
Naturally, singers and rappers have also recognized this opportunity and
have been using it as a much more convenient, cost effective way of getting their hands on finished, professional sounding instrumentals for them to record over.
Now, instead of having to personally seek out a music producer to hire or work with one on one, artists can simply hop online and dive into a seemingly endless world of online producers offering a diversity of styles, status and prices, making it a win/win relationship for both the artists and producers.
If you’re a musician/artist (especially rap artist), then you’re probably somewhat familiar with the idea of "leasing" What does that mean exactly?
In A Nutshell
In short, it’s referring to the purchase of temporary rights to distribute and record over a piece of music known as a “beat” or “instrumental”.
After leasing an instrumental the artist may use that piece of music in compliance with the rights and regulations stated in the
Typically, after leasing a beat you can use it for a variety of outlets.
For example online streaming platforms such as YouTube, Spotify, Itunes. But also mixtapes, albums, live performance and radio play.
It’s also worth mentioning that each producer has his or her own leasing rules and agreements.
Different beat leases
Usually, there are a couple different types of leasing options that each cater to specific needs of an artist. The 3 most common ones are explained below.
First of all, the most common one is typically referred to as a “Basic Lease".
1. Price. Most producers provide this option for a more modest price (under $40) with a common term of 12 months.
2. Delivery. Usually, just the mp3 version of the instrumental along somewhat minimal rights and regulations.
3. For? The Basic Lease is generally recommended for “casual” artists recording for fun or promotional purposes. It’s also a great starting point before upgrading to another lease or Exclusive Rights. But we will discuss that later.
Wav Trackouts Lease / Premium Lease
Secondly, is what's known as the “Premium Lease” or "Wav Trackouts". This option generally gives artists a longer term (between 24-48 months) and allows a little more flexibility. It also offers distribution across a greater number of platforms and a higher number of sales per recording as well.
1. Price. Obviously, it depends on the producer. As a general rule of thumb between $35 and $75 is likely an accurate expectation.
2. Delivery. Classically, it's delivered in tracked out wav files. However, time and again the mp3 and stereo wav are included as well.
3. For? This lease is usually recommended for any artist that has slightly more serious plans with their music. Perfect if you want that perfect mix on your song, for instance.
Lastly, there’s the Unlimited Lease. It provides the artist with unlimited commercial use and unrestricted rights (as the title suggests).
Although this option provides artists with almost total freedom of use, it does not grant actual ownership or exclusive rights.
Ownership remains with the original producer who maintains the rights to sell/lease the instrumental to other artists.
Leasing unlimited beats is also considered a more cost effective alternative to Exclusive Rights.
1. Price. Generally $100/$200+ per lease, this is in most cases the “total package” as far as leased beats come.
2. Delivery. Most of the time, the unlimited lease includes the mp3, and even wav trackout files as well.
3. For? Unlimited Lease is ideal for any artist who doesn’t want to worry about having their rights expire. Only serious artists lease beats under this license.
Read our leasing terms here!
Why buy exclusive beats?
Do you know the definition of the term"exclusive right"?
Leases are great for artists in order to use a beat or instrumental. However, this might not meet the needs of the more professional artists.
While a beat lease can still be a great starting point for the initial recording, it’s often not enough for an artist with bigger plans. For instance, rappers and singers who are aiming for a hit record.
Exclusive Rights should be considered the final step. It comes at a much higher prices than a leased beat and provides the artist with full ownership of the instrumental.
This allows to use the instrumental without any hesitations or restrictions. Essential for anyone who has big plans with their music.
As with leasing options, different producers will often offer and apply different specifications.
For instance, some might include publishing splits and agreements. Others might dismiss this field entirely, requiring nothing aside from the initial advance payment.
Others are handled on a case by case basis. This means that the producer evaluates publishing negotiations for each individual sale.
Once an artist has purchased Exclusive Rights, the instrumental is usually then removed from all websites. In addition, it shall no longer be available for others to purchase or lease.
Advice: always review a producer's exclusive terms!
A Few Restrictions
Most producers demand a written credit for every publication of their music. Even after transferring ownership of the exclusive instrumental.
Also, as a general rule, once an artist owns the Exclusive Rights they are forbidden to resell it to a 3rd party. This means that you can not pass the music your own work unless it's has been agreed upon otherwise.
Concluding, exclusive rights should be seen as a professional investment for serious artists and not so much something for the casual music- maker.
So if you have serious plans and invested lots of time and money into a song then buying exclusive rights is a great move.
Otherwise, I'd definitely rather recommend to lease your beats and instrumentals instead.