What is Beat Licensing?
The world of licensing beats might sound daunting but it’s very simple. There’s really only 2 categories of licenses, Non-Exclusive (or Lease) and Exclusive. All other licenses fall under those 2 categories.
A Non-Exclusive license enables the producer to sell or lease the same beat to multiple artists while still retaining Exclusive rights.
The producer can set their own terms for this license – for example, how many copies of the song recorded by the artist can be sold, how many live performances are allowed with the song, etc.
The main benefit to this is that the producer can earn a recurring income from the same beat by reselling to multiple people, sometimes even making more money than if they had sold the beat exclusively.
Just as important, it means artists can get quality beats without the huge upfront cost. Everybody wins!
A Few Pointers:
- Most producers will have around 2 – 4 different types of Non-Exclusive license.
- Each license has different terms and files
- The idea being that the bigger the budget the more flexibility you get with the licensed beat
- More expensive licenses include higher quality audio files and sometimes tracked out stem files
- Can be leased over and over indefinitely (as long as Exclusive rights not sold)
Generally low-end Non-Exclusive licenses are priced between $10 to $40, with high end Non-Exclusive licenses ranging between $70 – $150. Pricing is very subjective though and experimentation is advised to see what gives you the best results with your customers.
An Exclusive license means the producer signs over all the rights of the instrumental to the artist and can no longer sell the beat Non-Exclusively. An Exclusive license tends not to have any restrictions attached to it, apart from prohibiting the resale of the instrumental itself.
- Exclusive licenses are much higher in cost
- The producer can no longer make money licensing that beat
- They’re likely to be purchased by more serious artists who expect greater success, or who have record labels that require exclusivity.
Another type of license is the Synchronization (or Sync) license and this license is for TV/Film placements. Sync licenses most commonly fall under the Non-Exclusive category, especially for TV, and would usually involve royalty payouts of some sort.
Your Airbit account comes with one Non-Exclusive license and one Exclusive out the box. When you upgrade to a Gold or Platinum account, you’ll be able to add custom licenses to give your customers greater choice.
How to Set up Your Licenses
Setting up your licenses on Airbit is a simple yet important part of your business. You’ll want to figure out what terms you’re going to provide with each license, though if you’re new to licensing and aren’t sure what to offer, we provide templates that will fill in the terms for you based off of averages.
If you want to enter your own terms, click the blue pencil icon under the license name, then simply enter your terms into the corresponding fields.
For a full guide to setting up license options, including images to help explain, please click here
Contracts are what legalise your licenses, and are automatically sent with every order as a .pdf file for the customer to download. By default, template contracts are automatically generated for you once you enter your license terms. You can use this contract as it is, edit it to suit your needs, or enter your own custom contract from scratch.
E-Signatures are generated for both yourself and and the buyer, signalling both parties agreement to the terms laid out. This provides extra protection, should you ever be on the receiving end of a chargeback or dispute.
Both Licenses and contracts are managed in Dashboard > Licenses & Contracts and can be edited at any point. Should you choose to update your contracts – the original contract, signed by both parties will still be available for download.
You can view the complete set up guide for contracts, including helpful images, here.
What is the Marketplace?
Our Marketplace is an opportunity for you to get extra sales from customers who may not have come across your beats otherwise. We put our own marketing efforts into bringing customers to the Marketplace where they can browse thousands of beats.
But just being on the Marketplace isn’t enough to get seen by these customers. Like with any platform, there are certain things you can (and should) do to ensure your beats get more exposure.
Promotion on Airbit is a great way to get your beats front and centre. Promoted beats are added to our homepage, displayed at the top of browse & search results, added to our Soundcloud channel and also promoted on Twitter.
Head to Dashboard > Promote Beats > Book to book your promo slots today!
We do also promote beats for free in the form of our Staff Picks, Featured Beats & Producer Of the Week. The only requirement for being chosen for any of these is that your beats are available on the Marketplace.
Staff picks are chosen exactly how you would imagine – by the staff. Each week we choose 8 beats to be displayed on the homepage. They’re chosen for a different reason each week – it could be that a new Kanye album has dropped so we’re choosing Kanye type beats, or maybe we choose from the top newcomers only, etc. We like to keep you on your toes!
Featured Beats are chosen monthly, and we only choose 4/5 of these at a time. These are highly coveted spots and we put a lot of time into choosing these carefully!
The producer of the week allows a producer to hold down an area of the homepage all to themselves, with a few of their beats displayed and a link to their profile page. Again, this choice is based various reasons each week
The charts are populated by the most popular beats & producers on Airbit. The more you sell, the higher you rise! Pretty straight forward right?
General Marketplace Info
There is only one requirement for your beats to be displayed on the Marketplace – you must have a Paypal email address linked to your account. If you can’t accept payment, we can’t display your beats.
You should also know that the minimum a beat can sell for on the Marketplace is $10. So even if you’re selling a beat for $5 in your personal store, it will will be sold for $10 on the Marketplace. If you are providing discounts, these will still be valid on our Marketplace.
You can opt in or out of selling beats on the Marketplace, and sales are subject to commission charges
Part 4 of our Beginner’s Guide continues here!