This is a hotly debated subject amongst producers, but hopefully I can give you a good understanding of where your prices should be. The biggest debate is about whether you should give away free beats or not. Whilst it’s understandable why producers do this I think this is a bad idea for your business, and here’s why..
To Free Or Not To Free?
In my first blog I discussed value. The value of your product/service. Convincing buyers that your product/service is worth it’s value. And that it represents good value for money. So here’s the thing. If you give your beats away for free, what does that say about the value of your product? What does that say about what it’s worth?
If you see someone giving a TV away for free. Are you gonna think “wow that TV must be good!” or “that tv must be terrible”. My point is that before a potential buyer even hears your beats, the price (or lack of) will already give a hint as to what you feel your work is worth. And if you don’t value your work highly, why would anybody else?
You may be thinking you have to give away free beats because people can’t afford ‘x’ amount on a beat, but that is not true. It’s just that they don’t want to spend the money. You can pretty much guarantee that when they’re contacting you asking for free beats they’re doing it using a $600 smartphone or expensive laptop
Something you’ll hear often is “let me have this beat for free, you’ll get plenty of exposure with my song”. Can you imagine going to a store and saying “can I have that TV for free? I’ll get you lots of free exposure”. Not gonna happen, is it? So why should the beat selling industry be any different? You work hard on your beats, so don’t do all that work just to instantly de-value it by giving it away for free
If you set high standards and expect people to buy at your given price, they will. And you’ll likely surprise yourself with the money you make at not setting your price below what you think it should be. And for the few sales/downloads you miss out on by not giving your work away for free – I wouldn’t worry about it. If an artist isn’t prepared to pay $20 for a lease then they’re probably not a serious artist and won’t do much to further your career
That doesn’t mean be outrageous and charge over the odds, simply charge what you think it’s worth, and what you can show is value for money
So what is that number?
The industry standard for this amateur/semi pro level seems to have settled around $20-$30 for a basic non-exclusive lease and $40-$100 for a premium lease (have a look around, different people word it different ways (tracked out, WAV, VIP, Unlimited, etc.)) but you’ll begin to see a trend in prices. These can be sold over and over again and are a good way to make long term profits from each track. If you get a good customer base these non-exclusive beats can pay out more in the long run, despite the small price tag
You can also sell exclusive rights to your beats, meaning that once it’s sold, it’s sold, and you cannot sell it again. These tend to go anywhere from $300-$2000+, depending on the level of the producer, and what their status is within the music world. I recommend $500 for exclusive beats, as this seems to be the standard at this level, and is a good balance between making up for the fact that you can no longer sell it, and offering a fair price. But again, I leave this up to you. If you feel your beats are worth $2000 then set that as your price. Who’s to say you’re wrong?
I would suggest you don’t pay too much attention to your competition as this can lead to you under/overpricing your beats. Imagine someone spends 2 hours on each beat and sends out low quality beats for $5 per lease. If you’re producing the highest quality you can, spending as much time as you can on each beat, why would you then put your beats in the same category as the sub-par $5 beats?
And it goes both ways. If you’re just starting out, you can’t expect to be charging the same prices as top producers who have made a name for themselves. Particularly with the exclusive leases, as these prices are more widely varied
Don’t forget you can always run sales and discounts, which is always a good way to drive sales. It allows you to be a bit more forward with your selling approach when contacting people, because you’re not just saying ‘hey buy my beats’ but rather, ‘thanks for being a member of my site/mailing list, we currently have a promotion running….’
And that’s about it for pricing. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment, or check out the forum as this topic is brought up regularly
Thanks for reading, see you next week!
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