An Introduction to Beat Licenses

What are beat licenses?

Beat licenses are a formal agreement between a producer and an artist granting an artist the rights to use a beat or selection of beats on his or her project whether it be a single, album, mixtape etc. The particulars of this agreement will differ depending upon the needs of the artist and the specifications the producer has laid out in his license agreements.

Non-Exclusive vs. Exclusive

When purchasing licenses you are most often presented with several options. Usually there are a few Non-Exclusive options and then the option to purchase exclusively. The Non-Exclusive license is just that non-exclusive meaning you do not have exclusive rights to use the beat(s). Under a non-exclusive agreement the producer retains the rights to license the beat to as many people who may be interested.

There are usually several non-exclusive options starting with your basic license which usually has the most restrictive terms as far as how the artists can use the beat whether it be a limitation on how many units of your song you can sell physically or how many streams you can have on your song. A lot of non-exclusive licenses even restrict you making money from your song when you do performances.  

Exclusive licenses are licenses that grant exclusive usage rights to an artist for their project and the beat is no longer available to be sold by the producer. This license is primarily for the serious artist who is ready to take their career to the next level whether it be they have grown a large fan base or attracted some interest from an indie/major recording label.

Which license is best for you?

Well this all depends on what your plans are for your music. Do you plan on making a career of this and investing in yourself as an artist and really taking your music to a nationwide audience or are you in the beginning of your career and looking to put together a dope project? My advice would be if you haven’t even established a fan base a non-exclusive license will do perfectly for you especially if you license a beat from because all of my licenses are unlimited.

So in conclusion make sure any agreement you make you thoroughly investigate what the particulars of the agreement you are agreeing to are so there are no surprises. Overlooking the fine details could cost you in the long run.

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