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Understanding Music licensing

Sep 042017

 

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   Artists who are serious about their craft know that other then believing in yourself you have to invest. Whether its the time you spend recording and writing songs. Its an investment nonetheless just as the energy you put into anything of importance to you. The same can be said when buying beats online. Since buying beats is an important part of your craft you'll want to make sure that you're getting the best value for your hard earned money. So for today's post I’ll be going over music licensing for beginners.

 

1-What is a “lease”- Generally any beat that you pay a producer or beat maker to use his or her beats non exclusively is considered a lease. A commonly used term that you'll see online when your looking to buy beats. Some producers will even use different names for their licensing services. The different names that are used will determine your limitations with their beats. Other factors that will determine the limitation of your license. Two factors that will have an impact on your licensing limitations will be the price and the producer. While most standard leases are priced anywhere from $25-$30 dollars its not uncommon to see higher priced leases that are $100-$200 dollars offering less limitations.

 

2-Royalty free- There are usually no royalties when leasing beats online. Depending on what the intentions of the licensee purchasing the beat are. In most cases beats being bought by artist online for use on their mix tapes or E P’s won't be required to pay royalties as long as long as they stay within the guidelines of the producer/artist agreement. Some producers will allow commercial use of their beats that may include radio and TV use by artist. These are limitations you as an artist should look for in your producer artist agreements.


3-Contracts- When you buy you beats whether in person or online its always good to have an agreement as to what your rights and limitations are once you've purchased your beats. Most producers who are serious about their craft will include some sort of an agreement letting you know what your limitations are with their beats. To avoid any misunderstandings and legal headaches its always a good idea to ask the producer questions that you may have if you don't see a license that fits your needs.

4-Exclusive Rights- This license is the most expensive because the producer is giving up the right to resell the beat to other artist and allowing you to use it exclusively on your projects. Depending on the producer you may be required to pay royalties. Now this is common practice amongst artist and producers in the music business. A percentage of royalties generated from the song that the producer's beat helped you create gets their share of those royalties. The price can be anywhere from$300-$1000 dollars and up. This will also depend on the producer's experience. Some producers will even allow artist to make them offers to help accommodate artist who are on a budget.