How To Buy Beats Online
Finding beats online is easy, but freely downloadable beats don’t get you far, worst-case scenario, they will drag you down (we will get to that). If you are serious about your music, you should start buying your beats.
There are a few things to consider when you are buying beats from producers. So, let’s go through the whole process together from the beginning.
Where Do Rappers Buy Beats?
First, you need to find a quality beat that will give your precious lyrics a good home. Good places to find beats are:
I have found these sites to be reliable and the process of buying beats is always similar, no matter which producer you are buying a beat from.
Use the search and choose your preferred genre, artist (type beats), mood etc. You can also use the search to see if your favorite producer is using these sites to sell beats. These beat marketplaces are designed so that the best stuff (usually 😉) floats to the top. So, make sure to check the “top charts” section as well, especially if you are not sure what you are looking for exactly.
You will know when you find the right one: your head starts moving, you are inspired and before you know it, you have started to freestyle over the beat. In other words, you “feel” the beat. Now you just need to download the beat and start rapping/singing to it? Well, yes and no…
A Free Download
Some producers may give you an option to freely download the beat, but this does not mean that you can use it freely. These free downloads are meant for you to check if the beat is good for your needs. You may have a right to use the free download for non-profit/non-commercial purposes (if stated somewhere). Ask the producer for further details if in doubt.
If you didn’t get any written agreement to use the beat that you downloaded, assume that you cannot use it at all. You must have a written agreement between you and the producer for you to use the beat for any purposes!
The information of how to use the freely downloadable beat is usually somewhere nearby where you can download or listen to the beat (YouTube description box, comments, beat store info section etc.).
A good way to recognize if the beat is a free one is if there are audio tags in it (usually someone yelling producers’ name somewhere in the beat). Audio tags are removed when you buy the beat (obtain a license to use the beat).
Remember that if you are planning to make money (even 1 cent) with the beat, you must buy a license!
I know it might be tempting to use the free version of the beat to make a song and start selling it without a proper license.
“I mean, who would know? Who would even care? I’m just starting out…”
Don’t do it.
You don’t want to end up in the court, lose all your profits and pay up to $150,000 fine plus legal fees (check out the copyright infringement laws).
Did you know that Lil Nas X bought a beat from BeatStars for $30 to make the “Old Town Road”? All he needed was $30 to obtain a license to use the beat. Imagine if he didn’t have a license to use to beat in his song… 🤦🏻♂️
License, License, License
Found a beat that you like? Great! Now you are ready to buy the beat (obtain a license to use the beat), create a song and publish it on Spotify and Apple Music.
Every producer has their own license terms so you should read the license terms always carefully. Fortunately, BeatStars and Airbit give producers licenses templates that they can modify based on how they want to sell their beats. This means that all the contracts are more similar than different.
First you must choose if you want to get the beat non-exclusively or exclusively. I have written about the differences in HERE, but the short version is this:
Non-exclusive = cheaper = you do not fully own the beat (lease)
Exclusive = expensive = you own the beat (“work for hire”)
If you are looking for a non-exclusive license (which I would recommend), these are usually (not always) your options:
This picture shows the typical differences between these licenses:
The most important parts are usually highlighted so you have a general idea what you get with every license. Always check out the full license (sample license) as well.
So, which one should you get?
Here are some good questions to ask yourself:
“Do I need WAV and/or track stems or is the MP3 file enough?”
“Do I want to sell the finished song (downloads/physical copies)?”
“Do I want to publish the song in a streaming platform (Spotify etc.)?”
“How many streams (approx.) my song is going to get on Spotify, Soundcloud, YouTube?”
Based on your answers you should have a good understanding what license is best suited for your needs. If you are still unsure, feel free to check out THIS post where I dig even deeper on this:
You should be able upgrade your license from one version to another at anytime (for example, Basic -> Premium). You may need to contact the producer to know what is the preferred way of doing this.
PRO TIP: Check Out The Producer Behind The Beat
When you find a beat you like, you should check out other beats from the same producer. Chances are that you like the producers’ style and therefore he/she might have other beats you like as well. Almost all producers have bulk discounts so you should use them as your advantage.
You might also want to contact the producer to see if they would give you any discounts, especially if there are no active discount or bulk campaigns.
It is a good idea to follow him/her on the social media if you really like their content. This way you can always be up to date on what they are doing.
Before you go on shopping spree
It has never been this easy to buy beats. In the end, you just need to keep in mind few things while buying them.
Read the full license
Buy your beats from reputable sites
Pay with PayPal or Stripe
Contact the producer if needed
Here is an example how to buy a beat from our site:
Let me know if you have questions in the comment section.