Quick Guide To Selling Beats Online
Quick Guide To Selling Beats Online
Have you ever wanted to escape the 9-5 job? Do what you truly love? Spend your hours and days in the studio creating beats? Making music all day and get paid for it? I’m here to tell you your dreams can come true! Hundreds of producers are living this lifestyle and some even make a six-figure income a year! Producers like: Gummybeatz, DJ Pain 1 and Robin Wesley.
So to keep it short, al you need to do is have quality beats and artists to sell it to. Good luck!
That’s a bit too short don’t you think? Don’t worry I got you! In the next paragraphs I’m going to teach you how to get started and get you first sale.
Ljamis Khalaf. I’m a fulltime music producer and owner of Daddynervs Music. I’ve been making music for over 25 years and started with practicing with beats in 2016. I developed a sound close to myself when it comes to beats and my music. I call it a melancholic, cinematic ballad sound. In the Netherlands I have a recording studio where I work with local artists. And as you can see I am a creating posts as a guest writer for A-Live Loops : "A-Quality Live Loops & Recording Services".
Currently I am in the process of selling beats. I’ve made my mistakes and I learned what works and what does not. That’s what I am going to tell you about.
I’m not going to tell you what kind of gear you need. If you want to know that, comment what you would like to know for my next blogs. Starting out you need to have several beats and a beatstore.
Beatstores I would recommend are Airbit and Beatstars. Another one is Soundee which is a growing beat store provider with excellent statistics, but it requires for you to have a website or make more effort to find artists. Beatstars/Airbit on the other hand have a great marketplace for you to be found, but the competition is huge. You can sign up with all to try them out before you get a paid plan. Before you upload your beats, make sure they are a consistent quality. Not sure what I mean by that? > Keep on reading…
Figure 1: Soundee Homepage
Figure 2: Beatstars Homepage
This can mean a lot. Uploading every day, week, at the same time, making sure your masters are on the same level, making sure you provide the artists with quality music etc. Let’s break consistency down in separate parts. I’ll start with an ‘empty’ project in mind and work my way up to selling the beat.
“I think The Lego Company is a great example when it comes to consistency. Think about it. It’s the same brick.”
– Ljamis Khalaf, The writer of this blog
Creating the Beat (Export)
Your DAW is open and you are making some heate! When making beats you have to make sure that you use the right sounds. They should fit together. You should ad low cut filters on tracks where there is no low end and the same for the high end. But that’s not what we are here to talk about. This is mixing right? Let me know if you need some mixing tips for the next blogs!
What I want to talk about is exporting your beat. Do you know how to do this?
In the beat selling business there are 3 types of tracks you can buy: MP3, WAV and Stems (tracked out WAV). Never, ever, ever sell MP3. Why? Because the WAV is higher quality and you as a producer are helping the artists. (Frick It! You are an artist as well! You want to work with high quality? Give high quality!) You should be the ‘good guy’ producer who gives quality. Now I’m not saying a MP3 is bad. But never sell it separate.
Back to export. When your mix is done you export your master bus in a 24-bit, 44.1khz WAV form. You also export the stems, also 24-bit, 44.1 khz WAV.
Keep in mind this is mixed and mixed means that there should be a lot of headroom. If you want to know more about headroom, let me know in the comments. This headroom offers the artists room for his/her voice without the risk of clipping. This is how you sell your WAV and Stems, mixed.
But if you upload the WAV, nobody will hear anything because it’s so quiet right? (remember headroom..) So we open a new project. Insert the wav, insert your beattag and master the beat. Don’t be scared of mastering your beat. Because the beat is ‘unfinished’ you should only focus on targeting -14LUFS (Loudness) without losing a lot of sound. Of course you can experiment with mastering, making your mix wider and more dynamic. But try to stay as close to the mix as possible. Because when an artist hears your beat and buys it and hears something else. That not good business for you.
Export the master in MP3 and you will have
- Single MP3 Master with producer tag
- Single WAV Mix without producer tag
- Multiple Stems WAV mix with or without tag added as separate stem
Every beat has a title. Make up something. But be aware of the title and the beat. If you wrote a sexy, RnB type beat. You can call it: Lovers, Love Making, Damn Fine. Whatever pleases you. Just don’t call it names like: Rock, Kill It, Frog. Titles like this kill the vibe.
Every Beat should have it’s own artwork. Like an album cover. Don’t google an image and use that, because you don’t know if you may use it. Instead, use platforms as Pexels, Unsplash or Canva to find an image that suits your beat. Keep in mind the type beat you have made and the title you gave it. If we take the RnB type beat called Lovers, get an image that shows the same thing or feeling. I’ve got some pictures for you to see. Decide for yourself which one you would or wouldn’t pick.
Figure 3: Image from pexels 1
Figure 4: Image from Pexels 2
Figure 5: Image from pexels 3
Figure 6: Image from Pexels 4
You got the point right? In this blog I’m not talking about uploading the beats to YouTube. Let me know in the comments if you like to see a post about this. That’s a whole new level of marketing for you to consider. But fact is that every producer uploads to YouTube. And people will see an Image (thumbnail) if they like it they read the title, if they like that they click on your video. They are expecting something and you should give them what they are expecting. But I’m wandering off.. ehm.. Licensing.
As I said before. Airbit or Beatstars is the place to be if you don’t have any customers. You can make as many licenses as you want. And there are 2 types. Non-exclusive and Exclusive.
A non-exclusive license or a ‘lease’ is a contract that you make with the artist in terms of using your beat. This license has an expiry date (remember this) and can be sold to as many artists as you want. These are my non-exclusive licenses:
As you can see I offer 3 types. Call it whatever you want, price it whatever you want. My recommendation is to have a basic/starter license for anywhere between $20 - $50. You include the MP3 and WAV in this license.
Next up the got a Premium/Pro license. This is where you provide the stems also for anywhere between $ 60 - $120. Usually in this license you allow for more streaming. So you allow the artist to make more money.
I would highly recommend you make an Unlimited license as I have for somewhere between $120 - $300. As you can see in my license I have also made it possible for the artist to monetize their video’s.
As said before these non- exclusive licenses expire over time. Meaning the artist has to buy a new license from you in order to keep their music out there.
The exclusive Rights can only be sold one time. If you have sold it already as non-exclusive than these contracts are still valid until they expire. Be very careful when selling Exclusive Rights to artists. First of all, make sure you know who you are dealing with. This is important. You need to know if your beat is in the right hands, if it is going to make you money. As said before the non-exclusive license will provide you with a steady income.
The beat “Lovers” is selling 2 premium licenses a month at $80 per license. That’s $160 a month and $1920 a year. Now if someone offers you $500 for the exclusive rights, you will make that same amount of money in 3,5 months. Plus.. After the license expires the artists who bought the beat will renew the license and you get that same amount of money!
What I’m trying to explain here is that you are running a business. Don’t just give away value for some bucks to someone you don’t know. Give the Exclusive Rights only to artists who deserve it. Artists who deserve the Exclusive Rights will offer you a good amount for the rights. They will talk to you, they want to work with you and most important. Their mindset is going to be a grateful one. You will notice these artists.
Let the magic happen
You’ve got the beats, the beatstore, the licenses. Let the magic happen!
If this is what you think. You will be waiting months, years, decades maybe. You will see producers sell their beats like crazy. (I’ll let you in on a little secret) > It’s because they don’t believe in magic <
There’s 2 ways of making money. First is you wait for the magic to happen. You can compare this to buying lottery tickets. 2nd is to actually go to work and make money.
Work day and night to achieve your goals.
Educate yourself, be aware of yourself and reflect on your situations to learn from them.
Take action and be obsessed with getting results!
In order to achieve a certain level of success within this business you have to master 3 fundamentals.
Become the best in what you do
Find the people who want to buy your beats by asking the right questions.
Be true and honest with and to yourself.
It’s actually a fancy word for becoming great in one thing. Because he who is the master, did what he did every year, month, week, day, hour, second and hey.. since we’re in to music, milliseconds…
There is a lot more that I haven’t told you about selling beats. But that’s the fun part. You can find out for yourself. You have to! I’m not giving you my clients to sell to, just like Nike won’t give their clients to Adidas. Be patient and consistent. Growing for 5 years will make you have more success in your business than just being that one producer from that one beat several years ago.
“You are the master of your destiny. You can influence, direct and control your own environment. You can make your life what you want it to be.”
- Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich