To get noticed as an up-and-coming rap or hip-hop artist can be a difficult feat. And an expensive one.
Particularly if you want to buy rap beats, or hire a music producer. That can end up costing you a fortune. Outlaying that kind of dough can be a huge risk to take.
If you do have contacts you can sell your song to, buying the exclusive rights to a beat could be the way to go. However, if you don’t, and you’re not prepared to lay down serious dollars for it, leasing that beat could be your best option.
What is a Beat Lease?
Remember the days when people would visit Blockbuster and rent a video for a certain length of time? Leasing rap beats is similar. You’re simply renting music from a producer for a specified period.
The concept of beat leasing was born in 1996 by an aspiring songwriter who couldn’t afford the price tags on the beats he liked.
He contacted a producer in an AOL chatroom, requesting to use a beat. He offered to pay him less than the sale price, providing the beat still be available to others to lease or purchase.
Leasing beats is a considerably cheaper option than buying an exclusive license.
What Does it Cost to Lease a Beat?
You’ll need to purchase a lease license from the beatmaker. Independent music producers set prices between $50 and $200. They have been known to go as low as $25 to $50.
The price you pay will depend on what format you want the beat in. Mp3 is the cheapest format. If you want the individual tracks of the beat separately in order to remix or master the track, this option is the most costly.
Generally, your lease agreement will permit you to sell anywhere up to 2000 copies before you need to renew. This way, you can sell your track to recoup the money you’ve spent on the beat lease.
Also, if you’re lucky enough to have your song blow up, you can then purchase the exclusive license to the beat at any time.
Are There Any Drawbacks to Leasing a Beat?
Seeing as the licensing is non-exclusive, producers can lease the exact same beat to multiple artists. He can also sell the exclusive rights for that same beat to anyone, at any time.
As per your lease agreement, your rights will still be honored. However, once the lease agreement expires, you may not have the chance to continue to monetize your song. If that beat has been sold exclusively to another, you’ll find yourself unable to renew your lease of the beat.
To Lease or To Buy?
Leasing a beat rather than purchasing it can cost you considerably less and potentially pay off big time.
Whether you lease or purchase the license depends on your goal and your budget. Sometimes purchasing an exclusive license makes more sense. However, if you’re an aspiring and independent artist, leasing a hip hop beat may be the better choice for you from MyArtistDNA.