The most common situation among up-and-coming artists in the music industry is that, most usually start their careers on a shoestring budget. Asides that, they cannot stomach the risk often associated with an idea yet to be proven.
These are reasons artists buy beat-lease instead of hiring a full-time producer– Which can be very expensive— to make beats for their songs.
We will look at what beat-lease is, the different types of lease agreements, and how much each of these agreements typically cost.
Beat-lease is an arrangement between a producer and a musician that gives the musician temporary rights to distribute and record over a piece of instrumental beat. This is done according to terms agreed upon in the lease agreement by both parties.
It is different from buying the exclusive right to a beat because the producer retains copyright ownership and can still sell that same beat to another musician. Moreover, musicians can only have a limited amount of use per lease, and if they exceed the limit in the lease agreement, they have to renew the lease to continue using the beat.
There are three options an artist can choose from when buying beat-lease:
- Basic Lease: This is the most common type of lease agreement. It is often used for demo recording and promotional purposes. The price is modest (Usually less than $40). The beat will be in the mp3 version with a 12 months usage limit.
- Premium Lease: Musicians access the untagged WAV version of the beat when a premium lease is purchased, with a longer duration of usage – between 24-48 months. The price usually ranges from $30-$80. It offers more flexibility compared to the basic lease. Also, premium lease offers higher sales and distribution across platforms per lease.
- Track-out Lease: This gives access to each sound in the beat single out and recorded as separate files. If you plan to apply effects, delays, reverberations, pitch control to the song, this is the option to choose.
- Unlimited Lease: This is the last type of lease that gives a musician the right to record over and distribute unlimited copies of the beat. Although this type of lease allows musicians total freedom of use, the producer still retains ownership of the exclusive right. It is the right option for musicians who don’t want to worry about when their rights expire.
Beat-leasing can be the right option for musicians, and choosing any of the above types of beat-lease can be very economical, compared to buying the exclusive right to a beat. It helps a musician save money and reduce upfront financial risk when testing a new idea, which is why most up-and-coming musicians are going for it. And for producers, it enables them to have revenue coming from different sources from a single beat.
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