So your production catalog is growing and you've been putting in some time in marketing yourself as a producer and now you feel your ready to start selling your beats but for how much? Not sure? Hopefully this article will provide some insight when it comes to answering that question. Lets get to it.
First off lets be real here, its up to you to realistically evaluate where you are at and what your value is. What are you bringing to the table here? Do you have in place the facility for people listen and purchase your music? Is your music of a professional standard that your potential customer is going to be happy with? Now that you are branching out into the world of business it is important that you treat your music as just that, a business.
Building solid business practices when it comes to your production brand should help you reap the benefits further down the line. Get the quality right in every area and that is going to have a major determining factor of what you can charge. Your product is key when it comes to growth. Once you have good product (i.e professional instrumentals ready to go) your ready to start pricing them up right? Hang on there is actually one more thing to consider.
Are you selling the full rights to your music exclusively or are you leasing the rights of use to your music and retaining ownership? Quite an important question right? Assuming we understand the differences between the two this obviously has an effect on what you can charge and how many units of the same music you can shift. For those that are feeling a little bit baffled lets give you a breakdown of the two potential sales models here.
Leasing your music
If you sell the lease to your music this basically means you are selling the rights for the music to be used whilst retaining ownership. Typical lease contracts may have some jurisdictions as to how and how many times the music can be used and normally any use will also have to contain a credit to the rightful owner. Often the beat is leased as a final stereo mix without track stems in .wav or even in some cases .mp3 format. The advantage is you can re-sell the same music a number of times and still hold on to ownership rights.
Selling the exclusive rights to your music
The exclusive license potentially gives the buyer unlimited and exclusive use of the material commercially or otherwise. A typical exclusive agreement will relinquish all potential royalties from the seller and they will no longer be able to lease or sell the beat to new buyers. It is common for a full credit to original owner to be written into these agreements also.
Obviously that is a very brief run down of both. There is a wealth of information on the subject online and if you haven't already, familiarise yourself with some exclusive and leasing contracts. Just like we suggested earlier, having your contracts in place for your new buyer is good business practice. Not only does it make you look professional, it covers your back should any misuse arrive and informs your new buyer of what he/she can do with your music.
Ok so seriously its time to start pricing these up right? Got all that in place we'd say your definitely ready and remember you could disregard everything we just said and start selling 10 dollar exclusive beats right now to whoever will take them. What works for some may or may not work for others and ultimately is about you following your own path to financial freedom as a producer. I see a lot of producers that have amazing music but they don't have the basic business fundamentals in place and that generally means they can't charge what they are worth.
How you price yourself is an important thing to consider. Set your price too high and you could well price yourself out of the market. Similarly set it too low and you could potentially cheapen your product and close doors to the more lucrative end of the spectrum. It's a good idea to look at your competition. What do they charge and what are there numbers? Understanding the market value gives you knowledge to price yourself competitively and accordingly.
Lets take a look at the going rates for exclusive and non exclusive beats as of April 2018. You want to set your exclusive price high enough so its worth your while as apposed to leasing the same beat over and over. For example if your already leasing the beat for say $50 then it doesn't make sense to sell that same beat exclusively for $150. Exclusive beats can go from anywhere between $250 and $2500 and in some cases higher depending on the notability of the producer. As for your lease prices here we are thinking about volume so we want to set that price lower to encourage multiple sales and hopefully go beyond what we would achieve selling the single exclusive rights. Im sure you've seen plenty of $10 beat sales and not to knock the hustle but in our opinion it really sets the bar very low for not only you but also your fellow producers. If you only price your music at $10 what does that say about how much you value the music you produce? How long did it take you to produce it, really when you do the math you could be getting well below the minimum wage. On average lease beat prices range from $29.99 up to $500 at the very high end. It should be worth noting that some of those included tracked out stems.Ultimately what you feel you can charge for your beats rests with you, how much you value the music you produce and the infrastructure you have in place to get sales. That is really the most important thing to consider as at the end of the day you can put whatever price you like on your music but without customers in place to sell it to, it will very likely remain unsold. Putting the time and energy into building your brand as a producer means you can raise that price per beat as your exposure grows.