A number of years ago if you someone had told me that I could buy rap beats online at a low price and spin them into hit songs I would not have believed it. But thanks to the growth of the Internet and the evolution of the music industry this has become a reality. Making high quality music is no longer a privilege that only the rich few can afford. To put things in perspective in the past the average price you had to pay a music producer to produce a high quality rap beat for you was $1,500. That is by no means a small fee, especially for an upcoming artist who doesn’t have the financial backing of a record label.
Fortunately due to the advent of beat selling sites the barrier of entry into the music industry has been lowered. Beat selling sites have changed the business of selling instrumental rap beats, and as a result more rap artists have been given the chance to express themselves and share their talent with the world. Instead of only giving you the option of buying a beat exclusively (as is the case with the traditional approach of selling beats) beat selling sites have adopted the licensing model. What this means is that you are given the option to either buy the beat with exclusive rights at a high price (normally ranging between $150 – $2,500) or simply lease the beats with limited rights at a lower price (normally anywhere from $5 – $35).
Exclusive rights give you much more flexibility to modify, use, and distribute a beat. For example when you normally buy exclusive rights you are given the high quality separated WAV track-out files for a beat, which give you the ability to mix the beat as you see fit. So you can manipulate individual elements of the beat such as the snare drum, kick, bass, etc and get your song mixed professionally. You are also normally given full rights to distribute as many copies as you wish of a track you record using the beat.
Leasing rights vary. Most beat selling sites give you the option to lease a beat in MP3 format at a low price (normally called a standard lease). This type of lease normally puts a heavy restriction on the number of copies of a recording you can sell as well your ability to modify the beat. Some beat sites have a premium lease which is similar to the standard lease, the only difference being that with a premium lease you are allowed to sell more copies of your recording and you get a higher quality file (normally in WAV format).
This new business model has been a godsend for many artists. In fact one contemporary rapper who might not have experienced the success were it not for beat selling sites is Slim Jesus. He mentioned in a VladTV interview on YouTube that he bought an instrumental through an online beat selling site and recorded a song called “Drill Time”, which attracted a lot of attention and as a result he managed to book shows and tours.
The most popular beat selling platforms are SoundClick, BeatStars, and MyFlashStore. But don’t confine yourself to the popular platforms only. Some of the dopest rap, east coast, west coast, trap, and drill beats can be found on lesser known beat selling sites. After all at the end of the day what matters is the final product. Most music consumers are not too concerned with where you bought the beat or at how much you bought it for.