Throughout more than 20 years in the world of music, I have had the pleasure of working with many artists, some starting their musical career and others with a long career and recognition. Many of them have been involved in the war of licenses vs. exclusive beats, almost always because they did not fully understand how licenses work. I hope to help you to be clear about what is best for you.
(If you are not familiar with the types of licenses when buying beats, I recommend you to read the guide I prepared in this other article by clicking here).
Reasons why you don’t need an exclusive license
During my career as a music producer I have met artists who had been in music for a short time, they were starting a path that is not easy, where you have to invest a lot of time, work and money to get at least some visibility. That’s why I was surprised to see that these artists were buying both exclusive beats and licenses for several reasons, I assure you that I don’t want to discourage or underestimate you, I just want to help you to see your current situation and why you should buy licenses of beats. If you are in the following situation, buy beat licenses rather than exclusive beats…
- You have few followers in your social networks (less than 20,000 adding Instagram, Facebook, Twitter…etc.).
- You have few views or plays on platforms such as Youtube, Apple Music, Spotify…etc.
- You have not signed with any label.
- You have not released an album.
The eternal war of licenses vs exclusive beats is a thing of the past. You don’t have to feel bad about being at any of these points, this just has to motivate you to try to achieve your goals, no one said the path was easy. Now more than ever it’s time to work and publish music, and this is one of the points in favor of buying licenses.
Benefits of acquiring licenses before exclusive beats
- You will spend less money and you will be able to buy more beats, publishing more music.
- You can buy licenses more adjusted to your needs, number of streams, views… etc.
- You can invest more money in promo, google ads, facebook ads…etc.
- In most cases you will be able to upgrade a license that exceeds the limit.
As you can see, there are many good things about buying non-exclusive licenses, you are at a point where you need to release music and not stop doing it. For your fan base to grow steadily you need to release a song at least every 2 months, better if you do it every 6 weeks. Spending less when buying the beat allows you to invest in a studio where you can record with professional quality, mixing and mastering.
If you invest some money in promo like Google ads, you will get a little bit faster too, something that is much more complicated if you are buying exclusive beats at $500 or $600.
Let me give you an example:
Imagine you buy an exclusive beat at $500. If you have a base of 10,000 followers, it’s normal that when you publish the song only 100 or even less will buy it. If your price is $1 for each sale, you will have made $100 and you will have a loss of $400 at best.
But imagine you buy a license for $50, by selling your song to 100 people you are already making $50. You already have the money to at least buy another license and go for the next song. We are not counting the profits from streams and plays, but in your case, the important thing is to grow without having long waiting periods until you get the money to buy another instrumental.
If you have money to invest in your music, don’t buy the best licenses thinking that you are going to create the hit of the summer, measure your steps well and invest in promotion, licenses, good recordings, mixing and mastering (sound quality is a very important factor to keep listening to your track or move on to the next one).
Licensing vs. exclusive beats. The best alternative
Unlimited licenses are usually priced between $150 and $300 on almost any website. They have no limits on streams, views, number of uses, sales numbers… etc. They are a very good option if we don’t want to worry about if we will ever make better numbers.
There are only 3 differences with exclusive licenses:
- They have an expiration date, usually 3 to 5 years.
- The beat is still for sale (until it is sold exclusive).
- The publishing rights are 50/50 and in the exclusives it is usually 75/25 in favor of the artist.
These 3 points do not affect you in your current situation, it affects more to artists signed by a label, or with other more powerful numbers on music platforms. So my personal opinion and not because I am the one selling the instrumental, buy the most expensive licenses you can afford, when you have a bigger fan base and more powerful numbers, go for exclusive beats.
Exclusive licenses or beats but there is more
In malakkor.com you have surely seen that all my licenses are unlimited, yes, you read that right. The truth is that my mind is quite restless and I am always thinking how to help artists more. So one day I said, I remove all the limits, so my clients will have less worries and so I did.
Now it’s easier to make your decision, licenses vs. exclusive beats? Choose unlimited licenses. All with no limits on streams, sales or expiration dates, just choose what you need and where you want to publish your song or project. Below you can see my licenses in a very easy table.