Leasing Beats Online: Let's clear up the confusion

Regardless if its your thing or not, leasing beats online is widely accepted and is here to stay.

It has become the "go to" way to buy instrumentals online for a project and that's why so many artists and Producers choose to engage in the practice.  


What are leases?

Well, in its simplest form, a "lease" is basically a "non exclusive" usage license.  


What is a Non Exclusive License?

 A non-exclusive license is a usage license that can be granted to many users. It is not exclusive to just one person.


What does it mean to lease a beat?

  When you "lease a beat" you are basically paying for the right [permission] to use an instrumental that someone else has made. Most Producers and Beatmakers offer a variety of non-exclusive license types (leases) such as "Unlimited, "Professional", "Unlimited", "basic" etc. Out of them all, the "Basic" lease license type is probably the most commonly purchased. At the time of this writing, basic lease licenses typically go for around $20 each.   (As to the origin of the term "lease a beat" ~ I'm not sure. Many claim it originated on Soundclick.com)  


What is a basic lease?

 Well, for the sake of this post, a "basic" lease is just a generic term that I'm using to describe the most affordable of the lease license types. (Another Producer / Beatmaker may call it a "Starter lease" or just plain "Lease" but they are pretty much just referencing the same type of "basic" license.) Basic Leases are the most attractive to artists (and music seekers in general) because they are the most affordable of the lease license types. Add to that the fact that most online music Producers typically offer bulk deals on basic leases ("buy 2 get 3 free" for example), and you can see why its a top seller.  

What makes it "Basic"?
Sample Beat lease comparison chart

  With the affordability of the basic lease comes some limitations. Common limitations are:
  • The platforms you can use the music on
  • The number of projects released
  • The number of units that can be sold
  • YouTube Monetization
  • Monetizable (or non-monetized) Streams
  • Public performance usage (meaning you can't perform the music publicly like at a club or concert for example)
Or any variation of these. Its entirely up to the Producer / Beatmaker selling the beat. So definitely read their lease license agreement if you plan on leasing beats online. If you have any questions don't hesitate to reach out to the Producer before you make your purchase. Also: Don't assume that because something is not listed in their lease agreement that its ok to do so. Always contact the Producer / Beatmaker and double check that your specific usage is going to be ok.  


What format do most leases come in?

 The beat typically is sent to you as an "untagged" mp3 (meaning the producer's vocal tags will be removed from the beat) and will most likely be the stereo mix you hear in the preview.


Why should I lease beats when I can get free beats online?

 Here's my $.02. When you lease beats not only are you doing the right thing but you saying (with your actions) that "I take my music seriously". Additionally..  


Free Beats can get you caught up.

For example, the free beat being offered may not be coming from a reliable source. So if your project starts to make some noise you may be hard pressed to find and properly license the beat. Not to mention the negative legal consequences that could happen as well. Tip: If you purchase a usage license, you also have a good defense should you ever end up in court behind your usage. It shows you have made a "good faith" effort to do things the right way.    


My Final thoughts

Leasing beats online is a great way to collaborate with dope Producers and get quality beats for your project. 9 times out of 10 when I hear somebody "badmouth" leasing beats online its because of the non-exclusive factor. In my opinion, ts totally a matter of personal preference. If this is your main concern, I say just contact the Producer and ask if the beat has ever been leased before. You never know. There's actually a good chance that it hasn't. Don't miss out on the opportunity to get the beat you want. Hit em up!  

Peace ~

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