[How To] Use Beat Leases To Build Your Music Career Faster
Beat leasing is a great way to get your music career on the right track and quicker. In recent years, the way people listen to music has changed drastically. As a producer, I’ve felt the impact and as a music artist, I am sure you have too!
The days of focusing on creating one song or an album and working on that for an entire year are through. Music is being released at exponentially faster rates than ever before in history and fans are waiting for more songs immediately after the release of the current songs by their favorite artists. Consistency is the new name of the game now.
But, with the costs of creating and releasing music so frequently, how does an artist survive in this new climate without going broke?
This is how buying beats online aka “beat leasing” comes to the rescue!
My main business is selling beats to artists worldwide. I used to work only with major labels (on the guidance of my former manager) but in 2013 I switched my business model to leasing beats to Indie artists and songwriters, which has proven to be an amazing business decision. But moreover, it has sparked the fire for countless artists’ projects. These artists wouldn’t have been able to afford my services in the past when I was charging thousands of dollars per song for production.
Now an artist just goes to a beat leasing website like ours Maxxbeats.com as well as other professional instrumental websites where they can choose an incredibly affordable license for the beat they want.
These licenses are referred to as non-exclusive “beat leases”.
While I also sell exclusive rights (only one artist can own that beat), lots of indie artists aren’t at the point financially where buying Exclusive Rights to a beat makes sense (yet) since Exclusives are much more expensive than a beat lease.
Lease Beats to Grow Your Fanbase
When you are just starting as a recording artist, releasing music more frequently beats releasing an album, ep, or mixtape once it’s done. That can take a year or more in some cases.
Think of social media. The more you post, the more likes, comments, shares, and follows (aka fans) you will get. If you posted once every 6 months, etc, you would never gain any exposure!
Posting a new song every month is a great strategy. In a 12 month time period, you would then have a complete album to sell and 12 songs to promote you up until that point!
So if you are starting on a small budget, I’d recommend going with basic leases just to get things moving. Basic beat leases are amazingly affordable so there’s really no excuse not to grab a few at a time. At MaxxBeats, our basic leases are typically around $29.
However your budget is larger I’d recommend always going with Premium beat leases that also include the track-outs (individual audio files for your engineer, like the kick, snare, bass, keys, strings, etc).
Track-stems are also great because your engineer can use them to customize the arrangement of the instrumental to your liking. You can mute sections, move them around, remove instruments, change volume levels, etc.
Beat Leases as a Low-Cost Profit Generating Tool
So you’re releasing consistent music so how can you make money with leased beats? Using affordable leases to build an audience which leads to making income with an extremely minimal musical expense. You can earn income from the beats you leased
by releasing your songs to outlets like…
- Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, etc
- iTunes, Amazon, etc
What’s more…as a side benefits from saving money on low-cost beat leases you now have fans to also sell merch (t-shirts, etc.) to!
When it comes to putting your songs on Youtube, using beats you’ve leased can be a little tricky if not done correctly. Make sure when you submit your music to distribution services (CD Baby, Distrokid, Tunecore, etc) that you DON’T enable any option that submits your music to Content ID. When you submit music that contains leased beats to the Content ID system it causes issues for you and any other artists who have also leased the same beat. It’s best to just choose the monetization options in your Youtube video when uploading. Only submit your songs to Content ID via a distributor if you own the exclusive rights to a beat. FYI, when using Maxxbeats.com instrumentals if you ever receive a claim, simply email me the video URL and your order number and I’ll have the claim removed. All of my beats are registered with a Content ID platform.
When used properly, leasing beats can take you a long way down the road before it makes sense to shell out more money for exclusive rights. Beat leasing is a good way to build an audience of music listeners and fans who want to get to know more about you and your music. Once you have that fanbase, there are endless ways to monetize. The key here is you can put music out more frequently with beat leases vs releasing a song every year to save up money for exclusive beats!
Make A Plan
With all that said, I’d like to end things off with a practical example of how to turn this info into action! Before I get into the steps, if you haven’t created a website or email list yet, you need to do that first.
- Go to Godaddy.com and buy a domain name for your website and then sign up for a web hosting account at a company like Siteground. I use Siteground for this site as they have great prices, amazing customer support, and lightning-fast page load times. Your artist name would be best but if that’s not available, choose something as close to it as possible. Then either get your website built professionally or create your own website with services like Wix, Weebly, Bandzoogle, etc. Make sure your site is clean, easy to navigate, and loads quickly.
- For your email list, make sure you sign up with a professional email marketing platform like Aweber or Mailchimp. I personally use Get Response. Some website building sites have a mailing list feature built-in, but a dedicated professional platform will be much more robust with features and deliver your emails more reliably. Create a signup form with the platform of your choice and then embed that sign up form on your website. There are tons of Youtube videos and articles that explain how to set up these types of things in detail. Please do your due diligence in making sure you set up everything properly. Don’t rush the process.
Once these two things are in place, you’re ready to move forward! Let’s say you’d like to consistently release 4 songs per month utilizing leased beats. Here’s a way to do that:
- Find a Professional Quality Beats Website like ours MaxxBeats.com and select your beats. Most producers have discounts like Buy 1 Get X Beats Free, etc. so you should be able to get multiple beat leases for an affordable price in most cases.
- Write quality material and then get your songs recorded at a professional facility if possible. You can most definitely record the songs yourself, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s best to leave it up to the professionals to get the best result. I recommend recording with the WAV or MP3 version of your leased beats unless you’re working with an engineer/producer who’s going to help you arrange the song. If that’s the case, it’s a good time to bring the trackouts into the session so you and your engineer/producer can get all creative edits/arrangements needed to be done at that time.
- Once your songs are recorded, it’s time to get them mixed and mastered! Definitely get your songs mixed and mastered by quality engineers as these things will either make or break your record. It’s a travesty to spend money and time working on your songs only to have them destroyed at the end of the process. Don’t skip getting quality engineers! There are places to go online, but I’d recommend finding good engineers in your local area that you can sit down with and establish a personal relationship with. If you’re going to be releasing music regularly, it’d be ideal to have someone with who you can build a consistent sound.
- it’s time to get the music out to the world! Start with choosing a music distributor to get your songs on iTunes, Spotify, etc. There are several available, but for the best bang for the buck, I highly recommend Distrokid. It starts at only $19.99 a year to upload unlimited songs/albums and you get many other perks like instant Spotify verification and more. If you released 4 songs every month with something like Tunecore, that’d be $9.99 a year per song. Doing that every month, that’d be $480 a year to release 4 songs a month! Distrokid works perfectly for today’s environment of frequent content. Remember when submitting your content with leased beats to your distributor, DO NOT enable Youtube Content ID. The beat’s producer/composer most typically has the Content ID claimed as they are the owner of the beat until the Exclusive license is purchased.
- Once your music is up in all the digital stores, it’s time to work on marketing! Upload your music to audio platforms like Soundcloud and also Video platforms like Youtube so your music can easily be found. Create frequent content for social platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc to let people know what’s going on with your music. Make sure a link to your website is in your bio. Remember the goal is to always route people to your website. To make things neat and easy, I recommend using Linktree (most notably for Instagram) to put all your links in one convenience link. When people click your Linktree link, they will be brought to a page that includes all your links (website, contact, mailing list, etc).
- If you’d like to take your social media efforts even further, try experimenting with ad campaigns. Setting up campaigns can be a tricky process and cost a lot of money if done wrong so please do research on how to set up your desired campaign. I’ve personally used Facebook’s “Boosted Post” ads, Instagram’s “Promote” ads, Twitter ads, and currently experimenting with Youtube display ads for some of my Youtube videos via google Adwords. I’ve experienced decent results with all of these except for Twitter ads. But your results may be different! Set aside a reasonable budget and experiment with different platforms until you find what works for you.
- Once traffic starts coming to your website and you get a few email list signups, start sending out a newsletter now and then to keep your subscribers engaged. How often you send emails depends on your audience and what you provide, but no more than once a week usually works well. If you start sending emails daily or multiple times a week, that can come off as spam, and people will unsubscribe or file complaints with your provider. Make sure you only send quality content and only at a reasonable pace.
Now you can see how beat leases are a great low-cost tool to help you grow your music career faster!
I hope this article helps you get a better understanding of how leasing beats can help you build a fanbase faster so you can get your career to that next level quicker!
Thanks for reading! – Mr. Mig