First Time Buying Beats Online

First Time Buying Beats Online

Teal Flower
Teal Flower
Teal Flower
Teal Flower

If you're an artist looking for beats, you've probably run into producers selling their beats online. But let's face it – figuring out how it all works can be a bit of a head-scratcher. That's where this guide comes in handy.

This article breaks it down for you, explaining the ins and outs of buying beats online and giving you the know-how about industry norms. By reading through, you'll get the know-how on different types of licenses, what to know about free beats and more.

This guide is perfect for you if:

  • You're just starting in music and want to take it seriously.

  • You've been doing music for a while and are ready to step up your game.

  • You're tired of using tagged free beats and want to explore other options.

  • Or maybe you've reached a point where licensing beats seems like the next logical step.

If any of these sound like you, then you're in the right place. This guide will give you all the info you need to transition from Free Beats to buying Beats online.

Using Free Beats

First, let’s talk about free beats.

The easiest way to recognize a free beat is by the producer tags that you hear every 30 seconds. Once you buy a license for a beat, it will no longer have the tags in it.

If you own beats without a license agreement from the producer, you could consider that a free beat as well. In that case, you’re not authorized to use the beat for commercial purposes.

For years, artists and producers have been in an ongoing discussion. Producers really don't like it when artists ask for free beats, but it happens a lot. 

“Can I get this beat for free, I’ll give you credit”

This is so accurate! 👌🏽😂

In defense of the artists, the hypocrisy is REAL! When you’re looking for beats on YouTube, most of the titles you’ll find say “(FREE) BEAT” or “FREE DL” They’re offering free beats but then complain about artists using their beats for free. How is that NOT confusing? 😅

The reason why producers add “FREE DL” in their titles has to do with marketing strategies and ranking on YouTube. In simple words: It’s just clickbait.

In defense of the producers, their dedication to their craft and hard work are often taken advantage of. Their beats get ripped from YouTube and used by people without a license and without knowledge of how the beat-selling industry works. This can result in all sorts of issues for the producer. 

What can you do with a free beat?

That’s the thing! Not much… At least, nothing that’s considered commercial or profitable.

Uploading on Facebook. Is that commercial use? These days, yes.

The same goes for YouTube and Soundcloud (both are streaming services and ways to monetize your music).

Producers offer free beats to let artists…

  • Try it out before they buy.

  • Record vocals and see if their vocals match the key of the beat.

  • Record a demo and get feedback before purchasing a license for it. 

  • Make sure that it’ll be with the investment. 

Do not mess with free beats!

There’s no such thing as a ‘free beat’.

If you are going to ask for something for free, ask for a ‘free license’.

If you’re using a beat for which you haven’t received a license agreement in writing from the producer, you’re unauthorized to use it and you could get in serious trouble.

Buying beats online – How does it work?

By purchasing a beat, you are purchasing audio files that are copyrighted by the producer. In return for your payment, the producer grants you several rights to use the beat.

This is what we call the License Agreement.

There is a difference between:

  1. Non-exclusive licenses

  2. Exclusive licenses

The biggest difference is that a non-exclusive license for one beat can be sold to several artists. Yet, an exclusive license can only be sold once and to one artist.

In this article, we will only discuss non-exclusive licensing.

I wrote an entire guide about the difference between Non-Exclusive and Exclusive Licenses. Click the button below if you’re interested in learning more about this. 👇🏽

Different licensing options – Which one to choose?

Online producers offer different licensing options. Most producers offer 4 options.

  • MP3

  • Basic

  • Premium

  • Unlimited

Example of licensing options. The more expensive the license, the more user rights are granted.

Some producers might name them differently. They call them MP3 Lease, WAV Lease, Standard Lease, etc. It’s all the same.

The more expensive the license, the more rights granted by the producer.

Also, the more expensive your license, the better quality audio files you will receive.

What is the best license to buy?

Most people who buy Beats online go for the cheaper licenses. One that comes with fewer user rights and low-quality audio files. The user rights granted in those cheaper licenses might be sufficient for them.

Yet, more important, are the quality of the audio files.

If you’re looking to create quality music or at least want to make music the right way, then make sure you get the Tracked Out files of a beat.

The best option is to go for a license that comes with Tracked Out Files.

Don’t know what Tracked Out Files are? I’ve written an article about tracked-out files and why you need them. 👇🏽

If I buy a beat with a Basic License – Can I upgrade my license later?

Honestly, I haven’t seen many producers offering this service. Meaning that it might not always be an option. For a lot of starting artists, money is an issue. 

Offering the possibility to upgrade allows someone to gradually ‘grow’ into a higher tier license without having to spend $200 at once, instead spreading it out over one or two upgrades. 

How upgrading usually works is that you only pay the difference between the standard prices of the licenses.

If you want to know if producers offer this service, you would have to reach out to them yourself. 

Once I buy a beat – Do I own any copyright?

Once you write your lyrics and record them over the beat, you will own the copyright to your lyrics only. And what you will create with the beat is a New Song, also known as a “Derivative Work.”

This means that you will own and control 50% of the so-called “Writer’s Share.”

The producer will own and control the other 50% of the Writer’s Share.

You have been licensed the right to use the beat and commercially exploit the song you make with it. Based on the terms and conditions of the license agreement you’ve purchased. The producer will remain the sole owner and holder of all rights, titles, and interests in the beat.

Again, more about this is in The Ultimate Guide To Beat Licensing.

What happens to my song when someone else buys the exclusive rights for the beat I’ve licensed non-exclusively?

When it comes to buying beats online, you’re granted the rights the moment you purchase the beat. The license will go into effect immediately.

So, when someone else purchases the exclusive rights, it will not (immediately) affect you. Your non-exclusive license will still be valid.

But there are some things you need to know…

In the old days, you were granted user rights in non-exclusive licenses without an expiration date. A lot of producers still operate this way.

Nowadays, some producers sell licenses that expire after 2-6 years. In my case, my licenses expire after 5 years. This means that you will have to buy a new license after that term.

An example of an expiration term that could be found in a license agreement.

If someone purchased the exclusive rights during your term. That will only mean that you will no longer be able to renew your license after your term is due.

Producers don’t always show this information in their licensing tables. Make sure you check that before you make the purchase. There’s usually a button below the tables that lets you view the actual license agreement. 

One more thing regarding non-exclusive licenses!

A recent trend is that some producers install a new term in their license agreement. One that grants the producer the right to end your license agreement even before your term is due.

The producer includes an exit clause in their agreements stating they’re allowed to terminate the license agreement upon written notice to you.

In return, they will pay you double or triple the amount you’ve initially paid for the beat.

That does not have to be a problem for you, but whether it is, depends entirely on the success of your song.

Again, always check your agreements before buying beats online!

What if I buy a beat with a non-exclusive license and my song blows up?

It’s funny that this is such a common question. That’s why I’ve written an entire article to answer this question.

If you’re interested in learning more about this, click the link below. 👇🏽

Insert link to the article

Is it safe to buy Beats online?

Most producers use a Beat Store Provider to sell their beats online. The most common ones are:




All these platforms have a good reputation for representing producers and their music. The majority of online producers are also signed up with either one of them. That’s why a lot of producers’ websites and music players look alike.

These music players have an ‘instant delivery’ feature included. After you’ve made the payment, you will be redirected to a download area where you can safely download the files. You’ll also receive an order confirmation by email.

If you’re not sure if a producer is affiliated with one of these platforms, try to locate their producer names on the different platforms. If they are on it, you can make the purchase directly from the platform itself, just to be safe.

If they’re not on these platforms, reach out to the producer with any concerns you have. I’m sure they’ll respond once you tell them that you’re interested in buying beats from them. Make sure you’ve checked the website for an FAQ section, though. If you’re asking questions for which the answers are right in front of you, they do not always respond.

Keep in mind… On platforms like BeatStars, Airbit, or Soundee, producers still create their license agreements. They operate on their own terms!

Before you buy a beat, always check the full license agreements or licensing terms. Those flashy pricing tables don’t always show you everything! 😉

Here are some tips for buying beats online:

  • Pay with PayPal or Stripe (they have buyer protection)

  • Check if the producer sells through a BeatStars, Airbit, or Soundee player

  • Read the License Agreements (!)

  • Reach out to the producer with your concerns

Copyright - HEATE

This article, authored by Robin Wesley, is used under license and with permission according to the PRODUCR agreement.