Beat Licensing – The Basic Online Guide

As a music artist, it seems as though online beat licensing should be simple. Beat sites like Airbit and Beatstars have made it pretty easy for music artists.

You buy a beat from your favorite producer (hint: us 😉). Then it’s yours to do whatever you want with it, right?

Wrong! ❌

Beat licensing is a tricky road to navigate.

AND with many different types of agreements and contracts, that can be confusing to new music artists.

In this guide, we will explain the basics of online beat licensing.


Back in the day, many industry producers were able to sell beats directly to artists. Budgets were a lot bigger, so producers could charge more. Super Producer Scott Storch (Dr. Dre, Justin Timberlake, Mario, Beyonce, 50 Cent,etc), was earning $100,000 per track at one point.

Crazy, right? 😩

Music artists could then add lyrics or other instrumentation to the track.

Sounds fair, doesn’t it?

Now with the digital age evolving over the past few years, many music artists can simply purchase a beat from a producer online.

This makes it pretty easy for music artists looking for beats & instrumentals to write to.

What Is Online Beat Licensing?

Essentially, online beat licensing allows an artist to purchase the rights to use another producer’s beat or instrumental.

There are two main types of license you can get:

1. Non-exclusive license.
2. Exclusive license.

What Is A Non-Exclusive License?

In simple terms, the producer gives the music artist permission to record to their beat with the specified terms in the agreement. The artist can be expected to have to pay anything from $7 up to $200, but this depends on the producer licensing the instrumental.

The artist will be able to collect any royalties, but the producer will also be able to collect a portion from the royalties accumulated from the song if this was agreed on in the license.

Note: A royalty is simply money earned through streams and public performances of the song. Learn more here.

Many producers also tend to limit the following with non-exclusive agreements:

  • How many performances the song can get
  • How long the license lasts for before the artist has to renew the license
  • The amount of sales, streams, views the song can get

For example, let’s say you purchased a beat with a basic license. This license may only allow you to sell up to 1,000 copies of your songs, a maximum of 25,000 Spotify plays and 100,000 Youtube views.

The Different Types Of Non-Exclusive Licenses

Most music producers have different licensing options on their beat store. At Beat Bakery Co, we offer the basic, premium & unlimited license.

Each option is different and it depends on the rights you are looking for.

License Options

Choose Your Plan

MP3 Download

Wav Download

Voice Tag Removed

Track Stems

# of Copies You Can Sell

Music Video Sync Rights 


Basic License



"Prod. By Beat Bakery"

Premium License



"Prod. By Beat Bakery"

Unlimited License



"Prod. By Beat Bakery"

Exclusive License

Email us  


"Prod. By Beat Bakery"

These are our license options & prices, but as you can see, the more expensive the license, the more licensing rights you get.

Which license is best for you?

Our basic license is a beginner license typically used by indie artists just getting into music looking to record songs for demo use. If you’re a music artist starting out, we definitely recommend this license.

The premium license is a professional license used by artists looking to release their songs on iTunes, Spotify, Youtube, etc or perform with the song in live (PAID) performances.

Our premium licenses come with the MP3 & WAV file of the beat.

The unlimited license gives you unlimited rights to streams, plays, sales & views, but not the exclusive ownership of the beat. Most unlimited licenses also come with the track-out stems for the beat that you purchased.

What Is A Track-Out Stem?

A track-out stem is simply each individual wav file that was used in the beat. For example: kick drum, snare, piano, leads, synths, etc.  This is great for when it comes time for mixing your song. It will give the mixing engineer more control over the mix.

Exclusive License

An exclusive license is generally more expensive then a non-exclusive license. Exclusive rights gives the artist no limitations to the beat.

This means that the stream count for the track is unlimited, and will probably earn more than they would with a non exclusive license limited to 50,000 streams. In addition, once this license is purchased, the beat becomes exclusive to that artist.

Although this all seems quite simple now, copyright issues can still create problems between the producers and artists, most notably if an artist breaches the agreement between the two parties. In this case, the producer will notify the artist of the breach, ask them to rectify the issue, before continuing to allow them to use the beat. In the rare instance that the artist refuses to fix the problem, the producer will have to report the issue as a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) infringement, where appropriate action will be taken to ensure that a fair resolution is reached.

What About Sampling?

Sampling a song are portions of music or vocal riffs directly taken from an existing song. Before a song is sampled, it MUST BE CLEARED by the sample copyright owner before the artist can release it commercially!

Note: If you purchased a beat from a producer who has a sample, please be sure to have it cleared to avoid any copyright infringement law suits.

So which license is best for me as a music artist…

If you’re still struggling to decide which of these licenses to go with, you need to consider what your intentions are for the project you’re using it for.

If you’re an unsigned artist looking to create a professional sounding track to generate interest in your music and style, you’re better off choosing a non-exclusive license.

The prices are reasonable, and the license will most likely last you a good amount of time to build up a fan base from the release.

For more seasoned artists looking to capitalize on their music, an exclusive license is the way to go!

All in all, beat licenses are in place to help protect the rights of both producers and artists, and make sure that everyone is getting fair compensation for the hard work that goes into creating new songs.

If you found this article helpful, please be sure to share with a friend.


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