Lease Beats vs Exclusive Beats
A lot of folks have been hitting me up about leasing and purchasing exclusive beats, trying to figure out what would be best for them, I always answer, well of course it depends on your current situation and what you are trying to do. Now before I get into it, let me give you a quick and very basic definition of both so you can have a general understanding.Lease Beats
Leasing a beat means you pay the producer a small fee to use their beat, but of course with strict limitations. Producers still own the beat, and have the right to continue leasing it to other artist or even sell it out right. You as an artist can only use leased beats for promotional use, like promotional mixtapes and performances. There are a couple of other things, but of course I suggest you always check with the producer and look over the lease agreement for a more in depth description of your rights, when leasing a beat. Always ask questions if you not sure. Some producers just may or may not allow you to do certain things with the beat. But that’s the general basic of leased beats.
Now if your purchasing the beat exclusively, (which of course is much more money then leasing) you pretty much have free reign to do what you want with it including putting it on your album that’s for sale. A producer agreement should be drawn up with of course all the rights lined out. In that agreement producer should make sure they retain credits, publishing, royalties, etc. Without that, one can find themselves in a sticky situation as we’ve so commonly seen, especially if the record is a hit. You can check out article Excluded Rights – When Selling Exclusive Music Rights Go Wrong for a more in depth description.
Artist With A Budget
Ok, now that we got the basic out the way let’s get into what may be best for your situation. Now if you’re an artist on a label and you’re putting out an album for sale and YOU HAVE A BUDGET, then of course you’re going to want to go the traditional route and purchase beats exclusively. Labels or even the artist usually have a recording budget set aside for paying producers, which usually cost a lot more then lease beats. However even though an artist may have the budget for an exclusive beat they may still opt to leasing a beat if they are just interested in putting it on a mixtape to get their buzz up.
Artist Without A Budget
Now if you’re an artist without a budget and I have to be honest with you, if you don’t have some sort of budget in this game, it is impossible to make any kind of buzz. Anyway, if you don’t have much of a budget then you have no choice but to go with leasing beats (unless you have some sort of relationship with the producer where you can get some free beats). The good thing about leasing beats is, it’s designed for artists who don’t have the big budgets. You see, the amount of money you would spend for 1 exclusive beat (even from a low level name producer); you can lease probably 3 or 4 full mixtapes worth of beats at 15 beats per mixtape. With that you can get more records out in the street, giving you a better chance of creating a buzz with probably money left over to shoot a low budget video. You can even get some paid shows off of that buzz using leased beats. So for example, if you paid $50 for 1 leased beat and got a buzz on it to get a show paying you anywhere from $500 to whatever, (based on how big you’ve made mixtape or record buzz) Guess what?? You made a hell of an investment and a great return on it. You can then take that money and reinvest it into your campaign to either purchase more leased beats or even come back and buy the beat exclusively if that buzz is getting big enough. Basically, I’m saying, work your way up, cause it’s silly to spend big money on 1 beat alone, especially if you don’t have the funds ready to push it (radio, video, promotion).
So there it is for you, leased beats vs exclusive beats; it all comes down to your situation. Spend your money wisely, but then again, it’s the entertainment biz. Who spends their money wise in this game anyway?
Good luck out there