Licensing Overview

The world of licensing beats might sound daunting but it’s very simple. There’s really only 2 categories of licenses, Non-Exclusive (or Lease) and Exclusive. All licenses fall under those 2 categories.

Non-Exclusive license enables the producer to sell or lease the same beat to multiple artists while still retaining Exclusive rights to the instrumental.

The producer can set their own terms for this license - for example, how many copies of the recorded song the artist can sell, how many live performances are allowed, number of streams, etc.

The main benefit to this is that the producer can earn a recurring income from the same beat by reselling to multiple people, sometimes even making more money than if they had sold the beat exclusively.

Just as important, it means artists can get quality beats without the huge upfront cost.

Most producers will have around 2 - 4 different types of Non-Exclusive license, all with varying costs, varying terms, and different audio files (MP3, WAV, Trackouts/Stems). The idea being that the bigger the budget the more flexibility you get with the licensed beat, including higher quality audio files and/or tracked out stem files for better control when mixing the song.

Generally, low-end Non-Exclusive licenses are priced between $10 to $40, with high end Non-Exclusive licenses ranging between $70 - $150. Pricing is very subjective though and experimentation is advised to see what gives you the best results with your customers.

When an Exclusive license is purchased, the producer can no longer sell the beat. An Exclusive license tends not to have any restrictions attached to it, apart from prohibiting the resale of the instrumental itself.

Exclusive licenses are much higher in cost because the producer can no longer make money licensing that beat, and they’re likely to be purchased by more serious artists who expect greater success or who have record labels that require exclusivity.

Royalties may or may not be requested - but as with any licenses, the producer can define their own terms of use, so we always recommend checking the full terms or inquiring with the producer before buying if you're unsure.

If an exclusive license is sold, anyone who has previously bought a non-exclusive license can still use the beat within the terms of their contract.

Another type of license is the Synchronization (or Sync) license and this license is for TV/Film placements. Sync licenses most commonly fall under the Non-Exclusive category, especially for TV, and would usually involve royalty payouts of some sort. 

Your Airbit account comes with one default Non-Exclusive license and one default Exclusive out the box. When you upgrade to a Platinum account, you’ll be able to add custom licenses to give your customers greater choice.

You can start editing your license terms right now by visiting the Licenses section in your Dashboard. For a guide to doing this, please click here.

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