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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 other licenses fall under those 2 categories. 

A Non-Exclusive license enables the producer to sell or lease the same track 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 song recorded by the artist can be sold, how many live performances are allowed with the song, 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. Everybody wins!

Most producers will have around 2 - 4 different types of Non-Exclusive license, all with varying costs, varying terms, and different quality audio files. The idea being that the bigger the budget the more flexibility you get with the licensed beat, including higher quality audio files and sometimes 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.

An Exclusive license means the producer signs over all the rights of the instrumental to the artist and can no longer sell the beat Non-Exclusively. 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.

Most of the time Exclusive licenses are sold without requiring any royalties to be paid to the producer on revenue generated with the song, but with any licenses the producer can define their own terms of use.

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. 

That’s the rundown anyway! I hope this information comes in useful. 

Your Airbit account comes with one Non-Exclusive license and one Exclusive out the box. When you upgrade to a Gold or 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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  1. Ellis Houslin

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