Should a producer sell or lease (license)
their beats, tracks and music??
You should always consider your future
objectives and goals as a producer before deciding to sell or lease your beats. You may produce tracks that you feel are "throw-away"
beats and are probably more willing to sell these tracks to new artists. Naturally, you probably want to hold on to those
beats that you feel are "hot" for an established artist or a more talented new artist. However, that "throw-away"
beat may just fall into the right hands and become a hit, while your "hot" tracks might not make the album cut because
the label decides to add some veteran producers to the roster to "beef-up" the album. For that reason, the decision
of whether to sell or lease your beats requires you to consider several important issues - no matter how hot the beat is.
In general, when selling a beat to an
artist or record label, a producer may seek to take advantage of the following income sources: (1) Producer fees - compensation
for the value of your physical work and time spent creating the beat, (2) Master purchase or "buy-out" (for ownership
of your portion of the master recording containing your beat) - compensation for the right to control the use of the master;
(3) Producer royalties (paid in advance and on the back-end) - compensation for your services rendered in performing and/or
creating the beat, in an amount determined by the number of copies of the beat (or records that contain songs that contain
the beat) that the record label sells; and (4) Publishing - compensation for the use of your copyrighted material, including
(a) the reproduction of your beat on individual records (mechanical royalties) and (b) the public performance of your beat
(i.e., airplay/performance royalties).
Although we will discuss these income
sources in further details, at this point it is only necessary to understand them as either up-front payments or back-end