How to sell beats online
You've just finished producing and mixing a beat, and you're wondering how you can monetize it. Nowadays, various platforms can help you with this, but getting started is difficult, and I bet you have a thousand questions buzzing in your head.
Lucky for you, Beat Spot is here to help.
In this guide, we will help you open your online beat shop, and we will reveal how you can make it profitable and efficient.
First, let's get back to your beat. Until you export it, it will be difficult for you to sell it to anyone. In particular, you will have to export various formats to offer different possibilities to your buyers. By now, for example, granting artists to be able to download your beat for free is normal, but the version we will provide to them will be MP3 and with your TAG smeared on it.
The second export will be finalized for the paid version; this must be in WAV and must not present TAGs (at most only in the intro, where the artist must not sing). Finally, the last format you will need to export is the beat stems without mastering in WAV.
This is the most expensive type of format for artists, as it allows them to mix individual beat elements with their vocals. You won't get it often bought, and always exporting stems can waste a lot of time and computer memory. I, therefore, recommend exporting these only when an artist requests them from you.
Another essential element to consider for your export is the NOMENCLATURE. This is crucial. It will present its mood and give you useful information such as the key, the BPM, and the presence or not of the Tag. To formalize, let's say that the name of your beat must always have this type of terminology:
name + key + BPM + Tag/Untag
You can add other information, such as, for example, if it is a type beat, which artists it is inspired by, or the genre.
Now that you have your beat exported, it's time to upload it to the internet. There are various alternatives that you can take. What we recommend in case you are just starting is to use sites specifically created to sell beats so that you can reach customers.
The main sites are:
To be used to the maximum, these sites require a monthly subscription, and they take a small fee from your sales. It would be ideal to have your site in the future, from which artists can buy your beats. However, if you do not have customers, it will prove to be an unnecessary expense.
Now that we have our beat and a store, let's think about uploading our beats.
First, we will need a captivating photo that describes the beat's mood that we can use as a cover. Anything will do.
The first file we will upload will be the tagged MP3 version, which will be used as playback for your beat on the platform. Later we will upload the WAV version without Tag to be put on sale.
At what price should you sell the beats?
First, it is essential to clarify that you are not selling the beat to one person but are granting the License to use it for a song.
What does this mean?
That you can sell the same beat to multiple artists!
The License can be sold to multiple artists, allowing you to monetize infinite times from the same beat.
If an artist wants the exclusive on a beat, he will have to buy you another type of License called "Exclusive," which will cost him much more.
A regular license price is usually around €29, while an exclusive license can be purchased for several hundred euros.
If the artist also claims to have the stems, he will have to pay even more, as we said previously.
- MP3 + TAG = FREE
- WAV + UNTAG + NORMAL LICENSE = €29
- WAV + UNTAG + EXCLUSIVE LICENSE = €299
- WAV + UNTAG + EXCLUSIVE LICENSE + TRACKED OUT FILES = €399
You have finally uploaded your first beat!
Now you have to wait to sell it, right?
Wait a couple of days and notice that your beat is gone, buried by the billions of beats uploaded every day to these platforms and that it has totaled two plays.
Don't be discouraged; this is normal.
Uploading beats to stores isn't enough to sell them. Now you have to try to communicate the beat release to your audience and try to promote it.
The first step to take must surely be to
Use your socials to promote your beats
There are various things you can do.
The first big step will be to edit your Bio and insert very targeted information about you and your beat store's link.
At this point, you can use the platform to post stories where you communicate the release of your beat with snippets and publish posts of your best beats and collaborations.
Instagram can also help expand your audience, building relationships with other users through likes, follows, comments, and messages in DM.
It is extremely useful. Many rappers search for their type beats through this platform! To upload your beat, you will need to create a video. Even the still image you have chosen as the cover and your beat in the background is enough.
Nomenclature on youtube is essential. Before the name, key, or bpm, it is crucial to give the idea of your beat's sound only with the title. Try to express it best through labels, adjectives, and artist names in type beat.
In the description, we will put the link that leads to the beat in your store, key, and bpm. Below I recommend that you upload links to your other channels, such as Instagram, your site, or other social networks. Further down, try to upload hashtags and keywords that will allow your beat to be easily found through a search.
If you do not have a following in these channels either, it is more than legitimate to promote your content to kick start your business.
How to promote your beats
To promote your beats, we will consider three platforms that we have already discussed: Instagram, youtube, and the beat stores (I will take Beatstars as an example).
First, you need to have a Professional Account on Instagram (go to the “preferences” of your Instagram account - “account” - “switch to Professional account”).
At this point, you will be able to do a promotion. Instagram allows you to promote your content in two ways: story or post. Both will let you direct the users you reach to your profile, or a website, or in your DM. It will be ideal to send them directly to your beat store. This will be implemented through the action button (learn more, shop…)
At this point comes the most important part, targeting your ad to the right audience. This will be done through keywords, locations, interests, age, and gender.
Therefore, we recommend choosing interests and keywords related to beats or rap, choosing an age group, not over thirty, and looking out to the location that you think is right for your beat.
At this point, the last parameter to be set will be your budget and how long you want your ad to be active. Instagram chooses which content to include in one of its advertising slots through a form of auction, where whoever offers the most per day wins the place.
Youtube advertising is implemented through Google Ads. It allows you to have two options:
- Insert your ad before the start of a video
- Insert the video in the youtube feed
It works similarly to Instagram. To start, choose the "product and brand consideration" option and then "video."
Budgeting works equally to Instagram. You will then have to enter the location data you want to refer to, the demographic information (age, gender, etc.). Finally, the audience you want to relate to, the keywords, and the topic as for Instagram.
This beat store allows you to promote yourself in three ways:
- promotion of your beat
- advertising of your profile
- promotion of your album
In practice, it works like the two previous platforms. A budget is determined that will be consumed in a few days, the victory at the auction will give your reach, but you can NOT filter your audience through keywords or interests, or demographics.
In general, when promoting your content, no one way works for everyone and all beats. I recommend experimenting with small amounts and seeing what works for you.
The dark side of selling beats
Lots of producers nowadays claim to make a living out of selling their beats online and offer magic ways to make you rich as them. The reality is very different; this is an ultra-saturated market and in which you can go against a lot of risks.
Take these things into account before you start selling your beats online:
- Anyone online can steal your creations, whether it's a rapper who uses your beat for a song or a producer who copies it.
- Creating, publishing, and promoting beats takes time and money. If you are not rich, you will find yourself in trouble as you will not make any money at first.
- Selling off your beats for little money in large quantities necessarily implies that little effort and creativity have been put into making your music.
I hope this guide will be useful to you in opening your beat store. Remember that the most important thing will always remain your beats' quality; only this will allow you to stand out among the millions of beatmakers in the world.
Try to bring original and professional beats. Finally, consistency is an essential quality; try to upload a new beat every three days and never stop trying to connect with new people who could become potential buyers.
This article has been brought to you by Edoardo Del Torre.