The term “exclusive” has been dangled in front of consumers,
not just rappers, for many years. Exclusive clubs, exclusive clothing, and even
exclusive releases but why has this concept lasted even for leasing beats?
In my opinion, there is very little dialogue over the
concept of why artists should stop wanting exclusive beats and opt for
So why does it make sense for an independent artist to stop
buying exclusive beats and opting for non-exclusive leases instead?
IT MAKES BUSINESS SENSE!
If you’re running your music hustle as a music business, you
know that one of the things that eat up your budget with little “visible”
return, is beats. I’m a producer and artist so I’m saying that from both
Why do I say this?! There are several reasons why leasing non-exclusively makes business sense.
1. Non-exclusive is WAAAAY cheaper.
If you’re an artist and have visited sites
such as Beatstars, Airbit or even my beat store (skillmusicsa.com), the price
of a beat can be as little as $15usd which is about R216.
In comparison, an exclusive beat can vary
from as high as R1500 to wherever your imagination takes you. This effectively
means you can get about 6 non-exclusive beats (or more) verses 1 exclusive
beat. In many cases, non-exclusive beats are on special on the lower pricing
structures and you can get even more.
If you’re an independent artist, you want as much music available as possible at the lowest expense as possible à Non-exclusive makes sense for you!
2. Consistency is more probable!
Having more beats with less money means you
can be consistent in releasing.
Instead of having to save up a large sum of
money every time to get the beat you want, you must save a fraction of the
money and thus have more beats at your disposal. You can space them out to be
This also means you can scale up your releases to different projects, singles, etc.
3. Marketing Budget Increases
It’s a well-known fact that independent
artists don’t have much money for marketing but with the “new found” cash flow
from cheaper beats, the money for marketing is now available.
The money can be used to run sponsored posts
on IG or FB, low budget video or reinvested in your hustle by getting a new mic
or paying for promotional material.
One of the reasons many artists don’t opt for non-exclusive
beats is because they don’t want another artist using the same beat.
Firstly, if you’re an independent
artist, then it’s possible that your song won’t ever reach more than 1 000
unique plays and only a few people will listen to the track multiple times.
This means that most people won’t even recognize that you used the same beat.
Secondly, you’re only reaching so
little people anyway. Why would you want to spend R1500 (at least) on a product
that has little reach/influence?
Thirdly, if you jump on a beat,
you must be so confident in your ability that even your Idol would think twice
about using the beat after he’s heard your version. Alternatively, don’t care
about other rappers, this is your lane.
Fourthly, no one cares.
Unfortunately, the reality is, no one really cares what beat you used. Unless
you connected to them through the song, they most likely will never give your
song another listen. If you didn’t connect, they’ll just move on to another
The truth of it all is that you want to flood the market
with your music, and you want to do this as inexpensively as possible. Unless
you’re getting free beats, non-exclusive beats are the way forward for
“Skill, what happens
if the song blows up.”
Then you simply go back to the producer and tell him you want the beat exclusively. Pay him the premium amount from the money you get from the blow up.
That’s it for now, let’s connect on whatsapp +27835709602 or
Until next time,
Skill is a producer, pianist and performing artists based in Port Elizabeth. He’s input can be heard on music by PdotO, Blaklez, Toya Delazy, Zakwe and Yanga to name a few. This post is amended from his website SkillMusicSA.com.