The Full Guide to Beat Marketplaces (with Pro Tips)

The Full Guide to Beat Marketplaces (with Pro Tips)

From 'Type Beats' to finding beats with hit potential: beat marketplaces allow producers to sell, license, and share beats. This guide explains how to get started, with extra pro tips and videos about making the most of selling music via beat store platforms.




June 14, 2024

Definition of Beat Marketplaces

Importance of beat marketplaces for music producers

Beat marketplaces are an important ecosystem for producers who want to make money with their beats. From elite music creators to beginning beatmakers: marketplaces help producers of any level with their online beat exchanges and sales. Major beat store platforms such as BeatStars and Airbit reach millions of users, so there’s big revenue potential on beat marketplaces…

How marketplaces bring together elite music creators and beat makers

Let's illustrate this with a perfect example. One of the biggest hits in 2019 proves that beat marketplaces can provide high-quality beats and collaborative success: "Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X was made with a beat he purchased at BeatStars from Dutch producer YoungKio. The price of the beat: only $30! YoungKio uploaded the beat to the marketplace with the title Future Type Beat. Lil Nas, on the other hand, had only started making music recently "out of boredom." Their exchange of a single beat on the platform changed their life forever.

Usage rights

"Old Town Road" sampled 2008's "Ghost IV – 34" by Nine Inch Nails, leading to infringement issues. More on copyright ownership, sample clearance, and beat licensing later in this guide. Or read Sample Clearance Demystified: How to Clear a Sample to learn more about sample clearances and how to avoid issues with a copyright owner.

Overview of the Online Beat Market

There’s a wide range of beat marketplaces and third-party marketplaces. Each with its own qualities. Where to start? Here’s an overview of the biggest and best beat marketplaces out there:



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"I always knew collaboration would move completely to the internet. The beauty is that the best music rises to the top. (...) It's all about the music. It's the attention economy. Everyone is creating."

—Abe Batshon (founder of BeatStars), Rolling Stone Magazine

Understanding the Beat Marketplace: Frequently Asked Questions

What is a beat catalog and how does it work?

The value of music catalogs are a hot topic in today's music industry. Similarly, a beat catalog contains everything a beat maker has worked on over the years. Beats that are either ready for release or in a demo, premix, mix, master, or work-in-progress phase. If you want to make money with your beats, it’s important to build up and organize a beat catalog. Essentially, a beat catalog is the pot of gold producers are sitting on. That's the output and result of hard work that can be used to sell beats, land sync deals, get beat placements, or even get into ghost production.

How to find original beats on a marketplace?

Just like searching for samples on Tracklib, it's all about the filtering options to find the right style. In a way, 'Type Beats' originated from beat store platforms and beat hosting platforms like SoundCloud. The entire process of each marketplace is completely different, so keep that in mind when offering your beats on a certain website. Use advanced features to analyze your competition, the featured beats by elite music creators, and the behavior of beat buyers to learn what type of work they’re after. First, get a feel from the buyer's perspective instead of your own perspective as a seller. Understand your audience.

How to list your beats on a marketplace?

The trending tracks on BeatStars and Airbit's Top Charts have one thing in common: all beats have complete metadata (genre, BPM, key, usage rights). Always make sure to be as thorough and precise as possible.

Next to that, all bestsellers have the right tags. Some beat makers even add certain moods to the metadata. Examples include drake type beat*, *travis scott, playboi carti, a boogie wit da hoodie, hard beat, or moods like ambient and sad.

Lastly, some elite music creators on beat marketplaces add a special deal such as 'Buy 1 Get 4 Free' to the title of a beat to spark interest from buyers.

How to price your beats? (Video)

Can I negotiate the price of a track on beat marketplaces?

Most beat marketplaces offer advanced features like offers and negotiations. Here are two cases and examples of how to negotiate the price of a beat:

How to Allow Offers for Beats on Airbit

After registering, navigate via your dashboard to Selling Tools > Licenses & Contracts and click the icons to allow offers for various beat licensing templates. Categories include non-exclusive, basic WAV, trackout, premium, and exclusive. This allows beat buyers the option to Make an Offer. Visit this guide for more information.

How to Negotiate the Price of a Track on BeatStars

If you click the pricing button on the right side of the track, navigate to Choose License Type > Exclusive License > Negotiate the Price. On the following page, you can enter the details and proposed pricing and desired usage rights such as the publishing and non-exclusive or exclusive ownership. Visit this step-by-step guide for more information.

What does it cost to sell beats?

Each beat store platform offers different types of pricing, subscriptions, and commission fees. Go cheap or go professional with advanced features—pick the plan that fits your needs as a beat maker, your skill level, and your amount of marketplace sales. Unlimited tracks, unlimited license agreements, free premium sound kits, sound effects, and publishing services are some of the premium options for dedicated beat makers.

Payment Methods and Gateway Options for Sales

Keep in mind that payment methods such as Stripe or Paypal charge transaction fees. Stripe charges 2.9% plus $0.30 for every transaction. For Paypal, this depends on your region and account type, varying in fixed fees with an additional transaction fee for cards around 3.4%.

Usage Rights and Licensing Agreements for Beats

As the copyright owner, it's important to make sure you own all the usage rights before committing to a beat exchange. After all, you don’t want to get a buyer into copyright infringements or lawsuits.

If you use samples in your productions, make sure they’re cleared before selling a beat. Tracklib offers an easy and cheap way to do that without upfront fees. That means you can freely sample from 100.000+ precleared songs and a complete library of royalty-free sounds. That's essential to selling beats online, because most beat marketplaces deny beat submissions with uncleared samples altogether.

"People have this mentality of 'Well, if it’s only on SoundCloud and not being sold, why do I need to clear?' Well, you need to clear because there's streaming revenue and people lose out, and because you're sampling something to create something to promote yourself as an artist. Promotion is not free."

—Deborah Mannis-Gardner in Rolling Stone Magazine

How to sell a beat with Tracklib samples

If you want to sell a beat on marketplaces as a lease, you need to get a new sample license for the new song directly from Tracklib. No worries, that's easy—we're here to help.

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