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How Leasing Beats Works—and Why So Many Hip-Hop Producers Are Doing It

Updated: May 1, 2020

The way leasing works is that a producer allows his or her beats to be used by an artist for a price and terms the producer sets—the artist can only have their song available for a limited amount of time, for example, or only sell a certain amount of copies. The catch is, the producer can make that same deal again with a different artist, and then another one, and then another one. So you can have tons of artists doing their thing on the same beat.

99 cents?

Because of the non-exclusive nature of the deal, prices are much lower than the going rate for exclusive rights to a beat. Prices for leases sometimes go as low as 99 cents, but tend to hover in the $20-$50 range, depending on what format the artist wants the beat in (mp3s are cheapest; receiving the individual tracks of the beat separately, so you can remix or master the track, is the most expensive).

Open Market

There’s so many more people that are interested in it.We’re in a generation right now where there’s just tons of people fascinated by [making music], which is really cool. So obviously, once people get fascinated by that, they’re like, ‘Hey, I can make money from this? You mean I can sell these?’ That’s why it’s blown up to the level it is now.”

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