Turning one’s passion into a source of income is one of the main ambitions of any musician. There are several ways to achieve this aspiration and in the next few paragraphs I want to tell you about a new trend that might interest you a lot.
In recent times, in fact, thanks to the increasingly massive use of digital sounds in the song composition process, a particular frontier of electronic commerce is making headway, centered on the buying and selling of beats . Here too, however, it is necessary to pay attention to various aspects, in order to build a functional and effective promotion strategy.
How do you say? Are you keenly interested in proving yourself in this emerging market? I have good news for you: you’ve come to the right place, at the right time! If you give me some of your time, in this article I’ll show you how to sell beats online through the best dedicated sites and how to properly sponsor them through the most popular music sharing platforms. Are you ready? I just have to wish you a good reading and good luck in your new project!
How to sell beats online
Producing an engaging and well-structured beat, as you well know, is not easy at all, but it is undoubtedly the essential starting point to start this new adventure off on the right foot. In addition to creativity, which represents your unique and unrepeatable artistic expression, it is essential to take care of the audio quality of the tracks: for this reason it is essential to choose the right DAW , suitable for the musical genre that inspires you.
FL Studio is one of the most popular music production software in this sector, as it provides a wide range of features dedicated to the production of rhythms and allows the integration of countless plugins, easy to install and extremely functional for the purpose. Even Ableton Live, in addition to being very intuitive to use, is particularly focused on this area. If you have a Mac, you can’t help but consider Logic Pro X, thus investing in a very professional product, preferred by an illustrious audience of leading music producers.
Last, but not least, it is crucial to take care of the mixing phase of the final product: in this delicate step of production it will be essential to recreate as many listening modes as possible, simulating those of your potential customers. So make sure you have the right set of headphones and speakers , alternating between professional and standard tools to determine if your loops “just work” the same way.
Sites to sell beats online
You have completed the creative process and the time has come to exhibit the final product of your efforts on the virtual showcases of the main sites for selling beats online . In this guide, I will show you how some resources work, visited by many producers, who are constantly looking for stimulating and original sounds.
Airbit is a very popular site for artists from different musical backgrounds. To register as a seller, access this page, then click on the central Let’s go button . In the screen that appears, fill in the fields Name (name), Username (username), Email and Password and Confirm Password . Click on the Sign up button below to complete the request.
Alternatively, you can choose to register with your Facebook or Twitter accounts by clicking on the appropriate buttons at the bottom of the same window, through which you will be redirected to the authentication forms of the respective sites.
Once this stage is completed, you will be offered three subscription plans . Platinum costs around 17 euros per month and includes unlimited song uploads, affiliation with YouTube for monetization and with Google Analytics for analyzing your store. It also allows you to take advantage of various integrations with social networks and thus acquire greater visibility.
In the Gold subscription plan (8.50 euros per month) many of the functions seen in the Platinum are present, but the upload is limited to 50 tracks . A final possibility is that offered by the Basic plan , which is completely free, but limits the upload of beats to 10 and does not allow any of the integrations seen in the Platinum and Gold plans.
Therefore, if you choose the Basic plan, click on the Select button and you will be redirected to the next step. If you choose a paid subscription, clicking on the Start Free Trial button corresponding to the chosen plan will activate a 15-day free trial . You will be shown a screen in which you will have to enter the credit or prepaid card details, i.e. Card Number (card number), Card Expiry (expiration date), CVC (three-digit number on the back of the card) and Postal Code ( CAP) and click on the Start Trial button . If you have a PayPal accountalternatively, you can choose this payment method by clicking on the Pay with PayPal button , which will send you back to the service site.
On the next page (from here the path is the same for all floors) click on the Start button . On the new page, you will be able to upload your profile picture by clicking on the Click to upload button : you will see a window that will allow you to navigate within the documents on your computer. Select the image with one click, then click the Open button to import it. Next, click on the Country drop-down menu to indicate your nationality, then click on the country of residence again. Type the name of your city in the City field , while in Bioyou can optionally enter a description of yourself, to highlight your artistic training.
In the Social Profiles section you can enter the public username of Instagram , Facebook , Twitter or your YouTube channel . Click on the Next button to proceed to the next step, in which you must enter the e-mail address associated with your Paypal account to receive any earnings (you can still specify it later).
Click on the Next button and you will be presented with a screen in which to define the cost of each type of license relating to the beats that you will be selling: they can be Basic , Premium , Unlimited and Exclusive . By clicking on the arrow located at the bottom, next to the View item , you can check the characteristics of each of them.
The price, defined in dollars, can be modified by clicking on the relative box and typing in the desired value. In the Contract Information section below , enter your name or that of the company you own. Then click on the Next button and you will see a promotional screen regarding the Infinity Store additional service . Then click on the Next and Finish Up buttons to complete the procedure.
You are now ready to sell your beats: in the new page that has opened, click on the Go! within the Start Selling Your Beats box . You will immediately access the Dashboard : first screen with a very intuitive interface. Here you can quickly monitor the sales of your beats through a series of graphs relating to earnings ( Earnings ), the number of beats sold ( Beats Sold ), those listened ( Beats Plays ) and Free Downloads (Free Downloads).
In the left menu you can access various features. By clicking on the Insights item , you will have greater detail of the generic values shown on the dashboard, with a view full of details (such as the nationality of the users, gender, type of license acquired). By clicking on the Promotions item below , in the left menu, you can define any promotional campaigns following the upload of your productions. This last operation can be performed by clicking on the following Music & Media item . You will see a menu expand under the aforementioned item, where you can choose between Beats , Songs , Sound Kits , Playlist & Albums , Artworke voice tag .
So let’s see how to load a beat . Click on the Beats item , then, in the central box, click on the Upload button at the top right . Now press the New button in the center of the screen and a new window will appear: here it will be possible to load by dragging, selecting the file to load from your device with a click of the mouse and, holding down the left button, physically moving it to the central area within the dotted frame. Files must be in WAV or MP3 format and without tags (text metadata that can be edited during production).
Once the audio file containing the beat has been uploaded, you will need to complete some fields that will allow users to identify it better. In addition to the title, in the Name field , it is important to indicate the BPM value (ie the beats per minute you used during the recording). Select the genre ( Genre ) by clicking on the relative drop-down menu and choosing the one that best represents your beat, while by clicking on the Moods field you can select some characteristics from a special drop-down menu, useful for describing the attitude of the piece. Finally, you can insert tags , i.e. keywords to make the beat even more easily traceable.
I have explained to you, so far, the main features of this very advanced site. I suggest you also explore all the others on the left menu, which include the possibility of using some very interesting sales tools . For any further information, I can only refer you to the Airbit support page.
Beatstars is one of the most famous marketplaces for buying and selling beats. To register as a seller, access this page, then click the Start Selling button in the center . You will be offered three subscription methods: Free , which is completely free and provides for the upload of up to 10 tracks, Marketplace (8.99 euros per month), which allows you to upload an unlimited number of tracks and Pro Page ( 17, 99 euros per month), which allows you to take advantage of all the features and complete customization of your virtual showcase.
Choose the plan that best suits your needs and click on the relevant Get Started button: on the next page you can decide to authenticate yourself with your Facebook , Twitter , Apple ID and Google credentials by clicking on the relevant button, which will send you back to the service authentication form . If you prefer to create an account from scratch, click the Sign Up with Email button instead and complete the fields Your username with a username of your choice, Your email with a valid email address, Password and Confirm Password. Then click on the box below, to tick and accept the terms of service and privacy policies , then click on the Sign Up button .
You will receive an email on the previously indicated mailbox which will contain a code , which you will have to insert in the new page just loaded on the browser. Once the code has been entered, the recognition takes place automatically and you will be redirected to the confirmation page where you will view the summary information relating to the selected plan. Therefore, click on the Checkout button if you have opted for a paid plan and you will be redirected to a page where you can enter the payment method.
If, on the other hand, you have chosen to try the service with the Free subscription, click on the Subscribe button . In all cases, on the next page you will have to complete your profile by filling in the fields First Name (Name) Last Name (Surname) Display Name (which already shows the nickname previously indicated) and City of Residence (city of residence). Click on the Continue button : on the new page, you can write a short biography in the appropriate BIO field .
Now click on the Upload Avatar button to upload your representative image, a window will open in which you can upload or drag and drop (by selecting the file from your computer with a click of the mouse and, holding down the left button, physically moving it in the central area with the symbol of a cloud) or by clicking on the Choose File button to navigate within the folders on your PC.
Finally, click on the Continue button . In the new screen you will be able to connect the payment methods that will allow you to monetize the sale of your beats, choosing between PayPal and Stripe . Click on the relative button and you will be redirected to the service page to complete the procedure. When finished, click the Start Uploading your beats now button .
You have finally landed in the Beatstars management interface. Depending on the plan chosen during registration, you can choose to upload Production Tracks (option also available for the Free plan and consists of tracks with beats, beats with choirs, songs and vocal tracks), Sound Kits (in case you want to sell products such as sounds, loops, drum kits, or effects created by you) or even Songs (complete pieces of music created as a songwriter).
So let’s see how to load a beat. Click on the Create button inside the Production Tracks box . In the interface that is loaded you can fill in the metadata (textual data useful for describing the characteristics of the track). Then fill in the Title (Title of the track) and Tags fields (by typing in terms that can better identify the genre that inspires it). By clicking on Track Type you can select the type of track you are loading from a drop-down menu.
The time has come to upload the track: if you want to upload an untagged WAV or MP3 (therefore without metadata inserted during production), click on the Un-Tagged Wav or MP3 button and select the file from your computer.
Scrolling down the page, you can decide to set many other parameters: the mandatory ones are marked with an asterisk. I advise you to take particular consideration of those present in the Track Details section , where it is mandatory to indicate the genre ( Genre ), but for the beats I advise you to also specify the BPM (beats per minute) and KEY (key note on which the composition). Finally, in the Selling Preferences section , you will need to indicate the selling price of your creations.
The last section could also be very useful, in which it is possible to enter the URL of a YouTube video: to do so, click on the Add a YouTube video URL button , in the new box enter the link in the Enter Video URL field , the title ( Video Title ) and an optional description on the Description field , then click the Upload Video button .
You have completed all the information you deem essential: now click on the Publish button , at the bottom right, to complete the procedure. You can monitor the progress of your publications by clicking on the menu at the top, under My Media . Finally, I would like to point out that BeatStars is also present in a mobile version with a handy app for Android devices (also check availability on alternative stores if you don’t have access to Google services) and iPhone/iPad.
Sites to promote beats
To sell your music it is not enough to upload it to the reference Marketplaces: it is essential to acquire visibility, publishing and sponsoring it on the platforms most followed by potential buyers. Let’s see which are, to date, the best sites to promote beats on the Net.
SoundCloud is a music sharing web service that allows musicians to promote and distribute their music, but also to listen to it. It is used in particular by independent and emerging musicians to make their production known to a wide audience of listeners in search of originality. For this reason it is important to present your beats on this platform as well: producers and record companies are always attentive to any news capable of awakening a certain interest from the SoundCloud audience.
To register, connected to the main page of the site, then click on the Create Account button located at the top right. In the next window you can choose to authenticate with your Google , Facebook and Apple credentials (by clicking on the relevant buttons you will be sent back to the authentication forms of the respective services), or to create new credentials by entering your e-mail address in the last field (you an email will be sent on which there will be a link on which you will have to click to confirm the registration). For any further information on this procedure, I suggest you read my guide on how SoundCloud works.
Once the registration process is complete, you will access the SoundCloud Home , from which you can upload music by clicking on the Upload button at the top . On the new page, proceed with the upload by dragging the audio file into it (click on the file on your computer to select it and, holding down the mouse button, physically move it to the central part of the aforementioned window). Alternatively, you can click on the “or choose the files to upload” button to navigate with a window inside the folders on your computer: once you have identified the file with the beat to upload, select it by double clicking.
On the new page that will be offered to you, you will find three tabs to fill out: Basic information , Metadata and Permissions . On “Basic information” you can upload an image by clicking on the appropriate box on the left, modify the title , select the musical genre from the drop-down menu and insert some fields ( Tag , Description and Subtitle , for example) which help the listener to better define the type of music you offer. By clicking on the “Metadata” tab you will be offered numerous fields that you can optionally fill in, such as Artist , Publisher, Composer , to name a few examples: also in this case I suggest you complete as much information as possible. Finally, by clicking on the “Permissions” tab, you can define, among other things, whether to allow offline downloading and listening. Click on the Save button to start the upload.
SoundCloud includes a free registration that allows you to upload 180 minutes of audio. To overcome this limit, you need to subscribe to a SoundCloud Go+ plan by clicking on the Upgrade item at the top : you can take advantage of a 30-day free trial , following which you will be charged 9.99 euros per month . For any further information on the use of the site in author mode, I can only refer you to the relevant page of the service community.
SoundCloud is also available as an app for Android mobile devices (also check alternative stores if you don’t have access to Google’s) and on iPhone/iPad.
YouTube needs no introduction, being the most important and well-known video sharing platform . Not many people know, however, that it is also considered a valuable tool for promoting music online . It is no coincidence that sites such as Airbit and Beatstars, which we have explored in the previous chapters, allow you to link your YouTube channel on their store windows through special functions: it is an essential and central synergy in this digital market.
Accompanying your beat with quality videos, elaborated with the best video editing programs and perhaps made following the latest trends, is certainly a promotion strategy to be seriously considered. If you haven’t already, then, I highly suggest you create a personal video channel.
As for uploading videos to YouTube, I suggest you read my dedicated guide, where you’ll find a detailed description of all the steps needed to complete the operation.