I think about this every time I hear someone say, that’s too much money for a beat. When you asking for $500+ for exclusive…WHAT!!
I mean really. How did we get here?
I believe its not the fault of people asking, its more the lack of education to the producers selling music.
Come on people…y'all selling beats for exclusives as low as $20 to $75 to $100 bucks, and leasing for $1 to $10 (unless poor quality).
If you selling exclusives lower than $500 then you’re foolish, and leasing anything less than $20 you’re foolish.
And whats worst is producers give there music for free to locals that have some following and kiss ass when they see them at a show or gathering and don’t get acknowledged back…What!!!
Trust me, I witness this as I tried to complement a producer on there work. I want to feel sorry for them…nope.
I struggle because of this kind of business practice.
(heres a story from the same artist previous to witnessing this producers humiliation).
I remember paying that popular local artist, money for a feature, and after they asked who did the beat…I said me, and I let them here some work and they were like, I’ll take this, this and this one…I said, fosho. I said its $200 a piece, funny thing that was a hook up. There response was…
”You Charging Meee!! All hell naw, we outta here”.
Lol I was a bit confused cause they were not that hot to be like its free. Because I can understand if it was JayZ or someone of that caliber, then its an investment on your part as marketing value instead of money.
Look, nothing in this music “business” should be free. There should always be exchange for currency or trade of value thats worth money you would pay. I pay for callabs when I intend to make a return from it (regardless if I'm broke).
Ok, back to selling out or selling your self like a cheap whore. If artist get beats for cheap then it becomes the standard for them and uneducated up coming producers.
You can have the wackiest beat ever, but if someone say I’ll take that beat…guess what…it has value. Stop selling your self short. If you do something free, then split the risk.
Be exclusive to the project, so you can get a big chunk of the publishing, royalties, mechanicals, sales etc etc.
So heres my guide I came up with. I have not seen any one explain it in this way, but only thru experience of witnessing, reading articles and come up stories. Example.
Dr.Dre gave Scott Storch $10,000, to show good faith in doing business with him starting out.
Example2, Ludacris gave $10,000 to C.N.O.T.E. and didn't even use the beat
Do you see a trend here?
But lets get real, these guys already had a buzz going.
How should we price starting out, first we should have a pricing we can negotiate with that makes sense…not out ya ASS talking, “I’m the best there is” type of vibe. I used to manage restaurants, and I needed numbers to see were problems were and growth. It empowerd me and gave full control.
So, how can we do that here. Lets take numbers from what people use to put value to your brand and goals too reach. Like, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. Example, to go Gold it takes 500,000 sales…if you already value your self cheap, then do it by numbers…1%. 1% of 500,000 is 5000 and my friends…this is CHEAP! So now you can empower your self with negotiation to anybody. If the person(s) is valued at Silver, Gold status, or platinum, Diamond…then you can price, and not feel you are charging too much. Now %rates can be justified by your own status and brand.
If you just starting out, I don’t care if your momma just bought you a laptop and you did your first boom bap! 1% should be your rate. If you have a following and have consistency to numbers in fans interested (brand) charge 2% or 3%. Thats how Timbo or Scott Storch can charge a half million+ for beats and charge you (newcomer) 50,000 if they even choose to do business with you. Because your value is 0% to them, they would risk big, selling you a track.
Another point I want to make with these numbers, it can help you see if its even worth it to risk your time and investment to a newcomer.
Can you already see how you’ve been loosing already.
But what about people you really want to work with or friends you want to help? If you give them free beat or services then what motivates them to grind…? I mean really, they didn’t invest any thing to loose, so they continue to pay there bills and make money how ever they do, all the while you’re producing, mixing and your bills are piling up. While working a job, that'll put up with you missing days...
They have to hurt as much as you, this way they can bring more business through there hustle to you and you can use what resources you have to help them…now thats the real way to go about it, when they say “I’ll be promoting you”.
Get your $1000 (silver) to pay your bills and this is negotiable still. Be smart don’t grab your ankles for these vultures and most times these are your friends and supporters with out realizing they are doing this to you.
Educate your self, educate them(artist), we call our selfs
“Self employed” or “CEO” lets start acting like one.
And if they can’t afford this still (wow) then lease to them, give them a sales cap.
So you can measure what have they done, to motivate you to invest.
Remember you are investing when you get no cash for services.
Put it this way, will you pay them $1000 to promote your beat…?
If they say you're nobody, you should even be privilege to be acknowledge by them…they just spent energy and time negotiating against you…thats proof again you have value. If you feel you’re wack, then they are wack too lol and that still gives you negotiation power.
Wake up and lets fix this notion that we “producers” are at the bottom,
with out us theres no music PERIOD.
Thank you for reading and don’t hesitate to contact me, share this with other fellow producers even family members and nonmusical friends to share this blog, because every one has a loved one in this business struggling for insight and information. Lets start here, like and share share share!