The beat selling market is extremely saturated with thousands of beat makers and music producers trying to sell their beats and instrumentals online. There are so many different tactics that I've tried over the years, a lot of them work and a lot of them don't work. With about a decade worth of experience, I can assure you that the one way I've been successful selling beats online was utilizing youtube and the "type-beat" trend that's been getting so much attention lately.
Before uploading beats to youtube...
- The first question to ask yourself - "How many finished beats do I have in my catalog/portfolio" - If you only have 10 or 20 beats in your portfolio, it's probably a good idea to get your portfolio up to about 50 finished beats before thinking about promoting them on youtube and start selling. You want to be able to schedule beat releases and get a head start so that you can stay consistent and drop new material on your youtube channel.
- The next thing to think about is to create yourself a best-selling website so that the traffic you receive on your videos on youtube can be funneled back to your website where artists can either lease or buy exclusive rights beats. There are many platforms out there that can allow you to sell instrumentals with a fancy HTML5 player. This allows artists to browse through your catalog/portfolio and purchase beats from you. The top three platforms I can recommend to sell beats with are BeatStars.com, Airbit.com, and Traktrain.com. It's recommended that you get a pro account which will allow you to upload a slew of beats right off the bat rather than a free account where your total beat uploads will be limited. beatstars, airbit, and traktrain all have unlimited monthly plans that are around $20/month. (Every business model requires you to put money into a business in order to see a return, so if you sell one beat lease in a month for $20, you've already made your money back. Anything after this is all profit)
- Both of these platforms have pro-page applications where you can easily design your own website to drive the traffic to. Check out one of the examples of what a pro page looks like under the beat stars platform. This is a great tool to use if you don't have website designing skills (let's be honest, most of us don't). Having added graphics to your beat selling website will make artists be more likely to stay on your page and keep browsing).
Ready to upload your beats? Let's double check...
- Okay, so you have at least 50+ finished beats that are ready for upload to beatstars, airbit or another beat selling platform like it. Here are the next set of instructions/tips you should consider when uploading your beats.
- You need 1 tagged MP3 version of a beat that you'll upload to to your beat player. This is the beat the artist will hear when they hit play. The tagged MP3 should be fully mixed and mastered for broadcasting loudness levels (basically loud enough so it can be heard on devices like cellphones, car speakers, laptop speakers etc.) I talked about this topic in one of my youtube videos that show you what plugin you can use to master your beats easily.
- Additionally, you will need an untagged, unmastered MP3 that you can use for selling your beats in MP3 format. MP3's are usually used for basic lease/non-exclusive licenses. You can find more information on different lease/non-exclusive options to get a better understanding of the concept.
- You will also need an unmastered 24bit WAV version of your beats. You want to be able to leave headroom for artists and engineers so that they can still record vocals to a beat and then master it afterward. A good measure is to go by the -6db concept, meaning at the loudest point of your beat your stereo-output does not go over the -6db threshold. If you are interested in understanding the concept more, check out this mixing and mastering tutorial.
- You should also have ready a set of stems of each of your beats, which are also known as track-outs. These are all the individual instruments in your beat tracked out as individual WAV files. Engineers use stems/track-outs to mix beats/songs. Being able to provide track-outs to engineers shows that you know your stuff, and also allows you to charge more for a beat that you are leasing or selling exclusively.
- Now that you've completed the first steps of getting ready It's time start uploading your beats. Be sure to use any tagging functionality on the platform you chose to upload your beats to, this allows for people that are also on the platform to find your beats if they are searching for specific types of beats, we're going to talk more about tagging later in this article.
- Come up with unique and interesting names for your beats. Don't use things like "UNTITLED 1, UNTITLED 2" etc. Give your beats some life by naming them with something more interesting and captivating. What I usually do is try to imagine a rapper-singer doing their thing on my beat and imagining a concept that would fit the music well.
- Make sure you know what the BPM is of each beat so that you can input this information on the beat selling platform you chose. Artist's sometimes search for specific BPM's depending on what type of feel/bounce they want for the beat, so giving them this extra information is key to showing them that you know what you are doing.
Now we are ready to use YouTube to promote our beats and start making some money!
- The first step is to create a youtube channel - You'll need to have a google account in order to do this.
- Don't worry about setting up a business youtube channel at first, a personal youtube account will allow you the ability to upload videos should be fine.
- Have a Gmail account already? There is no need to set up a google account.
- YouTube, as you probably know is a video platform, with that in mind, you won't be able to just upload MP3 or WAV audio files. You will need to create a sperate video for each of the beats you want to promote on YouTube.
- There are several easy ways to create videos with your beats. All you really need is a picture that goes along with your concept of the beat. If you are thinking of artists type beats, you can easily find artists pictures via google image search. I do want to stress, however, that you need to filter your search selection in a way that allows you to use artists pictures without the worry of copyright infringement. To filter your search on google images, use the tools function button, then click on the drop-down menu for usage rights and select "Labeled for reuse with modification". - This will ensure that the images you are using won't get you in any copyright trouble.
- Now that you have a picture that goes along with your beat like a "Drake type beat" for instance, think about perhaps adding some text to the image -like the name of your beat and/or your producer name or logo. Here an example:
- There is a free photo editing program called GIMP, which you could use just like Adobe Photoshop to create graphics like this. Make sure the picture you add to your beat video is 1920x1080 pixels in size. GIMP works with both Mac and PC.
- Now that you have a picture you can use with your beat, it's time to create the video. If you are using a mac, you could use iMovie to create the beat video. iMovie allows you to combine a picture with audio and create a "beat video out of it" I recommend that the beat video is also in the same size format as the picture (1920x1080) and the format is MP4. If you are working with a Windows machine, you could use Movie Maker 10 which is Window's free video editing software.
- Once your video has completed rendering you can start uploading them to youtube! Make sure you are logged into the youtube account that you want to post the video for. Then select the plus button and click on Upload Video.
- Once you've selected the video to upload you can already start typing in your title. For this beat I'm making it a Drake type beat and my title will be "[FREE] Drake Type Beat/Instrumental 2020 | Trap Rap Beat/Instrumental" - See how I made use of the title and actually put two different types of titles in there? The goal is to reach as many potential listeners as possible and broadening our search results, there are more chances of someone stumbling onto the beat from the search recommendations that youtube provided rather than less if we just put something like "Drake type beat". I also included the word FREE in the title because you can gain more traction on youtube and possibly gain more subscribers by allowing artists to use your beats for free if they are using them for promotional use only. Of course, there are specific guidelines for the free use of beats, to ensure you can gain some extra exposure.
- In the description of the video, you should list some important things:
- At the very top of the description, you should input the title again, so that YouTube's algorithm pics up relevant information about your video, and I noticed a great way of doing that is by simply repeating the same thing you have in your title.
- Add a link pointing back to your beat that you've uploaded to beatstars etc, so artists can purchase an untagged, unmastered version of your beat as I mentioned earlier in this article.
- Add something that captivates the viewer/listener to subscribe to your channel.
- Tell artists that want to use your beat for free promotion purposes what is okay and what is not okay for free promotional use.
- Lastly, add all of your social media links where artists can find you and also your email address if they want to contact you.
- Here an example of what I typed into the demonstration video. You can feel free to copy and paste it directly from the video that I uploaded on YouTube for demonstration purposes.
- You should also make the use of playlists, the option for that is on the right side of your video upload form. If you haven't created a playlist, you can choose to create a new playlist from the drop-down menu.
- You could create a playlist for each artist type beat you upload, this way any future Drake type beats you upload could go under the same playlists. YouTube's algorithms pick up on videos that get added to playlists and will give you the chance to have others find your playlists and browse more beat videos of yours.
- Once you've completed these sections, it's time to start adding tags that are relevant to your video. A good measure is to come up with keywords that match what you have in the title and mixing them up into different tags. This will help youtube's algorithms understand how it should place your videos in the search results. Each tag is essentially a search term that an artist would type into YouTube to find what they are looking for. Here some examples of tags that could work with this video.
- Don't use single word keyword tags as they would be much harder to rank for than actual multi work keyword tags as seen above. So instead of using the word "drake" use something like "drake type beat".
- There are some awesome tools you could use for keyword suggestions and other features that will get you the most out of each beat video you upload to youtube. TubeBuddy, for example, has a plugin which integrates with the chrome browser and gives you suggestions on keywords for tags amongst other features like end-screen templates and card templates making each upload more effective.
- All set? Let's hit that publish button and start promoting our beat to get some of its first views.
It's time to promote your beat!
- Make sure you share your video onto other social media platforms like Facebook. A great way to promote your content via Facebook is with the use of Facebook Groups. There are many groups on Facebook that will get you some much-needed exposure when you first start uploading beats to YouTube. One of these groups is the Music Production 💯 network.]
- If you aren't getting much traction as you at first wished after promoting your beat on other social media platforms. You can consider using a Free Beat Promotion program like the one we offer to get your name out there. We have over 68k subscribers and over 7,000,000 million views and counting. Hakz Beats used our free beat promotion program and raked in over 60,000 views on one of his beats in a matter of a month and eventually landed a placement with Pop Smoke (RIP)!
Still someone uncertain on how to maximize on all of this information?
- We provide mentoring services to anyone who is just starting out and is still trying to get a hang on all of this information. It can be very overwhelming at first but we have over a decade of experience doing this thing and have been able to build a successful business over these years and gained a tremendous amount of knowledge of how the industry works over this time. Consider booking a 1 on 1 session with CJ Beatz and get mentored the right way.