Beat Licensing Explained! Exclusive or Non-Exclusive?


Non-Exclusive Beat Licensing

Non-Exclusive licenses grant you specific user rights to the beat that you are about to record your lyrics and vocals on. It doesn’t mean that you own it (exclusively). The producer of the beat still retains copyright ownership of the beat. It means that the producer has the right to license the beat to whomever he wants to, until someone purchases an Exclusive license.


So, now you have recorded your vocals to one of our beats, you must have some kind of copyright on your song right?

Well… Yes and No!

What you have created is a derivative work. So yes, you have copyright over the lyrics that you recorded over the beat but no, you still don’t have copyright to the music used for your song.

Upon submitting your song to TuneCore or CDbaby they ask you who the copyright owners of the song are. In that case, you’ll have to tell them that you only have copyright over the lyrics and that you’ve created a ‘New work’ with copyright protected audio that has been non-exclusively licensed to you by the producer.

Publishing Rights

With a non-exclusive license, you get 0% publishing rights.

Tracked Out files

A Premium License is an extended version of our Basic License in our beat licensing section. This license also comes with tracked out files of the beat. Tracked out files are all the separate audio tracks of the entire beat delivered in the highest quality WAV format. We highly recommend using these files in order to get the highest quality recording of your song.

Exclusive Beat Licensing

When you own the Exclusive rights to a beat, you can use the master (your song) without limits on user rights (in comparison to beat licensing). Meaning that you can exploit your song to the fullest.

You may exploit the master without any limitations in way or territory of use. So if you think you can get your record on #1 in ten different countries and sell millions of copies, then you are allowed to do so.

Beat licensing is no longer an issue because you will own the exclusive rights to the song you created with our beat. That also means that after you have purchased the exclusive rights, we will no longer sell or license the beat on our website.


Producers differ in how they define ‘Exclusive.’ In our case, we always ask to execute a 50/50 split-sheet and we retain copyright ownership over the music we created. (The way it should)

We negotiate a fair split of publishing rights with the artist (or their representatives) and work together with the artists to maximise the song’s potential. As that would benefit us both.

Some of the terms in an exclusive license can be discussed or negotiated, as we always advise artists to contact the producer first before purchasing an exclusive license.

Thanks to Robin Wesley for this article.