Looking for Beats Online: Free Doesn’t Mean Licensed

You are an amateur wrapper. You have dreams of hitting the big time, convinced you have a message the entire world needs to hear. But to do what you do, you need beats. So you go online in hopes of finding free beats you can download. The good news is that they are out there by the truck load. The bad news is that free doesn’t mean licensed.

Digital technology has changed the music industry dramatically. Thanks to the internet and computers, it is incredibly easy to take someone else’s music, duplicate it, and distribute it to millions of people. And you can do it all in less than a day. If you are good, you can do it in under an hour. What does this have to do with free beats? Everything.

You can download free beats from a lengthy list of websites. Creators and producers know this. They also know you can use their beats in your own projects. They don’t necessarily want you to do so without paying for a license. They do not want you monetizing their work without giving them some of the money.

Why They Offer Free Beats

If creators and producers do not want musicians monetizing their beats without a license, why offer free beats to begin with? That is a legitimate question. There are several possible answers:

  • Click Bait– There are some creators and producers who utilize free beats as click bait. They give you something for free (but something you cannot freely monetize) in hopes of turning around and selling you something later. In other words, free beats get you in the door, so to speak.
  • Try Before You Buy– Beats are as unique as the people who create them. To an artist, not every beat is suitable for a given song. Creators and producers know this. So they sometimes offer free beats on a ‘try before you buy’ basis.
  • Marketing– Most free beats come with embedded audio tags that are very difficult to remove. These tags are inserted for marketing purposes. The hope is that other artists will hear the tags in your songs and be inspired to buy beats from that producer.

The thing to remember about free beats is that they generally are not usable for any commercial purposes. You need a license for that. Though there are exceptions to the rule, it is rare to find free beats with free licenses attached.

Licenses Cost Money

If you want beats that you can monetize or upload to sites like YouTube and Facebook, you need licensed beats. Guess what? Licenses cost money. If you want to get an idea of what is out there, check out Supreme Tracks. They offer hundreds of professionally produced beats on their website. They also offer three different types of licenses.

Their basic license allows you to upload videos and distribute up to five thousand copies, but only if your songs are not monetized. Their Premium license allows monetization for one year. Finally, they have an unlimited license that gives you exclusive, lifetime use of that beat. You can monetize it for life, too.

If you can find a free beat with a lifetime license, consider yourself extremely fortunate. They are as rare as honest politicians. Otherwise, plan to buy licenses for any beats you want to monetize. That’s the way the game works. Free beats are great for creating hobby music or perfecting your craft. But if you want to make any money with your music, you must pay the people who actually create the beats you intend to use.