Beat Store Platforms such as Airbit, BeatStars, Soundee, Soundgine, and TrakTrain have helped shape the online industry of selling beats into what it is today. The services they provide are the engines that run every (successful) beatmaker’s online business.
If you’re selling beats online, there’s no question about it– you can’t go without one!
This is a bold statement yet, an undeniable fact.
These companies have paved the way for independent producers in an industry that’s growing at an exponential rate. In the past six years, they have:
- Facilitated the growth of dozens of six-figure businesses.
- Introduced artists to producers which led to multi-platinum rewarded hit songs from all over the globe. (Including my very own Vietnamese hit song “Nguoi La Oi”).
- Created a profitable and innovative system for monetizing the creative talents of beatmakers and producers.
In this article, you will learn everything there is to know about these beat stores. What they can do for you and why you need to sign up with (at least) one of them.
New to selling beats online?
If you’re a new music producer that’s currently deciding which beat store to sign up with, we got you! When you’re done reading this article, you should have all the information you need to make a well-considered decision.
Since this guide is more focused on beat store platforms and how to utilize their features and services, we assume you already know the basics of “selling beats online”.
If you’re not quite sure what selling beats is all about, we recommend reading our “Definitive Guide To Selling Beats Online” first.
Alternatively, I’ve recorded a free masterclass that you can watch where you will learn everything about the industry of selling beats online.
Already signed up with a beat store?
Awesome! This guide might give you the tips you need to take full advantage of their features and services or convince you to join another one. (Yes… It’s not uncommon to join multiple platforms, I do too. More about this later)
Before we jump in…
I’ll be honest with you. This is not going to be a quick read. We’re going to dive deep into what these beat store platforms have to offer.
Our goal is to help you understand the power of these platforms and how to utilize their features in your daily activities as a beat-seller.
If you want to jump to a specific section, you can use the table of contents below.
Also, if you’re part of our Facebook Group or a student of our masterclass CCS, you already know that I am personally using Soundee as my main beat store and that I’ve consulted for their development team in the past.
I want to make sure to mention this up front: To avoid any bias towards any company, we’re not going to favor or rate them.
And I’m only mentioning this now to prevent you from questioning the authenticity of this guide (may you find this out later).
This guide is not an opinion-based article but rather an incredibly informative fact-based resource. We took research from independent third parties, input from top-selling producers on different platforms, and some of the companies mentioned in this guide have contributed as well.
The fact is, all these different companies are doing one hell of a job providing for the producer community and I’m grateful that I’ve been able to work with the majority of them in my career.
With all that being said, I promise this is going to be your best read of the day! Ready to jump in? 😃
- Common questions answered
- Core Feature 1: Beat Stores
- Core Feature 2: Marketplace Value
- Core Feature 3: Licenses & Customer Management
- Core Feature 4: Receiving Offers and Negotiation Panels
- Core Feature 5: Marketing & Sales
- Core Feature 6: Data & Analytics
- Core Feature 7: Integrations
- Other Valuable Features Worth Mentioning
- Final Word
Common questions answered
If selling beats online is new territory for you, allow me to give you a quick introduction to Beat Store Platforms. (Let’s call them BSP’s from here on out).
What is a beat store platform and why do you need one to sell beats?
In a nutshell, beat store platforms provide producers with 2 main services:
- Digital Beat Store
- Digital Marketplace
Digital Beat Store
Producers can upload their beats and sell them from an online beat store. These beat stores are used to sell, license, and manage beats. It can be embedded on a website (WordPress, SquareSpace, Wix, etc.) or a webpage provided by the BSP. Additionally, producers can access an admin panel where they can upload beats, analyze sales data, set prices, create licenses, discounts, and more.
Digital Beat Marketplace
Besides selling beats from their own digital stores, producers can also choose to publish their beats on a digital marketplace. This is an open-marketplace where artists can browse beats and license them directly from the website controlled by the Beat Store Platform.
Which Beat Store Platforms are there?
The most common beat store platforms to sign up with are (in alphabetical order):
Here are some quick notes about these companies and what they are most known for.
What is Airbit?
Airbit (originally “MyFlashStore”) was the first to offer services for producers to host beats in a digital store and automatically process payments through direct Order & Delivery. Some of the most well-known producers online are parts of their community, such as SuperStarO and Tone Jonez. Airbit has the second-largest user base of producers and has recently updated the platform with new features such as the “Infinity Store” (2019) and “Airbit Studio” (2020).
What is BeatStars?
BeatStars is currently leading the market and has the largest community of users—both producers and artists. They launched their “Pro Page” feature (website builder) in 2016 and have outgrown their competitors ever since. The platform is known for facilitating sales that led to Grammy Award-winning songs such as “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X and Young Kio (producer). Beatstars also recently released two mobile apps called the BeatStars App and BeatStars Studio App.
What is Soundee?
Soundee was launched in 2019 by Kevin Touw (Scarecrow Beats) who shaped a new platform based on the current needs of online producers. Although they provide similar features as Airbit and BeatStars, they aim to bridge the gap between making beats and marketing beats by putting the focus on efficiency, marketing integrations, and modern Ecommerce solutions. Notably, top-selling producers such as Rujay Music and Epik Beats have recently switched to Soundee.
What is Soundgine?
Soundgine has over 5 years of experience in the industry and mostly focuses on the Embed Player and Digital Store. They have one of the most loyal user bases with which they actively engage in their closed community forum. In 2020, they launched their new website and introduced a new and improved digital marketplace.
What is TrakTrain?
TrakTrain was founded in 2013 and is known for being an “invitation-only” platform, which is their attempt to create a curated high-quality marketplace of beats. Besides selling beats, they were also one of the first to implement features to sell other products such as merchandise, drumkits, and physical goods. They’ve recently disclosed that they are working on a “Landing Page” feature to give producers the option to create customizable web pages to direct customers to.
Although the companies above offer similar features, they all take a different approach to how they operate.
Do you really need to sign up with a Beat Store Platform?
Yes, without a doubt. I know a lot of (starting) producers are looking for ways to avoid the monthly expense(s) but let’s be real; Every business requires some sort of investment. Signing up with a Beat Store Platform is such a requirement.
You could choose to build a store of your own or use alternative services other than the companies listed above. Trust me, it’ll result in nothing more than headaches and roadblocks.
Let me take you back to 2013 when beat store platforms were just getting started. I was selling beats on SoundClick and I had to manually send out every beat I sold. I had days where I sold 40+ beats.
Legendary online producers like SuperstarO or Epik Beats sold even more back then!
I spent hours a day creating license agreements, assembling beat packs, and sending out files to my customers. It was daunting work and I knew it could be done more efficiently.
When Airbit (MyFlashStore at the time) launched, they literally saved me hours of work a day.
Even today, it’s no secret that the top-selling producers spend the majority of their time marketing and managing their businesses.
This is the point where ‘music’ meets ‘marketing’ and ‘management’. And the only way to build and scale your beat selling empire is to find the right balance between the three. (👈🏼 That’s a GEM right there! 💎)
My point is, Beat Store Platforms will provide you with the tools that you need to market and manage your beat catalog—headache free.
How much does it cost to sign up with a Beat Store Platform?
Beat Store Platforms offer different subscription plans between $8/ and $20/month. Alternatively, you can sign up for a free plan but the options and features are limited.
We recommend signing up with the highest tier plan regardless of which platform you choose to sign up with. This way you can take full advantage of the features that they have to offer. Sooner or later, you’re going to need those features anyway.
Something worth mentioning is that beat store platforms are extremely cheap compared to similar services in other eCommerce niches.
For example, Shopify pricing starts at $29/mo and goes up to several hundred dollars a month.
If you compare that to an $8-20 subscription service, you could cover the cost of the beat store platform by selling one beat a month (or twelve beats a year).
Are there any commission fees?
If you’re not on the highest tier plan, you are forced to pay a commission fee on the sales you generate. This applies to all BSP’s, except for Soundee and Soundgine. They do not take any commission fee regardless of which paid plan you’re on.
Airbit, however, is the only platform that applies commission fees to all sales generated from their Marketplace—regardless of which plan you’re signed up to. (note: this doesn’t apply to embed store sales, which will be explained in more depth, further on in this guide.
Below are the current prices for each platform, including the commission fees.
|Low tier||$9.99 / 25%||$9.99 / 30%||$9.99 / 0%||$7.99 / 0%||$9 / 20%|
|High Tier||$19.99 / 20%||$19.99 / 0%||$19.99 / 0%||%19.99 / 0%||$19 / 0%|
What is the best Beat Store Platform to sign up for in 2021?
Right now, the majority of producers use either Airbit or BeatStars. Soundee is gaining popularity, mainly because they’re the new kid on the block that introduced some cool new features.
But Airbit users will say it’s Airbit and BeatStars users will say it’s BeatStars. Honestly, it’s almost like comparing macOS vs Windows… (not looking to start a discussion here! 🤐)
So what is the best BSP to sign up for? Sorry, I hate to disappoint, but there’s truly no right answer to this question.
I’ve been selling beats since 2013 and have been making a living off of it since 2015. In all those years, I’ve signed up with Airbit (MyFlashStore in 2014), then switched to BeatStars (2016). Then I signed up with Airbit again (2017). In 2018, I signed up for both BeatStars and Airbit and I also had a third account at Soundee. In 2019, I switched to Soundee as my main BSP.
Today, I’m still signed up with all three!
- Soundee is my main BSP ($19.99)
- BeatStars is my backup beat store ($19.99)
- Airbit (just a free plan, since 2019)
Unfortunately, I have never used Soundgine or TrakTrain because, during my biggest growth-period, they were not offering anything BeatStars or Airbit were already providing, and I was already familiar with BeatStars’ and Airbit’s platforms.
But you might wonder why I’ve been switching so many times over the years? Well, here’s why…
As my business was growing and I was generating more and more sales, specific features that some of these platforms offered (or had just introduced) became extremely important for me to manage and scale my business.
Remember what I said earlier; “when music meets marketing & management, the growth of your empire begins”?
Well, I did what I had to do to
- Run my business efficiently
- Create (and sustain) growth
- Get exposure on different platforms.
The latter is the reason why I’m still signed up with all three!
If you want to know my honest answer to the question “which platform you should sign up with as a new producer” – I would say:
- “Either sign up with the one you find most comfortable in everyday use”
- “Or sign up with as many as you can manage!”
They all have digital marketplaces that generate traffic. (Artists that are looking to buy beats)
Another thing to remember is that your success in this industry will not be determined by the BSP you choose to sign up for.
To support this statement: I can say with 100% certainty and confirmed by numerous sources that there are producers making 6-figures a year on:
- Airbit (ToneJonez)
- BeatStars (Mantra)
- Soundee (Rujay and even myself)
Note: Unfortunately, information about top-selling producers on Soundgine or TrakTrain was not available or disclosed at the time of writing this guide.
My point is to show you that it’s possible to build a high-earning beat selling business regardless of which platform you sign up with.
This ties in with the next topic.
A common misconception about signing up with a Beat Store Platform
Many starting producers mistakenly believe that all they need to do to sell beats is sign up with a BSP and expect a flood of sales because their beats are 🔥.
Jeez, if it would only be that easy! 😅 But no—unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that.
Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool and BeatStars takes full advantage of it. If you’ve been following them on social media, you must have seen other producers giving credit to BeatStars for providing the platform and services that helped them get a sale.
These posts are regularly reposted by BeatStars as inspirational and motivational posts. Yet, if you scroll the comments, a lot of producers mention the fact that they’ve been on the platform for a long time and have yet to make consistent sales—if any at all.
A common misconception that producers have is to think that platforms like Airbit, BeatStars, Soundee, etc. exist to make sure the producers are generating sales.
This is false! Their core features and services exist to give producers the tools to process these sales. Not generate sales for them!
Scroll back up and read closely what people say.
They thank them for the platform and a smooth sales process. You don’t see comments like: “Thanks for making sure you got this artist to buy one of my beats” – It’s NOT how selling beats online works and it’s not the BSP’s job to make sure you’re getting sales.
That said, I have to credit BeatStars’ marketing team for being straight with people. I’ve seen them reply to these comments many times stressing the importance of self-promotion, self-marketing on third-party platforms, and driving traffic to their BeatStars pages.
Really, that is what it’s all about! Beat Store Platforms offer the tools you need, to manage your beat catalog, process the sales, and sell beats. At the end of the day, it’s up to YOU to market these beats and drive traffic to your beat store.
Signing up with a beat hosting platform is a must—but there’s a whole world outside of each platform where artists are looking for beats.
That’s where you should focus your marketing and sales efforts.
Core Feature 1: Beat Stores
One of the main features beat store platforms provide is—well, you guessed it—a beat store. A beat store is a Music Player and Shopping Cart in one. And it allows customers to listen to your beats and directly purchase them.
After a customer makes a purchase, they’ll be redirected to a download area where they can instantly download their purchased beat(s) along with the appropriate license agreements. They’ll also receive an email with details about their order.
This smooth process of Order & Delivery is all facilitated by the back-end system of your beat store platform.
To make the beat store align with your brand, you can do things like
- Customize the colors
- Create playlists
- Rearrange the tracklist or sort by genre
- Receive offers (on exclusive rights)
- Allow social shares for your beats
- Allow free downloads in return for a social follow or email signup
- And more…
Core Features Overview: Beat Stores
Something worth considering is which features each Beat Store Platform provides with their Beat Store. Here’s an overview.
|Search by BPM||YES||YES||YES||YES||NO|
|Search by Mood||YES||YES||YES||YES||NO|
|Search by Genre||YES||YES||YES||YES||NO|
|Search by Instrument||NO||NO||NO||YES||NO|
|Search by Playlist||NO||NO||NO||NO||NO|
|Share on Socials||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Share by Email||YES||YES||YES||YES||NO|
|Link YouTube Video||YES||YES||YES||YES||NO|
|Free Download Email Exchange||YES||YES||YES||NO||YES|
|Free Download Social follow Exchange||YES||YES||YES||NO||YES|
Three ways of putting the Beat Store to use
Essentially, there are three different ways to use these beat stores. I’ll break down each option below this overview.
|Website / page Builder||YES||YES||SOON**||NO||NO|
* TrakTrain has recently shared plans for creating Embed Stores later in 2021
** Soundee announced the release of a website builder in Q2-’21
Let me put these options into practical examples.
Full-Screen Players, the standard solution
You can share the link to this player anywhere you want or send it directly to artists so they can listen and buy your beats.
The downside of this is that there isn’t much room for additional information or giving a more branded feeling to the page the player is on. The following embed store feature provides a much better solution for this.
Embed Stores, arguably the best solution
This same (full-screen) player can also be embedded on a WordPress website (self-hosted), SquareSpace, Wix (managed hosting) to name a few. This option is the most valuable for producers. They can take advantage of all the features the beat store provides, yet still, be in control of the website that the beat store is hosted on.
For example, I use an embedded version of my Soundee player and place it on my self-hosted WordPress website. In time, my website allowed me to gain authority on Google, and rank for many keywords related to buying beats online. This drives a lot of traffic (artists) to my website—on which the player is embedded.
Website/Page Builders, taking the easy route
Those who have no web development skills or no desire to build authority on Google can take this route. This is incredibly popular among producers and better known as features called:
- “Infinity Stores” (Airbit)
- “Pro Pages” (BeatStars)
- “Sales Pages” (Soundee)
- “VUE” (Soundgine)
Note: This feature is currently not available on TrakTrain.
Essentially, these BSP’s provide their users with a website/page builder—allowing them to customize an entire web page.
Besides the Beat Store itself, you can add sections like
- Contact Forms
- Licensing Options & Pricing
- Extra Services (like mixing, or custom beats)
- And more…
On top of that, (on some platforms) you can even sell merchandise, memberships/subscriptions, and sound kits.
It is straightforward to install, and you can have a flashy looking website set up in minutes.
However, the downside of this is that these sites and pages are controlled-by and hosted on Airbit, BeatStars, Soundee, or Soundgine. Even though they allow you to create a custom domain, this webpage is not actually your website.
A quick lesson on SEO & Marketing
To generate traffic to your beat store, you need to become visible in search engines.
The best way to become visible in Google searches is to create and publish great written content on your website. (More goes into this but let’s keep it simple).
For example, I attract a lot of artists to my website because I’ve written an in-depth guide to beat licensing. I needed a place to put my content, so I created a blog—something you currently can’t do with Website Builders offered by BSP’s.
If you want to learn more about having your own website, I suggest reading “The Ultimate Guide to Making a Beat Selling Website”
The bottom line is, the options are sufficient for some people, yet very much limited for others.
Either way, keep this in mind:
If your entire business is built on any of these platforms, you have no control. If for whatever reason one of these platforms shuts down, your business is gone too and you have no place to direct your customers to.
Even if you decide to go down this route–in time–I highly recommend creating a website of your own. Even if it’s just to build domain authority.
Comparing the Website Builders of each platform
We took some (fun) time to mess around with the page builders on these platforms! 😃
In doing so, we immediately noticed what they value the most, which was cool to experience from an objective viewpoint.
Airbit’s “Infinity Store”
Airbit values in-depth customization and they allow you to go really far on customizing the colors of Titles, Sub-text, Buttons, etc. At the same time, you have a lot of options to move sections around and create custom text to showcase your brand as a producer. A neat little extra is that you can Export (or Import) an entire design and share it with others.
BeatStars’ “Pro Page”
BeatStars clearly values aesthetic features & frictionless workflows. They have a bunch of high-quality, ready-to-use templates and allow you to add unique features on your Pro Page like selling ‘memberships’ or ‘merchandise’. On top of that, they also recently added a ManyChat integration that opens up a chatbox on their Pro Page so visitors can start chatting 1-on-1 with producers.
Soundee’s “Sales Pages” (BETA)
Although we were only able to test an unreleased beta version, we noticed that they took the best of both worlds and added some extra sauce to it. Soundee values efficiency & marketing. The builder was fast and easy to use with a lot of options for customizing the design. The features are clearly designed to help producers convert more visitors into paying customers, grow email lists, trigger sales funnels, and promote sales campaigns.
With Soundgine you can create a “VUE page”. From what we’ve experienced, it’s still a work in progress. Their version is not a visual page builder and you have to design using the dashboard system. Yet, the instructions and customizable parts are straightforward and easy to set up. It has all the necessary features, including adding different sections, a custom domain, and running a Facebook Pixel. However, customization is limited in terms of style.
An experiment: A/B-Testing “BeatStars vs. Soundee Stores” led to surprising discoveries!
Before we continue and break down the Beat Stores further. Let’s jump back to the Embed Stores for a second. Last year, we ran an experiment on Rujay’s beat selling site which led to some surprising discoveries.
FYI: Rujay is a top-selling producer in the industry with a YouTube channel that went from 0 to 900k+ subscribers in less than three years.
Before we get to what we discovered, please don’t get it twisted! Even though the title of this section says “BeatStars vs. Soundee” — It might as well have been “BeatStars vs. Airbit” or “Soundee vs. Soundgine”.
It’s what we unexpectedly discovered that matters the most to you and not the companies we used for the experiment.
That said, let me tell you what we did….
For 6 months, we ran an A/B test on Rujay’s website to compare the BeatStars Embed Player vs. Soundee Embed Player.
The A/B test was as follows. Every other person that visited his website saw a different player, so:
- Person 1 – BeatStars
- Person 2 – Soundee
- Person 3 – BeatStars
- Person 4 – Soundee
And so on…
We picked Soundee because it’s the youngest and smallest platform out there. We took BeatStars as the contestant because they have the largest community of users. Before this experiment, Rujay was only using BeatStars.
During the time of the experiment, we stopped any marketing activities that could influence the results and we didn’t change anything to our workflow in terms of promoting beats on YouTube, Social Media, etc.
We used Youtube and Social Media to drive traffic to Rujay’s self-hosted (WordPress) website.
The Goals of the experiment
- Track Overall performance
Find out which beat store would perform best in terms of the number of sales and more importantly: Learn if it would really matter which store we use.
- Track General Sales
Find out how much it would affect the revenue of the business in general. Regardless of which store we’re using, it’s the total amount of sales that mattered.
- Investigate Marketplace Value
Last but certainly not least, we also wanted to determine the marketplace value of beat store platforms (a topic further discussed in the next section). Even though these orders didn’t go through the embed store, we still kept track of these metrics.
After 6 months of testing and processing over 1200 unique orders, we got the following results:
As you can see, the Soundee player performed better in terms of sales. Which — for an A/B test like this — came as a surprise to us. So, we dived deeper into the data and discovered this:
- We learned that we had more people dropping off at the checkout page for the BeatStars player. And more people proceeded to complete their order on Soundee.
- We also noticed that the BeatStars player took 5.9 seconds to load and Soundee only 1.9.
This confirms that “User Experience” and “Speed” play an important role in converting customers (as it does with any eCommerce business, see this case-study for example).
We continued to crunch the data for each store. We ran 3 tests and took the average load time.
General Sales (in $)
Remember, we started this experiment in July. We noticed a slight increase in sales as soon as we added the Soundee Player as the alternative. Still, overall very consistent, despite using two different beat stores.
These stats confirm that it doesn’t really matter which store we use as long as it functions properly.
In the pie chart, we can clearly see the value of the BeatStars marketplace. It accounts for 20% of the orders in that 6-month period. Whereas Soundee’s marketplace only brought in 5%.
It was no secret to us that they would outperform Soundee, considering BeatStars has grown to a large community of users and Soundee is in its early stages.
What’s important to study from these results is just how much the marketplace accounts for in the total amount of sales.
This would help us answer the questions:
- ”What if BeatStars, Soundee, or any platform we’re using would shut down?”
- “How much is our business relying on them?”
- “How much would that affect our business?”
Ultimately, we were glad it was ‘only’ 25% (in total) that was generated by marketplaces.
- When you’re selling beats at scale, the benefit of a properly functioning and fast player is that a higher percentage of customers proceeds to complete the checkout and fewer people abandon the cart before completing the sale.
- The majority of sales (generated by the Site Players) comes from self-generated traffic. Meaning visitors landed from either Google, YouTube, or Social Media. We believe we would have gotten similar results if we ran an A/B test between Airbit vs. BeatStars or Soundee vs. TrakTrain.
- Marketplace sales cover about 25% which is substantial but nothing compared to the 75% of sales we generated on our own. This confirms that Beat Store Platforms should not be relied on as the sole platform for generating sales.
Core Feature 2: Marketplace Value
All beat store platforms have their own digital marketplaces where artists can browse beats that are publicly available on the platform and license them directly from the marketplace.
To give you a practical example: In this scenario, an artist can browse the marketplace and buy beats from 4 different producers in a single purchase.
The true value of these marketplaces is questionable, though. From our research and personal experience, the majority of beat sales originate at the first touch-point, which is often YouTube, SoundCloud, Google, Facebook, or Instagram.
Both the A/B test for Rujay (BeatStars) and what I’ve experienced with my own beat selling business (which runs on Soundee) support this.
To back up this claim further, and avoid biased opinions or conclusions drawn without having all the data, we reached out to several other top-selling producers.
BeatsbySV, who is a top-selling producer on Airbit, confirms that approx. 10% of his total monthly sales come from the Airbit Marketplace.
Yonas-K Beatz, who is a top-selling producer on Soundgine, confirms that about 5% of his monthly sales come from the Soundgine Marketplace.
But there’s a more obvious reason why Marketplace sales are generally low.
The Purchase Behavior of Beat Buyers
This has less to do with the marketplace itself and more to do with the purchase behavior of beat buyers. Something I’ve been studying for years and one of the first things we teach our students in our Constant Conversion Strategy Masterclass.
To execute an effective marketing strategy, you have to first get to know your target audience and understand their behavior.
I’ve recently conducted a 16-month experiment surveying close to 3,500 customers.
The only goal was to find out where they prefer to look for new beats. Here are the results:
This data confirms that most people prefer YouTube, SoundCloud, and Google to look for beats. This means the customer journey currently doesn’t start by searching beats on these marketplaces.
I have a feeling that these marketplaces are starting to become more valuable, especially since some platforms are launching mobile apps which makes it easier to browse beats on-the-go.
However, this is all speculation based on my own business recently generating marketplace sales more often. It’s just a slight increase in numbers but it could potentially be the beginning of a new trend.
How to get the most out of Marketplaces
If you want to take “Marketplace Value” into consideration when choosing a beat store, you’d need to understand how the marketplaces are organized and how they operate.
The features of these marketplaces are as follows. (Note: Not all these features are available on every platform.)
- Chart System
Top 100 charts that rank the current most popular beats on the platform. Every BSP has its own algorithm to define the charts and it works on a combination of “Plays”, “Sales”, “Downloads” or “Social Feed Shares/Likes”.
- Top Producer Chart
Top charts that rank the most successful producers on the platform based on sales activity.
- Filter Beats by Category (Genre or Mood)
The function of browsing beats based on a specific genre or mood
- Free Search functionality
The function of being able to find beats based on a custom search query. (E.g. ‘Drake Type Beats’)
- Trending Searches
Being able to see which popular keywords artists have been searching for. They can be used for platform SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
- Public Playlists
Public playlists are curated by the beat hosting platform community managers. They compile playlists of Staff Picks, or the best “[Artist] Type Beats” on the platform.
- Social Feed
The ability to follow users and see a timeline of their uploaded beats and perform social actions on it. (Follow, Like, Comment, Share) – Similar to SoundCloud or Facebook Posts.
|Chart System (top beats)||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Filter Genre, Moods, etc.||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Public Playlists||Only “Staff Picks”||YES||Only “Staff Picks”||NO||NO|
It’s up to you which Marketplace features you value the most but to give you a headstart, ask yourself:
- If you were an artist looking for beats—Which platform would have the best search engine and marketplace to find the beat you’re looking for?
Other things to consider as a producer are:
- Would you rather join a platform that drives a lot of traffic (artists) but at the same time is very competitive due to the larger user-base of producers? – (BeatStars, Airbit, TrakTrain)
- Or would you rather join a platform with fewer users (producers) that generates less (artist) traffic but can guarantee that you’re going to rank higher up the charts and get more overall platform exposure? (Soundee, Soundgine)
Core Feature 3: Licenses & Customer Management
Hopefully, you’ve already got a clearer picture of what these beat store platforms have to offer.
However, we’ve only touched the surface…
What we’re going to cover in the next sections of this guide will go beyond the typical “upload & sell beats” features that these companies advertise.
We’ve signed up with every single platform to go through—what we believe — are the most valuable and important features Beat Store Platforms should provide to online producers.
Without jumping to conclusions ourselves, we’ll give you all the information you’ll need to decide on your own.
This next section is about License Agreements and Customer Management.
Customizing License Agreements
There is a huge misconception about beatselling that most people don’t realize: the products that we are selling in this industry are not the beats or the audio files. This entire industry revolves around license agreements. These contracts are the real products that we’re selling.
A license agreement dictates what usage rights the artist has with the beat after they purchase it. This can include, but is not limited to:
- How many streams on a music platform a song with your beat is allowed to generate. (e.g. 100,000 streams on Spotify)
- Where and what types of performances can be held. (e.g. profit or non-profit)
- How the producer is credited on any song released with their licensed beat. (e.g. Prod. by Robin Wesley)
- Additional royalties are owed to the producer when the song is released.
Most of the beat store providers offer the ability to fully customize their beat licensing templates and you can easily make changes without having to rewrite entire sections.
TrakTrain however only allows changes to certain parts of their pre-written templates. The number of licenses you can sell or edit is also set to only 4 different (pre-titled) licenses.
Managing Active Licenses
Have you ever wondered how to keep track of your customers? Or how to check if buyers uphold the terms and rights provided to them in a license?
This is one of the most difficult things to do and–in a ‘perfect world’– requires an overview of Active Licenses, including the customer’s data and End-Date of the license.
At this point, TrakTrain and Soundgine do not offer anything to view and save customer license data. It either requires manually keeping track of your customers and active licenses in a separate sheet or solely relying on the data being stored inside your BSP’s account.
Airbit and BeatStars collect this data under the section of “Sales” or “Transactions”. They allow you to download CSV files with the data but this file only includes the name and email address of a customer which is obviously not sufficient.
At this point, Soundee is the only company allowing you to keep track of this. Still not perfect, yet they do give you a separate section in their dashboard with the Customer Data, Expiration Dates of licenses, and a one-click-action to export the customer data to a CSV file.
Their files include purchase information like name, email, source, date, beat names, and type of license.
On top of that, they also provide different webhooks to automatically send all (or some) of that custom data to any third-party applications such as a Google Sheet — This happens instantly when you make a sale. (more about this later)
A very profitable strategy that I use in my after-sales campaigns is upselling customers to spend more than their initial order value. Preferably, offering them a license upgrade directly after the first transaction.
This strategy has generated thousands of dollars in extra revenue over the years. The only downside is that none of the platforms (except Soundee) offer a solution for customers to upgrade their current license through the platform.
Previously — When a customer wanted to upgrade their license, I had to manually send a PayPal invoice, create a new license agreement, and send the files.
Soundee is currently the only platform that allows customers to directly upgrade their licenses using their original order receipt.
Soundee took the first step in providing a solution for this and hopefully, this will inspire the other companies to do the same.
Core Feature 4: Receiving Offers and Negotiation Panels
Another cool feature that BSP’s provide is receiving offers on beats. This feature allows potential customers to make an offer on a non-exclusive or exclusive license in case they do not have the funds to cover the standard license price.
It’s also very common not to sell exclusive rights directly from the store but only allow people to make an offer from which negotiations can take place to close a deal.
During the negotiation process, you can counter-offer, decline offers, or send direct messages to the person you’re negotiating with.
This entire process of receiving the offer > negotiating the offer > and closing the deal (the payment transaction) runs entirely through the beat hosting platform dashboard. Once payment is completed, the licenses are automatically generated and sent to the artist.
This allows producers to avoid doing any manual labor of sending PayPal invoices, setting up contracts themselves, and getting them (electronically) signed by customers.
Our research showed that this is currently only functioning properly on Airbit and Soundee.
BeatStars has a good system too but it lacks the feature of being able to send text messages along with the counteroffers. Negotiating is a two-way communication process and requires more than just sending numbers back and forth.
Soundgine only allows receiving offers. They do not have a negotiation panel where you can counter-offer, communicate, and process the final deal/payment.
TrakTrain doesn’t offer any of these features.
Below, you’ll find a complete overview of the features regarding Licenses & Customer Management
|Max. Number of Licenses||5||Unlimited||Unlimited||5|
|Send text-messages during negotiations||YES||NO||YES||NO||NO|
Core Feature 5: Marketing & Sales
Every high-level marketing strategy is built on low-level sales tactics. Easy-to-implement tactics that work together to reach the ultimate goal.
In other words, if your goal is to reach 10,000 artists and turn 100 artists into customers, you’ll need certain sales tools to persuade them into buying your beats.
Simple examples of these tools are:
- Discounts (Coupons with 50% OFF)
- Bulk Deals (Buy 2 get 2 FREE or 5 Beats for $50)
All these tools are becoming more important for producers trying to break into a competitive market.
In this section, we’re going to dive into the most important marketing & sales tools BSP’s have to offer.
Discounts & Coupons
I use coupons almost every day. I use them to give special discounts to loyal customers, people I’ve been negotiating with, or even new people that landed on my beat store for the first time.
On occasion, I use coupons when running sales campaigns. Like, during Christmas Holidays or Black Friday. For example, giving people a 50% discount on all orders during a certain period of time.
While creating these coupons, you can decide:
- The discount (e.g. 30% discount)
- The license type they apply (or do not apply) to
- Set a Usage Limit
- Set an Expiration date
To turn this into a real-life example; now and then, I run 48-hour Flash Sales. The goal of these Flash Sales is to generate as many orders within a short period of time.
This is how it plays out.
- I tell people they can get 50% OFF (“The Discount”) on all Premium Licenses (“The License Type”)
- To create urgency, I also tell people there are only 50 slots available (“The Usage Limits”).
- And to create even more urgency and persuade people to take action fast, I tell them that the sale ends in 48 hours (“The Expiration Date”)
This strategy has often generated thousands of extra dollars in revenue. Some of my most successful campaigns generated over $10,000 in extra sales. Hence, the importance of this feature.
Every Beat Store Platform offers similar ways to create coupons.
The only exception is TrakTrain. They do not have features for creating Coupons at all but they have mentioned it as a feature that will be added in the future.
We’ve also learned that Soundee is not able to change the “License Type” a coupon applies to. They’ve confirmed this will be updated in the second quarter of 2021, along with the option to create custom coupons that only apply to other products like Sound Kits, Beat Packs, or License Upgrades.
Bulk Deals & Bulk Sales
Before we jump to this, I want to make sure you understand the difference between the two types of Bulk Deals.
- Selling 2 beats and giving 2 extra beats for free. (Buy 2 Get 2 FREE).
- Selling 5 beats for a set price (5 Beats with a Basic license for $80)
When these deals are active, the beat store will automatically generate the discounted price as soon as someone adds 4 beats (buy 2 + 2 free) or ads 5 beats (buy 5 for $80).
From a marketing perspective, both types of bulk deals can be used to reach different—yet profitable business goals.
Goal 1: Increasing the Average Order Value (AOV)
If your goal is to increase the Average Order Value (getting people to spend more money in a single transaction) — Bulk deals can be the perfect tool to achieve that.
Think about it…
- If you can persuade someone to buy 2 beats instead of 1, the order value doubles.
- Also, if a single beat costs $50 and you’re willing to sell 5 of those for $80, the order value increases by +$30.
Goal 2: Increasing the Number of Orders and Items
If your goal is to sell as many beats as possible and you’re willing to sacrifice AOV to focus on the number of sales, you can run deals like Buy 1 Get 3 FREE or Buy 5 Beats for $30 (less than a single beat).
- This sales tactic works great for Holiday sales campaigns and offering “no-brainer deals” that don’t require a large investment from buyers. Offering people deals they don’t have to think twice about.
- Also, the total revenue can be much less than Goal 1 but if you can build a solid customer base from it, you can sell them more beats in the future.
It’s essential that your Beat Store Platform provides these features.
Sadly, not everyone does…
- Airbit & TrakTrain
Airbit and TrakTrain only allow you to create deals such as 5 beats for $80. They don’t allow you to create Buy 2 Get 2 FREE deals.
BeatStars takes the opposite approach and only allows you to create deals like Buy 2 Get 2 FREE. They don’t allow you to create bulk sales like 5 beats for $80.
- Soundee & Soundgine
In regards to this topic, Soundee and Soundgine are the only platforms that provide both options. (Good job, guys! 👏🏽)
Maybe I drifted off on this subject a bit but I naturally get hyped when I speak about marketing and sales tactics. 😅
Ultimately, our goal with this guide is to make an informed comparison while giving you ideas to use the core features of these platforms to your advantage. In the next section, this will become even clearer.
Here’s the summary of Marketing & Sales features.
|Buy x get x free||NO||YES||YES||YES||NO|
|Buy x beats for set price||YES||NO||YES||YES||YES|
|Buy x get x free||NO||YES||YES||YES||NO|
|Buy x beats for set price||YES||NO||YES||YES||YES|
Core Feature 6: Data & Analytics
Despite what you have heard — The industry of selling beats online is not one where you can just hustle your way through with hard work and high-quality beats. At least, not anymore…
Being successful in this industry requires taking a data-driven approach and playing the numbers game. Statistics are extremely important for making marketing decisions that can help sustain the growth of your business.
It’s notable that analytics features are highly underrated by both producers and beat store platforms. Some platforms still lack basic key-metrics that are standard in other eCommerce solutions, while many producers have yet to acknowledge deeper “Analytics” as a major part of their business. (except for the sales reports, obviously 🤑)
In this section, I want to break down the essential metrics for running an online beat store, and further on, which platforms show these metrics in their Analytics Reports.
We’re going to do that by segmenting it into two types of data.
- Behavioral Data
- Sales Data
Behavioral Data Analytics
Behavioral data is based on a single user’s engagement with your beat store or website. This data can tell you a lot about where to focus your marketing efforts or which direction to go with your music.
Example of behavioral data events are:
- Visits/Unique Listeners
- Or actions that are taken within a beat store or website (free downloads, shares, like)
These events make up for an upper layer of data which can then be broken down into deeper data analytics:
- Referrer data / Source (How do visitors land on your beat store. YouTube, Google, Social Media?)
- Geometric information (Which countries visitors come from)
- Top visitors/listeners
- Top beats that get played, sold, or downloaded the most
This data can tell you a lot about your marketing efforts and the quality of your beats. Here are some examples:
- If you see an increase of visitors coming from sites like Google or YouTube, you might want to double-down your efforts on these platforms.
- If you see an increase in visitors from certain countries in Europe, you can run targeted ads specifically for those countries.
- If you see a certain beat performing really well (plays and downloads), you might want to create more in that same style of music or place it higher up your beat store playlist
Especially for starting producers that have yet to create (a sustainable) income from selling beats, behavioral data analytics can be useful to avoid time-wasting marketing efforts.
Sales Data Analytics
Sales Data is based on, well– ”Sales”. 🤓 How many beats you sell, how many orders you generate, how many visitors/listeners end up buying from your beat store.
In general, most producers use it to determine the success of a previous period. This is a short term benefit.
Yet, something that is way more valuable is that it allows you to somewhat predict the future and determine your earning potential over a longer period of time. This is a long term benefit that can be used when given the proper metrics to forecast.
These are the essential sales metrics to view previous, and forecast future revenue:
- Number of beats sold a day/month/year
- Total sales (in $) a day/month/year
- Number of orders a day/month/year
Again, these metrics contain the upper-layer of data. The underlying data analytics tells you more about:
- Conversion Rate: What % of visitors ends up buying beats
- Profit per beat
- Average Profit a day
- Average Number of Orders a day
- Average Profit Per Order (Average Order Value)
Sales Data Analytics can tell you a lot about your sales tactics and strategies. On top of that, it can help you predict future revenue. Here are some examples.
- If you’re currently generating 2 orders a day but you’re making less than $30 per order, your Average Order Value is too low. You can increase this by adding a Buy 2 Get 1 FREE deal to your site to persuade some people to buy 2 beats instead of 1, therefore doubling those order amounts.
- If you’re currently selling 5 beats a month based on 1,000 unique visitors and want to grow to sell 1 beat a day (30 a month), you need to focus on driving 6x your current traffic.
- If you’re generating 5,000 unique listeners but you’re only generating 10 orders a month, your conversion rate is at 0.1% which means either your offers and prices aren’t good enough, or the beats aren’t… 🤐
Other data points I check daily
Without diving too deep into this subject (because I can talk about this all day), here are two other metrics I use daily and which are extremely important.
Most Popular Licenses
It’s a fact that the majority of people will always go for the cheapest license but it’s my goal to have a good percentage of people buy more expensive ones. This will help increase my average order value.
I keep track of these metrics and use the data to make changes to my prices, bulk deals, or even the way I present the licenses. The latter currently being the most effective method. Here’s an info section I recently added to my website. Today, more than half of the people that buy my beats spend more than $95 per order.
Hint: Pay close attention to how I wrote the different sections and imagine you’re an aspiring artist reading this. Which one would you find the most valuable/worth your money? 😏
New Customers VS Returning Customers
Another important metric is the number of New Customers VS Returning Customers. My goal is to have at least 30% of new customers return eventually to buy more beats or spend money on other services I offer. Here are my current stats.
To elaborate on this, I apply a lot of email marketing strategies (taught in my masterclass) to build valuable relationships with customers. This helps increase Customer Lifetime Value and ensures long term revenue. If you’re not seeing a lot of returning customers, it means you should spend more time and effort engaging with your current customers. Metrics like these can point you in the right direction.
Custom Date Ranges
Although this is not something I check daily, I did want to mention this because surprisingly, many beat store platforms don’t allow you to refer back to data older than a year ago. Or have you set a custom date range to track the statistics from a specific period.
As a business, you’d like to refer to previous dates to see how well your business was performing then. Or see which actions increased sales during a certain period of time. Or maybe even cross-reference two periods of time.
This data is invaluable to any startup.
If you’re like most producers, then the majority of the metrics mentioned above are probably new to you.
I get it! When you’re focusing on making your first sales or improving your production skills, you don’t spend much time on data & analytics.
But make no mistake, Metrics DO matter! Sooner or later, you’re going to need these to make groundbreaking decisions in your marketing game.
That said, let’s wrap it up and show you which Beat Store Platforms provide which data.
|Total Beats Sold||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Total Sales in $||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Total Unique Order/Transactions||YES||NO||YES||NO||NO|
|Total Profit Per Beat||YES||YES||YES||NO||NO|
|Avg. Profit Per Order||NO||NO||YES||NO||NO|
|Avg. Profit Per Day||NO||NO||YES||NO||NO|
|Popular License Data||YES||NO||NO||NO||NO|
|New vs. Returning customers||NO||NO||NO||NO||NO|
|Custom Date Range||NO||YES||YES||YES||NO|
Core Feature 7: Integrations
By now, you’ve learned that your beat store is just one piece of the puzzle. The majority of work in terms of marketing and promotion takes place on platforms other than your beat hosting platform.
Some producers get overwhelmed when dealing with stuff like social media, YouTube, email marketing, analyzing data, and anticipating it. I get it, it’s a lot.
Luckily, workflows can be enhanced and simplified with the power of integrations. When used the right way, they can save you hours and generate more revenue too.
Wait… What is “an Integration”? 🤔
Right, first things first. Beat stores integrate with different third-party applications to communicate data from your beat store to those apps.
These connections between your beat store and these apps are what we call Integrations.
Examples of applications that BSP’s integrate with:
- Email marketing software
- Social media & Spotify integrations
- Facebook Pixels & Google Analytics
Without going too deep into this subject, I’ll break down the different types of integrations and give you some ideas on what you can use them for.
Webhook Integration (Soundee only)
Let’s start with the best one; Webhooks. Unfortunately, this is currently only available on Soundee but I hope other platforms will offer this integration soon too.
What does it do?
This webhook integration on Soundee allows you to fetch any data from customers, transactions, orders, free downloads, and more. Soundee makes all this data available and allows you to send it to whatever application you want.
How do you use it?
There’s somewhat of a technical aspect to it but nothing major. It requires an additional service called Zapier. Zapier is known for integrating and connecting different applications. Essentially, Zapier collects the data from Soundee and you can then decide where you want to send it to. There are hundreds of apps available so the possibilities are endless.
What can you do with it?
This is the best part! 😃 I use these webhooks to automatically update my own sales sheets on Google Drive. That is how I keep records of my sales revenue, build tax reports, manage outstanding licenses, and customer information. I also send customer data to my Email Service Provider and trigger ‘after-sales email sequences’ based on which beats (or licenses) a customer purchased.
Is it useful?
Incredibly useful. When set up properly, it can save hours on manual labor. Besides that–in connection with email software–you can have ongoing sequences of emails trigger automatically, which is great for customer experience, upsell offers (as shown above), and establishing a relationship with a new customer. All on auto-pilot!
Email Marketing Software (Everyone, except TrakTrain)
How strange this may sound, this has nothing to do with the webhooks mentioned above. It’s an entirely different approach.
What does it do?
This integration allows you to connect your beat store directly with your preferred email software and allows you to collect email addresses from customers or signups from newsletter boxes (BeatStars Pro Page). Some BSP’s have it connected with the option for Free Downloads too. (an artist downloading a free beat in return for giving their email address)
How do you use it?
To integrate email marketing within your beat selling business, you need to be signed up with an Email Service Provider. The ones that are the most popular are Aweber, MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, and GetResponse.
What can you do with it?
That’s the thing–not much… 😪 The data you can collect is very limited and insufficient for proper email marketing strategies. Too much key-data is missing in most cases (like first names, transaction info, customer info, etc.) to launch professional email campaigns.
Is it useful?
I’ve never found any use of it, to be honest. I’ve tried several ways of connecting my beat store with the email software that different BSP’s provided but nothing really worked. If you’re only looking for a way to collect email addresses from customers, then yes–it can be useful.
Another thing to remember is that “Signing up for a Newsletter” is a very, very old way of building an email list. You’re not going to get many signups for your Email List if there’s nothing provided in return (like free downloads for example).
Twitter, YouTube & Spotify integration
A very common integration that is provided by practically all BSP’s is to connect your Twitter account to your beat store. In addition to Social Media, Soundee also offers Spotify integration to gain followers on Spotify profiles. And BeatStars (use to) offer subscribers on YouTube.
Important: Most Social Media platforms, including YouTube and Twitter, no longer allow automated subscription methods. When you’re reading this, perhaps none of the above platforms support “social follows for download” anymore.
What does it do?
This one is really easy to use. Simply connect your Twitter account, YouTube account, or Spotify to your beat store. Instructions are likely on the platform you’re hosting your beats on.
How do you use it?
In exchange for a free download, you can ask the downloader to follow you on a specific social media account. Afterward, they get access to the free download.
What can you do with it?
This used to be a popular way of building a social following. Opposed to what I mentioned about the email newsletter boxes, the methods of giving away something for free in exchange for a social-follow used to work really well.
Is it useful?
It was… But like I mentioned, most social media platforms no longer allow this. It’s just a matter of time before the still available platforms will discontinue this service too.
Facebook Pixel & Google Analytics ID
Installing the Facebook Pixel and integrating your beat store with Google Analytics can have tremendous benefits for your marketing game. These integrations are available on all platforms.
However, there are known issues across different platforms where data collected by the pixel is inaccurate and/or duplicate. This applies to everyone (except Soundee) that uses Embed Stores on their self-hosted websites.
The reason for this (in simple terms) is that the pixel is loaded in the Embed Beat Store, collecting data from users that play or purchase beats in that store. If that Embed Store is on a WordPress website that has a pixel integration on itself, a ‘duplicate pixel error’ occurs.
So far, Soundee is the only BSP that made a fix (an entire web script to be specific) for this with detailed instructions within their platform.
What does it do?
The FB Pixel and Google Tracking ID collect data from anyone that interacts with your beat store and website. This data is sent back to Facebook/Google Analytics where you can track and analyze events such as ‘unique visitors’, ‘plays’, ‘purchases’, and more.
It also collects demo- and geographic data like age, country, gender. Or which device the majority of users on your website play your beats. (Mobile, Desktop, Chrome, Safari, etc.)
How do you use it?
Installing the pixel and tracking ID requires some technical knowledge but nothing more advanced than the DAW you’re making beats in. Detailed instructions can be found within your BSP platform.
What can you do with it?
A lot! Not only will it give you invaluable information about which people, from which country listen to which beats the most. You can also perform actions based on the data that’s collected over time.
For example, running retargeting ads on Facebook to anyone who listened to a specific beat.
A more practical example; We’re currently serving a 20% discount ad only targeted to people that have played 2 or more beats in my beat store.
Is it useful?
It’s incredibly useful! Besides the example given above, collecting data and analyzing data is extremely important for any online business. One of the first things we teach our students in our flagship masterclass is to build an audience profile to see what kind of people interact with their beats and how they engage with their beat store. This will give you valuable information about the artists you’re targeting and how to execute new marketing ideas.
ManyChat (Only on BeatStars)
The ManyChat integration is currently only available on BeatStars. It can be a powerful tool for website conversion and instant messaging with potential customers. Producers who run a self-owned website can use this feature too, directly from ManyChat.
What does it do?
ManyChat is a Facebook Messenger bot allowing users to add chat boxes on their websites to engage with website visitors and send DM’s back and forth. The service can also be used to create entire funnels and do advanced marketing strategies, but this is a topic for another time.
How do you use it?
Considering it’s now only available on BeatStars, it’s applicable on a Pro Page only. ManyChat connects your Pro Page with your personal or business Facebook account from which you can send messages and communicate.
What can you do with it?
You can send automated messages to anyone who visits your website. You can then pick up the conversation when a user replies to that message. You can also add FAQs to the chat-box to give people quick answers. You can also run fully automated funnels, sending users messages at specific times (e.g. when running a sale). Or nurture them through an entire sales sequence.
Other Valuable Features Worth Mentioning
“Teamwork Makes The Dream Work”
In this context, it couldn’t make more sense!
Collaboration projects have become an essential part of growing beat selling businesses. In fact, I know producers who have turned it into a profitable strategy to work with (top-selling) producers and split the sales revenue 50/50.
“Collaborate together, Generate sales together, Elevate together.”
Really, it’s what makes the online producer community such a creative and fun environment to work in.
Beat Store Platforms have picked up on this early-on and started implementing features to facilitate collaboration projects. The only exception to this is Soundgine. Until this day, they have yet to implement a feature for producers on their platform to collaborate.
How does collaborating work?
- You collaborate with another producer and together you create a beat.
- You upload that beat to your preferred Beat Store Platform
- On the back-end of the BSP, you split the Profit Share & Publishing between you and the other producer.
These first 3 steps apply to all BSP’s but when it comes to processing the sales and splitting payments, they all take a very different approach.
Something that I feel producers should be very aware of.
For example, Airbit collects all the revenue generated on collaborations and the producer needs to go into their account and click a button to send out the payments to the producers they collaborated with—manually.
This works fine, yet it would’ve been better if the payments were split and paid out instantly.
BeatStars, Soundee, and TrakTrain do offer direct payments when a collaboration sale occurs.
Strange calculations on sales splits
In terms of calculating the sales split, BeatStars takes a somewhat different approach when it comes to selling bulk deals.
When a producer sells a Buy 1 Get 3 FREE deal for $80, the order receipt will look like this:
- Beat 1: $80
- Beat 2: $0
- Beat 3: $0
- Beat 4 (collab): $0
If beat #4 happened to be a 50/50 collaboration, the producer that collaborated on it would receive a sales notification email that says $0. This happened to me several times and made me unfairly lose out on lots of revenue.
It gets even worse when you dive into the technical side of the orders. It happens to be that the last beat on the receipt (Beat #4 in this example) is always the first beat a customer adds to their cart. So, basically—YOU initiate the sale, and someone else profits… 😪
Airbit and Soundee do take a fair approach to this. They calculate the sales collab split based on the total order amount.
In this case, the sale is split as follows.
When a producer sells a Buy 1 Get 3 FREE deal for $80, the total amount will be divided over the separately ordered beats:
- Beat 1: $20
- Beat 2: $20
- Beat 3: $20
- Beat 4 (collab): $20
Now, every item has a ‘perceived value’. In this case, the producer that collaborated on beat 4 will receive $10, which is their (fair) share of the total order.
Below is an example of one of my sales on Soundee with 4 beats. One of which is a collaboration.
Total order value: $95
Perceived value: $95 / 4 = $23.75 per beat
Producer receives 50% of value per beat: 23.75 * 50% = $11.88
Payment Method Stripe is not available!
Another thing to keep in mind is that Stripe is not an accepted payment method for selling collaborated beats—This counts for all beat store platforms.
This has nothing to do with them!
After investigating this, we learned that the company Stripe does not allow split payments to two people that live in different countries. So, if you’re a European producer collaborating with a US-based producer, Stripe is unable to process these payments to either one of you.
Because of this, BSP’s have decided to disable Stripe Payments for collaborative beats, entirely.
Putting your beats into YouTube’s Content ID System
As we were finishing up this guide, we started receiving more and more requests regarding YouTube’s Content ID system.
What is Content ID?
Content ID is YouTube’s automated, scalable system that enables copyright owners to identify YouTube videos that include content they own.
Why would you upload your beats to Content ID?
Uploading beats to the Content ID system allows producers to detect any use of their beats in other YouTube videos. When videos are uploaded that include the producer’s beats, content ID will notify the producer of such activity.
When given that notice, they can decide to monetize these videos, track them, or block them entirely.
This is particularly useful when dealing with people who are not authorized to use these beats in (monetized) videos. In other words: It’s a way to fight against artists who ‘steal’ beats.
This sounds like the perfect solution but in reality, it’s a real hassle to sort out.
Getting your beats into Content ID is not easy. Many have applied for a partnership with YouTube but failed to get accepted.
Other serious issues are occurring more frequently nowadays, where — believe it or not — producer’s original beats are claimed by the very artists who have been granted non-exclusive rights to use it.
On top of this, by making the mistake mentioned in the following paragraphs, these artists are indirectly claiming other artists’ music as well. At this point, YouTube has no way of tracing back the original copyright owner (which is the Producer) and the long-term consequences can be catastrophic.
Content ID is specifically created for ‘copyright owners’, and artists who have been licensed the rights to use the beats certainly have no control over the copyrights in the beats.
Have you been struggling with this issue?
Here’s why your beats are being claimed through Content ID
Distribution services, such as CDBaby, DistroKid, etc. offer additional services for artists that allow them to upload their songs into Content ID.
A simple box can be ticked in the process of uploading a song and, with the click of a mouse, songs (that include your beats) have been put into Content ID — Now claiming all versions and songs created to that particular beat.
Distribution services have no verification process for this and they trust the person who ticks this box that he or she controls the master rights and all copyright in the song.
In the industry of selling beats, where most of the deals are based on non-exclusivity, this is rarely the case.
How to fix unauthorized claims on your beats
The only way to fully prevent this from happening is by getting your beats into YouTube’s Content ID System — first.
One way to get your beats into Content ID is by signing up with a YouTube Network, also known as a Multi-Channel Network (MCN).
Another option is to sign up with Airbit. they are currently the only beat store platform that provides services for this. Producers on Airbit can submit their beats for Content ID from within Airbit’s dashboard.
BeatStars used to offer a similar service. Our research, however, concluded that they have lost their license and partnership with YouTube and therefore are no longer able to provide these services to their users.
Soundee is in the process of retaining such a license and has plans to offer this special feature to their users in the future.
FYI: We’re planning to write a detailed article on this subject soon. Subscribe to our mailing list to receive updates.
Wow! You made it all the way here. Awesome! 💪🏽
Did you find this guide helpful? If so, please leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts. It would mean the world to us and to those who contributed. Also, it would be appreciated if you could share this article on your socials! ❤️
If you want to learn more about selling beats online, I’ve created a free 1-hour masterclass where I go over all the details and dive deep into marketing.
This guide has taken over 9 months to create. That includes running tests on the different platforms and diving into the specifics of what each of them had to offer.
👏 Also, a major shout out, once again, to all the platforms mentioned in this guide! They are doing an amazing job providing tools for the online producer community. Both individually and collectively!
Also, shout out to all the producers and professionals who’ve shared their knowledge and experience and helped out providing the information we needed to create this guide, as well as checking the facts.
Special thanks to Fenix Prod, Tony G, Rujay Music, BeatsBySV, Yonas-K Beats, Scarecrowbeats (Founder Soundee), Mike Trampe (Community Director BeatStars), Judah Wiedre (CCO Airbit), Artem (TrakTrain)