Are FL Studio Music Producers Ruining Hip Hop w/ $20 Beats?

Greg Savage shares his thoughts on Fl Studio and Soundclick music producers selling beats for $20.

Other ways music producers can make money from music:

  • Music licensing
  • Music for movie trailers
  • Music for video games
  • Sound design
  • Independent films
  • Events
  • Instrumental CDs

Also checkout 6 Digital Products Music Producers Can Sell Online.

If you want tips on selling beats check out How to Sell Beats Online.

16 Comments

  1. This is an interesting topic. I see both sides of the argument. Then again I also see two different worlds colliding. The “Beat-Makers” and the “Producers” Two completely different individuals, job titles and descriptions. However, what one does will affect the other. It’s just apart of the business. I agree with most of your points Greg. It’s the mixing of job roles that makes it a bit confusing though. If a producer is wanting to sell beats as an alternative, it will pose some obstacles because they are thinking in a true service capacity. Whereas the beat maker is thinking in a product capacity. And that’s what it ultimately comes down to…What is a beat to the person selling and to the person buying? Is it a product or a service? I’ve always thought of a “beat” as intellectual property. Very rarely does a company just give away their i.p. I would venture to say that most producers think in this capacity about their “beats” The problem comes now when beat makers think of it as a product. (To be fair a beat can be classified as a product as well.) So now a beat is automatically depreciated in value due to the this duality. In turn it will affect the producer who sees his work as i.p. He now has to be creative in selling his i.p. at a premium. The smart ones figure it out and the others wither. I still think a producer can enter the beat making market and sell at a premium but the mindset has to adjust to the target market. As far as pricing, $50000 or $20 are still options today. Like you pointed out it’s depends on who you are dealing with and the brand you’ve created for yourself. I think back in the day it wasn’t just exclusivity that allow prices to be high but the idea of i.p. Beat makers have turn the beat into a product instead of i.p. so naturally volume and bulk packaging now become the focal. I don’t mean that in a derogatory way but it is what it is. So this does effect music producers to an extent but only in approach. Beats are churning out faster and faster so pricing will continue to drop. It’s business. Its the innovative ones that will capitalize the most off the emerging market. Just my thoughts.

  2. I have been making beats for quite a while now about 10 yrs plus. In the last 4-5 yrs I have had people “not just my friends” tell me I should really give this a shot and see what happens. I’m scared though to be honest. Sometimes I feel good enough sometimes I dont…but people seen to really like my beats I just dont know where to start… Leasing and exclusive both seen like great options but I fear leasing would cut me short but I feel like getting people to pay a decent price is hard…I’m just stuck lol any suggestions?

  3. I was just having this discussion with some colleagues. I agree with Greg, people allow what others are doing effect their own goals. Now partially due to a comment from a client, i realized the key to success. My client said, “Yo the complete sound is why I keep coming back. I like being able to have an idea for a song and you are able to materialize my vision and inspiration beginning to end.” I too use to feel as if I have to compete with $20 FL producers, until I had a few intern at the studio I worked out of and one day it hit me, a majority of the $20 FLers are just” beat makers” overall. Not recording or mixing engineers, not musicians (playing instruments), not web designers, Not marketers. So moral of story is, continue to work on and perfect your craft, and then develop new skills that not only help you, but help you separate yourself from the competition. Great work fellas. Glad I found this site. Thanks

  4. Hey just watched the video … I was wondering how do I get into to selling my music to artist I wanna touch all basses as you said independent films but where do I start I totally new to this I’ve even been looking for a mentor where I am ppl don’t believe in spreading knowledge

    1. Hi Antonie,

      You have to start where you feel most comfortable. Know that when getting paid for music, there are a few ways to go about it.

      You can collect upfront, in increments or on the backend or both upfront and on the backend. How you decide to collect payments is totally up to you.

      What you must have an place is a bank account, PayPal account, contracts and a way to deliver the music. You also need to figure out if you want to run your business online or off-line.

      You’ll also need a place to host your music (free or paid). I recommend using your own website for branding purposes and complete control.

      Then you need to figure out a marketing plan as well as a promo plan. You need to know what artists you can target that want your sound or a sound that you’re able to cater to. Other wise, it’s going to be extremely hard to make money.

  5. producers should listen to the artist first befor they work with them i sell exclusive beats only and they can use it for games album or mixtape i wanna draw a type of class artists to my site leasing beats is not for me

  6. Service is key but besides like taxi there aren’t to many places that I know of that you can sell your music too without a plug but I could be wrong ….

    1. They are quite a few places out there. Let me know what you are trying to dive into, and I’ll supply some resources.

      – Greg Savage

  7. Producers that sell beats for $20-$40 are devaluing their product. Selling beats is selling your product, your brand. If you do start to get a following, raising your prices will be difficult since you were already selling beats at $20. With beat leases ‘artists’ look at the market value and if there are a lot of producers selling cheap beats it lowers the market (:x)

    1. Hey Kid Silence,

      thanks for taking time to watch and respond to the video, means a lot to me. Let me address a few of your comments here, as they’re good, but there’s a different way to look at it.

      1. Producers that sell beats for $20-$40 are devaluing their product

      I disagree with this as it depends on what the client is getting for $20-$40. If you’re offering a basic lease (mp3 with no control), you aren’t devaluing anything. If the client wants more control of the track, you can always charge a lot more for that access.

      Also, the creator (or beat maker) can have different price points or tiers for his/her work. Most businesses operate in this fashion.

      2. Selling beats is selling your product, your brand. If you do start to get a following, raising your prices will be difficult since you were already selling beats at $20

      This is partially true. Yes, your music, your price points your sound etc. These all assist in the development of your brand, but if you don’t brand yourself as the “$20 – $40 hot spot”, then pricing doesn’t (alone) speak for your brand, again different price points.

      A good example of this would be stores like “The Dollar Tree” everything in that store is one dollar, if they try to raise their prices, they’d get some flack, but people are going to stop shopping there.

      Look at Walmart, they have products for different different price points, it doesn’t mean their brand is driven by their cheaper priced items.

      Raising your prices isn’t difficult, you just change the price… done. Granted, you might run into some flak from past customers who have been with you since your $20-$40 catalog days as you put it, but in the end if your quality exceeds the competition’s, you’re no longer in the same “market”, you’re in a “sub market” and if the client likes your work, wants your sound, they will pay extra for it.

      Now, as stated in the video, if your music is and sounds the “same” as everyone else, sure, they’ll go to a cheaper alternative.

      And again, different price points

      This will allow you keep your current customers and attract different calibre customers.

      Lastly, if you don’t pigeonhole yourself in one huge market “leasing beats online” you won’t worry about this problem.

      This post is in no way meant to belittle or disrespect you. I enjoy having intelligent conversations with people, and I love the business of music, it’s what I do for a living.

      Let’s keep this rolling if we can. I’d love to hear your thoughts/experiences and will continue to bounce mine off you as well.

      Ps – forgive any typos or formatting issues, I’m replying via my S4.

      – Greg Savage

        1. Hi Mark,

          not a problem and thank you for sharing my videos, means a lot to me. Love the site by the way my friend. We’ll have to chop it up in the near future.

          – Greg Savage

  8. I always find it interesting and irritating that ppl bash the producer who not only have good beats but sell then for cheap, but never takes this producer and mentor them and/or give some info on how to get into other markets!

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