A common question in the artist community is, can you use free beats for profit?
The answer in most cases is no, but in some cases it depends.
Do free beats for profit exists?
For example, most free youtube beats are only useable for non-profit and non-commercial projects. At least that is what I saw in most cases.
Non-commercial projects include everything that doesn’t make you money, like:
- Singles/albums on Soundcloud
- Singles/albums on non-monetized Youtube videos
- Non-profit shows
And the list goes on, but I hope you get the point.
Still, some producers, including myself, are giving free beats for profit.
How can you be sure that free beats can be used for profit?
First of all, you should always check if there is a contract along with the beats or a written word that states what rights you get with the beats. Always try to get in touch with the producer to be 100% sure.
A contract is a holy grail in every situation which include people and money.
If there isn’t any contract included, the written word in email can also be considered a legally binding contract. You can read more about it here.
But the official contract usually has much more information about what you can do with the beats, what are the limitations, etc. Basically, it covers more ground.
When you’re 100% sure, you’re saving yourself, and everybody else headaches and legal troubles.
So, should you use free beats?
Keep in mind that free beats can have limitations such as:
- Streaming limits (profit or non-profit)
- Vocal tags
- No publishing royalties
- A lot of people using these beats
- Unresolvable Youtube ContentID claims
And these are the things you should be aware of when using free beats.
On the other hand, free beats can be useful when you’re trying different styles or just trying to get your word out there, without spending anything but time.
But if you do manage to find free beats that can be used for profit, make sure to read the contract and know what are your rights before attempting to use the song on this beat for monetary gain.
Just a quick note: Commercial usage includes uploading your song on monetized Youtube channels, Spotify, iTunes, and other major and minor platforms even if you don’t earn anything on them.
Hope this helps!