Producers sell beats online to make money. But where’s the best place to do this? Look around and you’ll find two options to sell beats online: marketplaces like Airbit or BeatStar, or your own website.
We look at the best places to make money selling beats online.
We’re interested in making the most money. That being said, we won’t get into the specific feature comparisons of marketplaces or web hosting sites. Spoiler alert: man of them are the same.
What we want to find out is: where is the best place to sell beats online to maximize profit and make the most money.
We will take into account the ease of use because time is money. You don’t want to be too busy tinkering with setting up a site or customizing our profile page. That’s time you can be selling beats. Time is money my friend.
First things first. No matter where you sell beats online someone is going to take a cut. This is normal for any place that accepts payments. So if you think you’ll take 100% profit, think again. At the very least, a payment processor (like PayPal or Stripe) is going to take a small percentage. That’s how the game works.
All that being said, let’s compare the two options.
1. Selling Beats Online With Your Own Website
The pros of selling beats online with your own website:
Branding And Control
When you have your own website you have complete control over the layout, wording, branding, and overall user experience. You can customize everything to fit your style and vision. This also means control over your sales funnel.
Flexibility In Marketing
Full control gives you more to implement specific marketing strategies. This gives you a leg up on your competition as you can experiment and A/B test different pricing strategies and layouts.
A key part in marketing is you can collect emails and then email your customers later when you have new beats or sales.
Direct Customer Relationship
This is a big one. You create a more personalized relationship with your customer. Every part of your website plays into your brand.
Think about it like this: Amazon is a huge marketplace but you don’t really form any relationship with the actual sellers of the products you buy there. But if you go to sites like Nike, Uniqlo, Mack Weldon, Everlane, Chewy, etc you have more of a connection with that brand.
You can do the same when you have your own page. It gives potential buyers more of a sense of who you are and what’s unique about you.
Options To Sell More
When you have your own site, it’ll be easier to include add-ons like merch, stickers, production services, etc.
Long-term Ownership and Scalability
I know, I know, you want to make money TODAY. Don’t we all. But when you sell beats online you have to think long term. You’re going to grow as an artist. It’s important to have the tools and flexibility that will scale with you.
The downside of selling beats online with your own website:
The downside is you have to set it up and maintain it. So it is a bit of a lift to begin with, but will pay off in the long run.
That being said, setting up a site is easy with most web hosts nowadays. The tricky part will be selling beats with options and licenses along with having a proper audio player on your site. Most web hosts weren’t designed to sell beats.
You can make it work obviously but the reason why places like BeatStars and Airbit are so big is because they understand the nuances that come when you sell beats online...
...leading us into the benefits of a marketplace.
#2 Selling Beats Online Using Marketplaces (ie Beatstars, Airbit, and the like)
I’ll talk generally about these marketplaces because they’re mostly the same. Yes there are some differences but they’re generally the same.
If you want to nerd out on if 14.99/month BeatStars is worth it over a $7.99 Airbit knock yourself out. That’s a difference of $7 a month or $84/year. I don’t want to discount $84 bucks but you can make that up on one beat sale.
Again, we want to maximize time on making beats and the sell those beats online. Not trying to minimize and nickel and dime on cost.
The Pros of A Beat Selling Marketplace:
Beat selling marketplaces offers a number of tools and features to help you sell beats. Customized beat store, licensing options, social media promotion, analytics, file delivery to name a few. The customization features are great and lets you focus on making beats and selling beats.
Exposure to an Active Community
Marketplaces like BeatStars have active communities. This is what you want - people networking and collaborating. This helps you get exposure and the more people you have exposure to, the higher the odds of selling beats.
Beatstars gives you the flexibility to offer different licensing options when you sell beats online. What this means is you can charge less or more for the same beat. For example you can change one price for the .wav of your beat and you can charge twice that for the .wav and the stems.
This flexibility is great as it gives your buyers different options to pay for a beat.
Beatstars integrates with major payment gateways like PayPay, Stripe, and Apple Pay. The more ways to pay, the higher the odds of selling beats online.
An overlooked feature, analytics are great to see what is working and what is not working. You can then make changes to help optimize your approach to selling beats online.
The Cons of A Beat Selling Marketplace:
The biggest con of a marketplace is everyone is there. This causes two main problems
1. You’re fighting for attention.
There’s hundreds of thousands of producers on there looking to get people to their profile page and play their beats. So while it’s great there’s a thriving community of potential customers, there’s a thriving amount of people clamoring for their attention.
You’ll need to make sure everything is on point to stand out.
2. Another producer is a click and tap away.
When someone is on your BeatStars page they’re one tap away from clicking back or going to their feed. BeatStars encourages people to explore and find different beats and sounds. That’s sounds great, but that also means as much as customers are encouraged to go to your page, they’re encouraged to go to another producer’s page as well.
Additionally, your dependent and reliant on whatever site you use. If they go down or they switch up their algorithm, or make substantial change. the impact could be severely negative to you.
Look at this article where one Facebook change tanked a $100M Startup.
The Best Marketplaces To Sell Beats Online
There’s a bunch of other beat marketplaces as well. I won’t get into too many of the pros and cons of among the differences between these marketplaces for three reasons:
- There’s plenty of blogs covering the different features
- For the most part they are the same
- We’re concerned about the best way to make money selling beats online, not necessarily which marketplace is the best.
Here’s a solid list of marketplaces to sell beats on.
Again, they’re mostly the same. Obviously some differences in monthly cost and what each platform offers.
The Unavoidable Cost Of Selling Beats
To clear something up, no matter how you sell beats online, there’s always a catch. Let’s talk about a couple
If you use a marketplace or if you use your own website you’ll have to pay subscription fee of sorts. It’s part of the game. Whether you sign up for BeatStars or open your own site on Shopify, you’ll pay a subscription fee. Everyone does no matter what is being sold.
Every payment processor has transaction fees. So if someone buys a beat using PayPal, PayPal takes a small percentage. Same with Stripe or any payment processor. Again, it’s part of the eCommerce game.
Competition and wanting to promote
The flips side of a thriving community on a marketplace is there’s a lot of producers trying to get attention.
The flip side of setting up your own site is, well no one is there. You have to get people there.
You’re going to have to promote to get people to either your marketplace page or your website. Regardless of what you choose, you’re going to have to market. This can be using SEO, paid promotion, or leveraging social.
As a introverted producer, I wish this wasn’t the case. But it’s all part of the game.
Where Should You Sell Beats Online?
Use the BeatStars embedded player on your own website. This is the best option for selling beats online.
Sign up for a plan on Beatstars. Use their player functionality to embed the player into your website.
We’re looking for the best of everything. We want to minimize time and maximize profit.
When you have your own website you have full control of the layout and branding. It helps you stand out more and provide a better experience for your customers. You also can capture emails to talk directly to your potential customers.
As a bonus, when people are on your website all they see are your beats. If I’m on your Beatstars profile page, it’s to easy to click back or go into my feed and see a ton of other producers beats.
That being said, the BeatStars tech has it nailed when it comes to previewing and selling beats. You’ll be hard pressed to find something that works as well. You’ll find yourself with some wonky plugin or resorting to Soundcloud embeds which aren’t necessarily made for purchases. It’s also recognizable so gives some credibility.
Second, using the tech of BeatStars means you don’t have to worry about figuring out how to add all the different customization when it comes to file types and licensing.
Using the BeatStars embed on your own site the the best way to sell beats online.
Selling Beats Online To Make The Most Money Plan
If you’re just starting out, here’s what you do:
1. Start free
Sign up for a BeatStars account and get started. You should have a decent set of beats to post at this point. What you want to focus on at this point is promotion. Work social media to drive traffic to your BeatStars page.
2. Reinvest Your Profits
After you make some sales, upgrade to a mid tier option. Again, at this point you still want to focus on social and promotion. Keep driving people to your profile page.
Let me stress this again: it’s super important to reinvest your profits. I know it’s tempting to spend it on new VSTs or blow it one weekend at the club. But that’s for non-serious producers. That’s not you. Reinvest those profits to make even more money.
3. At the same time, start exploring your own website. Look at Shopify, Sellfy, Gumroad, or any of the other options. Start with a free option and build it out.
4. When you site is ready to go AND you made enough from selling beats to cover a 1 year annual subscription to BeatStars Pro and your hosting site, go for it. Launch your site, embed your player, email your list and drive traffic to your site.
So the best option is a blend. Don’t stress too much about how much you’ll pay each month for the subscription services. Yes some are a bit more than others but when you have the optimal set up and selling beats for $100 on average you’ll make up that cost easy.
The key is to optimize your setup to increase your chances to sell beats. Do that and you’ll find success.
One way to optimize your beats is to have great drum patterns. Use the drum guides to make amazing drum patterns.
And don’t forget to reinvest your profits!