1. So what do you exactly mean by “free beats”?
It’s a bit like “try before you buy.” It means that you can download the MP3 of the beat and use it for non-profit, non-commercial use. Such free use is limited to the following: making a song on the beat and burning it on up to 50 CDs, making a song on the beat and showcasing it on community websites such as YouTube or Soundcloud, performing a song on the beat in a non-profit show to an audience of 50 people or less, and sharing the beat itself without vocals with others. Although not recommended, using the beat for such free use after it has been purchased exclusively by someone else is permitted. Please be respectful of intellectual property and the hard work put in by our producers to offer free music to the public. If you are serious about your musical career, we encourage you to buy a license (see question #2 below). If you suspect that someone is illegally using a Shadowville beat for profitable use without permission, please report it along with evidence to abuse @ shadowville.com.
2. What type of ways can I license a beat for commercial use?
There are two types of purchasing methods — non-exclusive rights and exclusive rights. Exclusive rights will grant you unlimited rights in all aspects. You would technically be “buying out” the beat. Non-exclusive rights, on the other hand, have limitations. Shadowville offers three types of non-exclusive licensing: blanket license (also known as a “lease”), performance license, and synchronization license. A blanket license covers multiple rights that can be done with a song using the beat including 2000 copies of physical or digital sales, three radio station rotations, $1,000 in show/concert earnings, and two soundtrack uses. A performance license will allow you to make unlimited earnings in one live show/concert (suitable for large shows). A synchronization license will allow you to use the beat itself, not a song over the beat, for soundtrack use on one medium. For more detailed information see our licensing information page.
3. What if someone buys the exclusive rights license after I already bought a non-exclusive rights license to the same beat?
Nothing. As long as you made the purchase before the exclusive rights being sold off, all your rights remain intact as described on your certificate of licensing. However, you will no longer be able to purchase additional rights to the same beat if the exclusive rights to it has been sold. We encourage you to buy the exclusive rights as soon as you realize you need such rights due to this first-come first-serve policy.
4. Does buying out exclusive rights prevent people who have bought non-exclusive rights from using the beat further?
See answer to question #3 above.
5. Can I buy the exclusive rights later on if I purchased a non-exclusive license first?
Yes, but because the beats in our public catalog are sold on a first-come first-serve basis, we encourage you to act quickly as soon as you realize you need the exclusive rights.
6. Are sound tags or producer signatures removed after purchase?
Yes, any sound tags or producer signatures are removed from the beat in the higher quality .wav file when you purchase the beat.
7. How come I can’t buy exclusive rights to certain beats?
The offering of exclusive rights is under the discretion of the producer. In this case, the producer has elected not to sell exclusive rights automatically through Shadowville.com.
8. Why should I license a beat if other people can license the same beat?
There are two primary reasons why blanket licensing/leasing works. First, the 2,000 copy limit imposed basically discourages someone from distributing a song with the beat on a nationwide or worldwide basis and limits it to a more local basis. ‘2,000′ is an estimated number that minimizes the chances of two songs clashing with the same beat. This creates fair play amongst all of our clients who license a track non-exclusively. If a person is ready for more than 2,000 copies, we encourage that he or she purchases the exclusive rights. The second reason is that talent, skill, and exposure plays a large role in buying a blanket license. We believe if you have these any of these three key factors, it should not concern you that other people are buying a license for the same beat. If your song becomes a hit, the audience will think that other people on the same beat are using “your” beat.
9. What if I need more than 2,000 copies for the blanket license, but I don’t want to purchase the exclusive rights?
Unfortunately, we do not offer any “premium” blanket licenses at this time because we feel that an excessive amount of copies floating around reduces the value of the beat for all artists who have fairly purchased the license. Thus you would have to buy the exclusive rights license, if available.
10. Can I license beats for non-artist or non-performance purposes such as a soundtrack for video games or film?
Absolutely. Just select the Synchronization License option during the checkout process.
11. What are the exact steps to purchasing a beat?
You can browse through the beats in the Beat Genres or Moods and then click the ‘BUY LICENSE’ button corresponding to the desired beat. Payment options include all major credit cards or Paypal. As soon as payment is received, you will be able to immediately download the high quality master file in .wav format and the certificate of licensing in PDF format.
12. Do you offer discounts if I purchase in bulk?
For custom bulk purchases in excess of $500, please e-mail sales @ shadowville.com. Returning preferred customers occasionally receive coupons which grant even greater discounts. Shadowville will regularly offer sales promotions where beats are sold at discounted prices. To stay up to date with such offers, you can follow Shadowville on Twitter or like Shadowville on Facebook.
13. Do you design beats the way I want them?
Yes, our producers have an extensive resume of placements with major artists and companies — please contact sales @ shadowville.com for custom production details. A minimum budget of $1,000 is expected.
14. When can I expect my beats after making payment?
Upon successful authorization of payment by credit card or Paypal, you will immediately receive a download link to obtain the master .wav file of the beat you purchased along with the certificate of licensing. Track separation files are uploaded by the corresponding producer and may vary anywhere from 1 to 5 days. You can check the average upload time of the producer at the track separation option page when purchasing a beat.
15. I’ve decided I don’t want this beat anymore — can I refund it or exchange it?
Because our instrumentals are considered ‘intellectual’ property, it is difficult for us to allow refunds or exchanges in order to prevent confusion, infringement, and theft of rights. For example, it is not fair for someone to purchase a license, and then decide to trade it back in the future for a “hotter and newer” beat.
16. Can I have a license to a beat for free, trade a beat for yours, or pay you in royalties?
Sorry, but no. Commercial licenses for our beats are not given for free, unless specifically designated to be. We do not trade any beats or accept “possible” royalties with no upfront fee. If you are serious about making money off your music and would like to establish a legitimate reputation, then you should not mind investing in a license.
17. What about downloading a beat just for listening or freestyling?
Yes. This is allowed for beats that have not been exclusively sold. If you use this beat to record on, it must remain strictly for nonprofit and non-commercial — you may not even make money to cover CD pressing or promotional costs. Acceptable non-profit and non-commercial formats include posting on your personal webpage or community page, burning CDs for your friends and family, putting out a showcase demo on a limited basis to record labels. Anything that seems commercial, profitable, or large-scale to you is probably not acceptable — please use common sense. If you have any doubt, it probably is not permitted. Lastly, you must remember to give credit to the producer and provide a link to www.shadowville.com. For details, please read the Free Beats Policy.
18. Why are some beats on the website marked as “Unavailable”?
This usually means the beat has already been sold exclusively and is no longer offered for sale by us. Although it is still available to listen to, it is no longer able to be downloaded or purchased. We recommend you look at the ‘Similar Beats You May Like’ list on the right hand side of the individual beat listing page.
19. I don’t need track separation files right now, but I may need them in the future — can I buy them at a future date?
Yes, as long as you own any type of license to the beat, you will be able to purchase track separation files under ‘My Account’ in the future, even if the beat’s exclusive rights have been sold already. Due to technical issues, please contact orders @ shadowville.com for assistance.
20. I have some songs I made on your producers’ beats — could I send them to you or your producers?
Our e-mail system is reserved for customer service and sales inquiries only. If you would like to showcase your music, we encourage you to participate in the Shadowville Forums.
21. How long has your company been in business?
We started operating as an unincorporated business in August 2004. Since September 2006, we have been a legitimate company incorporated in the State of New York. We are also a Paypal Verified Business and a publishing member of ASCAP (IPI No. 557263434). We have issued more than 10,000 licenses to date and have worked with many well known companies and artists. All of our online transactions are 256-bit encrypted and verified to be secure by McAfee SECURE™. We want you to have confidence when purchasing a license through Shadowville.
For any additional sales questions, please e-mail sales @ shadowville.com.