In my experience I’ve found different artists go for different beat leases depending on the purpose of the project. Here are some reasons as to why people make the choice that they do.
Before we get into why people choose what they choose it may be good to just mention what the fundamental differences are between an exclusive and a nonexclusive beat. Exclusive beats are generally sold to artists once and are then taken off the market so that no new artists can purchase that beat. These beats tend to have a higher price, but ensure exclusivity when it comes to how many people are walking around with the same beat as you.
Nonexclusive beats tend to be cheaper and are sold repeatedly. The price tends to be a lot lower owing to their nonexclusivity.
When artists first come onto the scene they may find themselves limited by their budget and their may lead them to choosing nonexclusive beats. These beats allow them the opportunity to make tracks that sound different enough to commercial songs while preserving the bank balance to be able to take care of things like photoshoots and music videos. If I was an artist on the come up I’d hustle as many nonexclusive leases as I can and focus my cash on the recording and mixing and mastering process. This is vital to making sure you sound good on a track.
Exclusive beats tend to be the choice when artists or companies are working on a more serious body of work. They may feel as though they want as much control over that particular sound as possible and they are therefore more willing to pay for the exclusivity of that beat. Artists rarely go this route as they don’t have large financial backing on the way up and prefer to take a chance on nonexclusive beats or famous beats that are used internationally. The only real downside to international beats is that radio stations are reluctant to play the songs to avoid any sort of infringement on the original artist’s track. They also see it as lack of creativity on the part of the artist for not being able to hustle up original sounding beats.
Be careful when making your choice as there are ups and downs to both and you never want to feel like you’ve wasted cash on beats. Know what your purpose for that beat is and build accordingly. A time may come when you’re able to afford all the exclusive beats in the world so don’t rush the process.
All in all whatever your end choice, just realise that initially artists will probably use nonexclusive beats for demos and mixtapes while exclusives will be saved for albums, major singles and songs that will eventually be used for advert placements.