Exactly bro, couldn't have said it any better myself. There were a lot of cats on MFS selling hundreds of leases a month not even a year ago, I'd like to see their sales charts today to see if that trend continued. My bet says, it didn't. Before, even if you had OK beats, people would jump at the chance to sign up to your mailing list so that they could get a few free beats. Now days, people are not signing up for the email lists like they used to and when you send out blasts, your content is getting blocked and you lose subscribers every time.
Like you said...there's just too much music out there and unless you are fortunate enough to be well connected to an influential, well known artists that is willing to give you a placement and promote you, will be very difficult to stand out from the crowd. I hate to say it but I truly believe that there will never again be any serious money to be made by leasing beats again.
That being said, all hope is not loss I just feel that things are going back to the old school in terms of selling music. The concept of leasing a beat is a double edged sword. On one hand, it allows artists who are financially challenged the opportunity to rock on beats that they otherwise wouldn't be able to afford. On the other hand, the same dope beat can be leased over and over again to an unlimited number of people. All of a sudden my hot 16 isn't so hot anymore because 100's of other MCs are dropping their hot 16's over the same exact beat. The very things that makes an artist successful and makes good music what it is lies in originality. As producers who lease beats to artists, we are essentially robbing them of their ability to have a truly original song. I've actually had artists come to me and decline the opportunity to lease a beat and opt to purchase the beat exclusively because they wanted the peace of mind of knowing that no one else would ever be on it. At first I didn't like selling exclusives to my more popular songs because that would take a product out of my catalog that I could continue to make money on over and over again but now, I see why that is not a good business model.
This beat leasing concept works perfectly for almost any other industry accept beats. You can lease homes, cars, clothes, tools, furniture, computers, music equipment, ect and it's perfectly acceptable to most people but when you lease a beat, you are actually leasing art, a copy of the original. I've even seen original paintings be printed and sold inexpensively and that's acceptable and does not devalue the original. This is a problem for beats though because say if you had 2 artists who both blew up rockin on the same beats...that would be an issue, it's like 2 girls showing up to the prom with the same dress on...a disaster.
We need to get back to selling exclusives, we need to stop feeding future producers the game and let them earn it the hard way, (by putting in time to develop their talent). We need to bring it back to art that is one of a kind and meant for one artists at a time. We fell for the banana in the tail pipe and let our industry consume us much like home buyers were consumed by the big housing market crash that happened in the mid 2000's.
Time to flip the script.