Thursday, October 11, 2012

Getty offer to turn Soundcloud into pounds. At a price.

You know how, if you're happy to not be fussy about what happens to them, you can ask Getty to take care of commercial licencing for your photos on Flickr?

They're about to start offering a similar service on Soundcloud.

The upside is that, if your music is there, and someone wants to use it on a film or in a podcast, Getty will make the process very smooth.

The downside is that, because Getty are interested in scale and flogging rights with an industrial approach, there's not much room for artists to control what happens to their music. You sign up for Getty to be not just your middleman, but your manager, too. The ratecard is fixed, the artist hands over any power to object if, say, an anti-abortion podcast wants to use a song from an abortion supporting singer.

Although Getty have a cookie-cutter approach, they're charging quite heavily for it, as Hypebot explain:

If the music is licensed, the artist receives just 35% of the upfront licensee fee plus 50% of Getty Images' share, as publisher, of any backend performance royalties.
It might be frictionless, but given Getty merely wait until someone asks to use the music and pushes a bit of paperwork around, it's hard to see why they're helping themselves to such a large slice of the cash.

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