SoundCloud Partners With Getty Images Music — Users Can ‘Sync’ License Tracks For Commercial Use

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In a tie-up with the stock photography and digital media giant Getty Images, users of SoundCloud can now offer their tracks for commercial licensing, providing another avenue for monetization for musicians and sound artists who use the platform to host their creations.

Likewise, it gives “media, advertisers, designers and creatives” a new way to license fresh material — that’s because, in what is being described as ‘sync’ licensing, SoundCloud users can embed the license button immediately after they’ve hit publish, removing much of the friction traditionally associated with licensing music for visual projects.

Any of SoundCloud’s 20m registered users — made of up songwriters and other sound creators — can make their original content available for licensing simply by adding the “license” button from Getty Images Music to their SoundCloud player. Commercial users can then request a license for any of those tracks by clicking the “license” button (see rate card), after which Getty Images Music’s licensing department takes over. If the track has never been licensed before, the process is said to take between a few days or a few weeks, dependent on paperwork and the necessary clearance.

Furthermore, the best cuts have an opportunity to be featured in Getty Images Music’s curated SoundCloud collection, handpicked for its commercial potential. Noteworthy is that Getty Images will be the commercial rights manager of the audio content selected for the SoundCloud collection, ensuring that all tracks are available for safe commercial use by customers — which is an important promise given SoundCloud’s ‘User-Generated’ nature.

Of course, the potential pay off for SoundCloud members whose works are featured by Getty is that they benefit from the company’s international sales and distribution muscle which will be used to help market their sounds and navigate the sometimes choppy waters associated with rights and clearances of digital content.

Interestingly, SoundCloud doesn’t get anything out of the deal financially — this is purely a value-add for users who already pay to host their sounds — while Getty Images does take a cut from each license sold.