15 November 2012
Artist and entrepreneur
On the one hand, artists are sometimes too precious. They immediately extrapolate to the worst-possible scenario. But I like it when bands allow their fans to remix their music, and there’s a lot of platforms to do that. So if a band can get away from saying, ‘Here’s the one finished version which protects the vision that we have’, if they can let the fans mix their own version, even if its flawed and shitty, it’s still the fans’ special version they made for them. There are ways for bands to win when they let go. I don’t know what Getty Images are intending, so it’s difficult to speak exactly to that. In general, bands should be prolific and they should try to hold on to their rights for everything. Not to hold on to them, but so the bands can decide to let them go for any reason.That’s how bands will get into the consciousness, and how they’ll succeed. Their strength and their leverage will come from their fanbase. A band’s first problem is getting a fanbase. If they start to say, ‘Getty can’t do this, this person can’t do that,’ there are going to be 500 other bands who don’t put any restraints on their catalogue. Getty aren’t going to track down the lead singer, the drummer and the bass player to make sure it’s OK to play over their music with an image. They’ll just use the music that is OK to play with an image.
Vice President, Entertainment Partnerships and Development, Getty Images
Getty has been very successful with crowd-sourcing content. We have proved the model with iStockphoto, the largest and most successful microstock company in the world; where many of the world’s design and creative forces get their imagery, video and now audio. In 2010 we did a deal with Flickr – one of the largest photo sharing sites; it allows Flickr members to offer their images for licensing by Getty. We’ve just added our 500,000th image from Flickr. Getty Images’ photo editors and Flickr’s community of global photographers work together with contributors on a daily basis to ensure that what is needed at a local level is reflected in the Flickr collection imagery. We will apply the same type of models that we’ve been very successful with at both iStockphoto and Flickr, with Soundcloud. This is an opportunity for the musician to make incremental income with Getty Images Music. We don’t care about ownership. It is only the music that the artists wants to make available. We believe we will get world-class music, and all this music will be presented to all of Getty’s 1.5 million customers. It could be used for a simple corporate presentation to a major TV show, commercial and film. Getty has always worked tirelessly to make licensing easy - this is how you grow the content business.
Partner, The License Lab
Well, both good and bad. I think this is great for Getty, good for Soundcloud and some creators, and quite bad for some other creators and the future of the highest quality production music. Getty gets access to tonnes of content for zero acquisition cost, has full control over license approval, and they keep the majority of revenue generated. How that set of criteria is anything other than extraordinary for a corporation’s immediate bottom line is a mystery to me. Seems fantastic. And adding another revenue- generating outlet for their clients seems like an obvious, good, and easy choice for Soundcloud. There are myriad other future problems, though. Firstly, conflicts and issues looming downstream for non-exclusive licensed content – sonic fingerprint confusion for distribution from multiple sources, for example. Secondly, misunderstandings by content creators and the resulting moral dilemmas, emotional disappointments, or legal chaos that may ensue following a placement. And finally, the continued focus on profit for massive media companies and an equivalent lack of attention and funding directed back to those who create the very music that drives profit margins for these international corporations. Profit or passion? There’s your dichotomy.
It’s evidently good for Getty; a defensive move against the blurring-of-the-lines between professional content and so-called User-Generated Content that is disrupting the traditional content licensing industry, which includes stock photography and library music. It also makes them seem relevant. For musicians, however, if you look at Getty’s rate card and the cut it takes, no one is going to get rich off the back of the new “sync licensing” feature. It does mean ceding control, too, because of the way the arrangement with SoundCloud is designed to scale with no option to veto a license, this could lead to artist integrity being called into question. There are potential benefits, of course, especially for ‘long tail’ artists who could find themselves with some unexpected and much- welcomed exposure that has come about serendipitously, and this will be especially true for those artists who are featured on Getty itself. Overall, like many new models enabled by the Internet, it’s a mixed bag for artists and incumbent players alike, although in the big scheme of things, this particular development seems little more than tinkering around the edges.
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03 May 2013
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17 April 2013
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12 April 2013
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12 April 2013
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