Getty Images Buys Music Rights Manager Pump Audio For $42 Million

In a marked departure from its previous photo emphasis, Getty Images has acquired online music rights company Pump Audio for $42 million. Over the past few months, Getty has snapped up online photo services such as Punchstock, Scoopt and WireImage.Release

Pump Audio acts as an agent for independent musicians, digitally connecting them with buyers for films, TV and web presentations and allowing artists to license their music into productions without giving up any ownership. The company says it generated 80,000 TV placements for songs over the past year at rates ranging from $25 for use in a podcast to thousands of dollars for film or TV, which has helped Pump Audio earn an estimated $10 million last year. Getty feels that it can help Pump Audio do even better, while streamlining the process for music rights sales along the lines of its photo rights management model. From a distribution standpoint, Pump Audio, which has 30 full time employees, should benefit from Getty’s global sales force of 650 and strong links to major ad agencies. Its biggest client is MTV Networks, with other reality-TV and documentary producers such as the Food Network and the Discovery Channel also heavy users.

Pump raised $2.5 million in its first round funding led by Greycroft Partners and High Peaks Venture Partners

WSJ: The company’s 2006 revenue was less than $10 million, reports WSJ. Getty’s decision to expand its purview reflects the difficulties of the photo management business and the opportunities of the growing music rights market.

Disclaimer: Pump Audio was a Greycroft portfolio company…Greycroft is an investor in our company as well.