Frequently asked questions

SoundCloud Customer

How much does it cost to license a track to use?

It depends on the usage. Please refer to pricing on our online rate card for up to date licensing costs for music located here.

How long does it take to license a track to use?

It will take from a few days to a few weeks depending if the artist has provided all the information to properly license that track.

How do I request a refund?

You can contact to request a refund (subject to our standard license cancellation policy, which can be found here). A refund may not be granted if the track has already been used in a project.

How do I cancel my request?

If you have requested to license a track but have not purchased the track yet, simply email to cancel your request to license. In your email, please include the band/artist name and the title of the track you requested to license and want to cancel.

How can I contact you if I have other questions?

You can contact for any music licensing related questions.

SoundCloud Artist

How much does it cost to license my music?

There is no fee to join the Getty Images Music licensing program. The fee to an end user to license one of your songs depends on the use (i.e. Web, TV, Advertising), but in any case you will receive 35% of the upfront licensee fee plus 50% of Getty Images' share, as publisher, of any backend performance royalties.

Can my music be licensed outside of SoundCloud?

Yes. Your agreement with Getty Images allows us to license your music to all types of clients, whether such clients are SoundCloud users licensing via the Getty Images Music SoundCloud App, visitors to the Getty Images website, or off-line production or other clients of Getty Images.

How long does it take to license my tracks? If someone wants to license my track, how long will it take?

Once we receive a request to license one of your tracks, it usually takes a few days to a few weeks to prepare your track for licensing. Also, if you haven't yet sent us a signed W9 (or, for non-U.S. residents, a W-8 BEN form), the entire process is blocked until you do so.

If the track has already been licensed, it will be immediately available for licensing on If it hasn't been licensed before, it may take a few days to a few weeks depending on whether or not we have all the information needed to license the track.

Why do you need a W9 from me? What if I don't have a US social security number?

This is a crucial step to license your track. Since we are licensing tracks on your behalf and paying royalties to you on those tracks, we are required by law to obtain certain information from you for tax-identification purposes. For residents of the United States, we need Social Security Numbers and completed W-9 tax forms (form included in the Artist License Agreement document). For non-U.S. residents, U.S. Social Security Numbers and W-9 tax forms are not required, but we do need a completed W-8 BEN tax form. Click here for the W-8 Ben form. Click here for information on how to obtain a Social Security number.

How do I remove my music from Getty Images licensing?

First, remove the "Buy Link" URL from the track you want to remove. To do this, locate the track, click "edit", click "more options", and then remove the hyperlink from the section 'Buy Link'.

Second, to remove your tracks from the Getty Images system, you must send us a signed letter. The request should be in the following form: <Date>, TO: Getty Images Music, FROM: <your full name><your mailing address><your email address><your phone number>, Dear Sir/Madam: effective <DATE> please remove the following songs from your catalog as I do not wish them to be licensed by Getty Images henceforth, <Song List>, Signed <your signature>. Then scan this signed request (or take a picture of it with your camera phone) and email this request to

How can I add more music for Licensing?

Simply upload a new track and log back into the Getty Images Music SoundCloud App to submit the track. If you have already uploaded your track, simply log back into the Getty Images Music SoundCloud App and submit the uploaded track.

Why do you override the "Buy" link when I select "Request to License" for my uploaded tracks? Why am I allowed only a "Request To License" OR a "Buy" button on my track? I want both!

The URL used for the Buy link is the only available location to allow us to identify your track for licensing, and because of this technical limitation, only one of these features ("Buy" or "Request To License") can be implemented for each track.

How can I contact you if I have other questions?

You can contact for any music licensing related questions.

What kinds of uses are possible for my music?

Clients of Getty Images Music use music in every kind of production including: television, radio, Internet, film and other media. Other uses include commercials, promotional spots, television shows, motion pictures, video games, industrial videos, websites, in-store and on-hold music, ring tones - anything that benefits from audio enhancement. Many uses are incidental; some may be only a few seconds in duration. The particular use, market, platform, duration of use, territory and term, determine the license fees we charge in each case.

What happens when my music gets used?

Before it is used, Getty Images Music will grant a license to a customer for a specific use (Internet, television, etc.) for a specific period of time (in some cases, perpetual) within an identified territory. The customer will report to and pay Getty Images Music for the use of your song, and Getty Images Music will then send you a check in the amount of thirty-five percent (35%) of the applicable licensee fee.

What can customers do with my music?

Customers can synchronize your music with program material for a specific job and for a set period of time or use the music by itself as background (e.g., in a retail store). Examples include a one-year use as background music in a web site, or six months for music synchronized in a radio advertisement. Customers will be able to edit the tracks if they need to. Other types of production/entertainment service uses are possible, and Getty Images Music continues to explore how to put your music to work profitably as new opportunities develop.

Will you tell me when my music was used?

Due to the high volume of licenses and placements of material on a monthly basis, and the fact that the companies creating the shows are often not the actual broadcasters, we are unable to notify artists before a program has started airing. Many times Getty Images Music does not receive cue sheets from clients until well after the production first aired. You should not expect to be informed by us where your music has been used until the use shows up in one of your semi-annual royalty reports.

Do I get to approve where and when my song can be used?

No. Your agreement with Getty Images Music allows us to license your music to any client who is willing to pay money for its use. The agreement you sign pre-clears all of your music for potential licensing. Pre-clearance is a strong selling point for our clients who are more likely to use music that causes them less hassle.

What happens if no one requests to license my music?

When you submit your tracks to Getty Images Music we will queue them up in the system to be licensed. If someone requests to license your track from your SoundCloud account, we will then make your track available for licensing on for that sale and future sales. Our content curators may come across your song and like it and put it up prior to a license request as well.

If I license my music to Getty Images Music through SoundCloud, can I still do other things with it?

Definitely. You are providing your music to Getty Images Music on a non-exclusive basis and are not restricted from granting other licenses to your music, so long as those other licenses do not interfere with our ability to license it (e.g., by purporting to grant an exclusive license to a track you have already submitted or licensed through Getty Images Music). In certain cases, a customer may want to have the exclusive right to use the music for a particular use, in which case Getty Images Music will deal directly with you to obtain your approval and negotiate such an exclusive arrangement.

When does Getty Images Music receive my music?

When you upload your track through SoundCloud and set it to "Request To License," you are sending the file to Getty Images Music. Your song is in queue until someone requests to license your track from SoundCloud, or sooner if your content is curated by a member of Getty Images Music.

What rights do I give Getty Images Music when I sign the agreement?

You give Getty Images Music the right to license your songs on a non-exclusive basis to any of our clients worldwide at a license fee to be determined by Getty Images Music, based on the type of usage. You agree to keep your music in the catalog for a minimum period of one year. You retain all ownership of copyrights, including publishing and masters. Getty Images Music obtains only the right to broker and license your music to interested parties for production, information or entertainment services, and to administer publishing for the uses Getty Images Music generates on your behalf with the corresponding performing rights society.

What responsibilities do I take for the music I submit?

You are giving us your guarantee that the material you are submitting is your own, written and recorded by you, and not sampled, and that you have secured the rights of anyone who owns any part of the master recording or the underlying musical composition (including lyrics), or has any rights over the music or recording at all (including performers). Should this turn out not to be the case, you are fully responsible for any consequences (including any additional fees or damages that may be owed), as you are indemnifying Getty Images Music and our clients with respect to any such third party claims.

What happens if I get a record or publishing deal in the future?

You must tell the record or publishing company that certain songs that you have recorded have been provided to Getty Images Music. If for some reason the company does not want these songs offered to customers through Getty Images Music, please notify us in accordance with our removal process.

What if I already have a record or publishing deal?

Getty Images Music needs the permission of every person or company that has control over, or any rights (including copyright) in, the sound recordings and underlying music and lyrics that you wish to license, which would presumably include your record company and music publishing company. The written consent of these parties is most likely necessary for Getty Images Music to place your music, so you must be sure to secure those rights in writing prior to submitting your tracks to Getty Images for licensing.

What criteria must my music fulfill to be accepted to license through Getty Images Music?

First and foremost, you must confirm, via our Artist License Agreement, that all of the tracks you submit are original to you and/or controlled by you. If there are co-owners, you must secure their rights as well.

If you submit music that contains any third party samples, you must be absolutely certain that they are royalty-free and cleared for use. You must be certain that you have the rights to all of the elements used in any recordings you submit to us. Unauthorized samples are not permitted.

Your music will also go through a preliminary screening process to check for sound quality.

Can I submit music that has samples? How about royalty-free samples?

If you wish to submit music that contains samples, you must be absolutely certain that they are royalty-free and cleared for use, including, if necessary, securing permission from the copyright owner.

How do I submit music that is in the Public Domain?

Please contact if you have submitted a track that includes a musical composition that you believe is in the public domain.

How large of a file can I submit?

WAV files are limited to a file size of 150MB. We have found that typically files larger than 150MB are not relevant to our customers needs.

Can I review your Artist License Agreement before I go through the entire submission process?

Please do! Simply log into the Getty Images Music SoundCloud App to review the Artist License Agreement.

What if I'm not yet a member of a performing rights organization (ASCAP, BMI, PRS, GEMA, SACEM, JASRAC, etc.)?

We will ask you in the licensing process for this information. If you are not a member of any of these organizations, please list "No PRO" when asked. You can submit to Getty Images Music and join a PRO (like ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, e.g.) later on. When/if you do sign up with a PRO, please email your PRO affiliation, member number and CAE/IPI number. We do strongly recommend you join a PRO at some point so that you're eligible to collect performance royalties.

Will I receive performance royalties (i.e. ASCAP, BMI, PRS, GEMA, SACEM, JASRAC, etc)?

Any use of your licensed material in broadcast, cable or certain Internet transmissions, as well as a number of foreign broadcasts and exhibitions, may entitle you to certain performance royalty payments from your performing rights society, if you are a member of one. This is the case except where the licensed use does not involve a public performance or where Getty Images grants a "direct license" (i.e., a license whose upfront fee is inclusive of performance royalties).

As part of the Artist License Agreement, you give Getty Images Music permission to register your songs with various performing rights organizations in connection with the licensed placements made by Getty Images Music. This means that, strictly for licensed uses placed by Getty Images Music, your songs are re-titled with the PRO's and administered through Getty Images Music. This does not affect license placements made other than through Getty Images Music.

Getty Images Music then administers all performance royalties owed on the "publishing share", of which you will receive 50%. You will also receive 100% of the "writer's share" directly from your PRO.

Getty Images Music does not take any permanent ownership in your material as part of this process. Getty Images Music only administers the uses/licenses that Getty Images Music places. This does not affect any other use of your music or the ownership of your songs in any way.

What benefit comes from Getty Images Music acting as the Administrator for royalty collection?

Getty Images Music has systems in place to register your submitted tracks worldwide with individual PRO's and to collect royalties directly from those PROs, in order to make sure that royalties are collected for performances incorporating your music wherever they are aired. We work closely with the performing rights organizations, both domestic and foreign, and we are in regular contact with our clients and have access to information that is critical to ensuring proper collection - including accurate cue sheet filing.

Is the Artist License Agreement a Publishing Agreement?

No. A publishing agreement requires that all or a part of the ownership, including copyright, of the music be transferred to the publisher. Getty Images Music does not take any ownership over the copyright in your music.

How long does Getty Images Music's role as Administrator last?

The appointment of Getty Images Music as an administrator for its license placements runs concurrently with the Artist License Agreement and for the duration of any licenses placed during the term of the Artist License Agreement. This means that, so long as the Artist License Agreement is in effect, upon Getty Images Music licensing your music to a broadcast or performance client, Getty Images Music will be the Administrator with respect to that use. Getty Images Music's right to act as Administrator and to collect its share of the performing rights revenue from its license placements continues for as long as the performance time period provided for in the use license, which in many cases (e.g., films, TV episodes and similar productions) will be indefinite.

How does Getty Images Music monitor royalties?

Getty Images Music will register songs with the performing rights societies and will track and confirm all uses of your music with them.

What is a CAE/IPI#?

A CAE/IPI number is a unique international identifying number given to you by your Performing Rights Organization. It usually consists of 9 digits (ex:

US Residents:

  • If you are a member of ASCAP this number can be found by clicking here.
  • If you are a member of BMI this number can be found by clicking here.
  • If you are a member of SESAC this number can be found by clicking here.
  • If you are a member of a Performing Rights Organization outside of the US, please check with your respective PRO's website.

I do not live in the USA. Will I receive royalties for uses of my music anywhere in the world, and how?

Depending upon your affiliations with rights organizations in your country, and their corresponding relationships with rights organizations in the country where the productions are created or performed, you may receive writer's and/or performer's royalties directly. Getty Images Music will be authorized to collect the publishing royalties due with respect to its licensed placements in the relevant territories and for the particular use, and will distribute your share to you.

What are the possible payments I can expect?

Payments vary according to type of use - a TV show vs. commercial, the broadcast market it is used in, etc.. Usage fees can range from several thousand dollars for a national advertising spot, to hundreds of dollars for a national promo spot, to lesser amounts for use as incidental background music on a website, use of a short sample in a TV episode, or use of a sample in a local TV commercial jingle. Remember that the interests of Getty Images Music and its artists are aligned in this process, in the sense that we always attempt to get the most money we can for every project. However, each project demands that we price competitively in order to secure the license in the first place, and to ensure future business with each client.

Can I split payments between myself and other parties?

Getty Images Music pays only 1 person. If you wish to split payments, it is up to you to do so.

If I would like payment made to my company do you need my personal tax identification number?

If you would like to receive payment personally, please provide your personal tax identification number (in the USA, a social security number) in your completed W-9 or W-8 BEN form (as applicable). If you would like payment to be made to a company or other legal entity, please provide that entity's tax identification number on your W-9 or W-8 BEN.

How do I update my payment information, address, or phone number?

Please contact to let us know your new info.

How do I find information about current or past payments?

Royalty Payment questions can be sent to Questions about music submissions and licensing can be sent to