pumpaudio.jpgGetty Images has acquired Pump Audio, of company that has built up a catalog of 100,000 songs from musicians not signed with traditional labels, for $42 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Getty, of Seattle, Wa., says it is the largest provider of still and moving images. Earlier this year, it bought MediaVast for $200 million, which added more images to Getty’s huge archive. Its acquisition of Pump, based in New York’s Hudson Valley, extends its reach into other forms of digital media at a time when the industry is in midst of massive change caused by Internet distribution.

The deal also shows how licensed music continues to hold considerable value. The digital media industry is hot for investors. Just last year, three investors — Greycroft Partners LP, Village Ventures and High Peaks Venture Partners — invested an undisclosed amount of cash into Pump, and presumably the rapid sale gives them a quick profit, though this hasn’t been confirmed. The company was six years old.

From the Journal:

A key to Pump’s business is the way it lets clients search its database. The service offers a menu of simple search criteria, such as whether the song has lyrics or not, the kind of instruments used, as well as its genre, tempo and mood. “It opens up the production community to people who play the ukulele,” says Pump Chief Executive Steve Ellis. “Which the major labels don’t offer.”

…Rates range from $25 for use in a podcast to hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a theatrically distributed film or network television show. Pump splits the licensing fees evenly with its artists.

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