Pump Audio Cuts Composer Sync Fee Share 30%

Film Music Magazine • May 21, 2009

In a letter to composers with music represented by Pump Audio, the retitling library has announced that beginning July 1, composers will receive only 35% of the sync fee for placements, a 30% cut from the current 50% paid to composers. Pump Audio’s share of the sync fees increases to 65%.

The letter says that “…to fully support the 400+ person Getty Images sales staff and invest in marketing and technology needs that we must make adjustments to the current revenue split system” and states that those composers who do not accept the new split will have their music removed from the Pump Audio/Getty Images system “no later than December 31, 2009.”

Pump Audio was acquired by Getty Images in June, 2007 for a reported price of $42 million.

For more information, visit http://www.pumpaudio.com


By Steven Cravis on May 21st, 2009 at 8:40 am

I’m keeping my music in their catalog!

By Chucky on May 21st, 2009 at 8:52 am

Not surprising news from the company that is single handedly deadening television music.

By marina garza on May 21st, 2009 at 9:25 am

I really liked how pump audio worked with the artists. However I don’t like Getty Images. They are a bunch of greedy money hungry crooks. It’s a shame the artist really has no advocacy group to set licensing standards.

By Lionel cartwright on May 21st, 2009 at 9:34 am

I was disappointed to hear this after getting a few placements with Pump. Anyone recommend any of Pump’s competitors?

By Joi Veer on May 21st, 2009 at 9:45 am

This better not be a trend.

By Thomas Czerny on May 21st, 2009 at 10:02 am

So far I was interested in uploading music to pump audio but going from %50 down to 30% makes me wonder why I even bother. Getty Images charges for image licensing outrageous fees, really beyond any common sense.

Composers spend a lot of time on their works after they invested into a long year education and are being offered ridiculous payments. Maybe pump audio used to be a good solution to publish music. A 50/50 share seemed to be acceptable; visual artists for instance share too 50/50 with their galleries. Cutting our profit down to 30% which such a pathetic excuse is modern slavery made by Getty Images. If marketing became so much more expensive, go fire some of your inefficient staff.

We all should boycott such nonsense, go on strike, and beat down those who are willing to accept such BS conditions. As marina says, what we may really need is an independent advocacy group to protect our interests.

By Greg Tripi on May 21st, 2009 at 10:07 am

I’ve had my music in Pump Audio’s catalogs for nearly ten years. They’ve always sent me reasonable licensing fees, and were easy to work with. After I received this letter from them (Getty), I wrote them back saying that they can keep the old tracks from me in the library, but I would never send them another piece of music. Not surprisingly, Getty never bothered to write back.

By Lennart Jensen on May 21st, 2009 at 10:11 am

Deals like that give greed a bad name. Seems like a cynical gamble to test what the community of struggling composers out there really are made of… hoping to get away with it. Big LOL from me… got me feeling pumped out and immediately looking for the emergency exit sign. Seriously folks… that’s a fundamentally wrong way to cut the cake… if we want crumbs in exchange for our hard labor we already have Mr Taxman for deal with!

By Jules Bromley on May 21st, 2009 at 10:22 am

I thought the 50/50 split was the final bastion of fairness between composers and ‘publishers’. This is opportunism at its very worst, and I can’t help feeling it exploits composers’ sheer desparation to keep/get music in catalogues. I hope this is a one-off, and I hope even more that composers (for once) take a stand – not that I really expect it.

By Chris Winham on May 21st, 2009 at 10:52 am

There may be no alternative for artists right now but there soon will be as some of the contributors to Pump already know. Hello Jio Veer

By Ed Hartman on May 21st, 2009 at 11:01 am

I decided to keep my existing music in Pump, but as others, told them I would not put anymore in, or recommend Pump to any other composers. You can always find new customers, but suppliers (especially quality) are limited, and very talkative within any industry. I’ve learned this in retail, too. My recommendation is if you are going to stay with Pump, let them know your dissatisfaction, and that you will not recommend them to others. I did receive an email back. LET THEM KNOW. If there is enough movement out there, it may slow the process, at least with other libraries. If enough Pump artists did make a stink they might back off.

By Andrew Lauzon on May 21st, 2009 at 11:15 am

Yup, this is totally unacceptable.

Alternatives? Check out http://www.nightingalemusic.com

I’ve been a contributor to this library for years and they’ve always been more than fair and great to work with. It’s also run by musicians, so they’ve got your back.

By Andrew Hartmann on May 21st, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Incredible greed! They need to finance that $42M on the backs of the very people who built the company. I will not send them another track ever, and theyve made me money. This move will backfire on them as the real composers with the good material will simply go elsewhere. Taking more than half is pure greed, AND if you didnt sign the contract addendum, they would kick you out of the catalog….Its a true disgrace, thanks to Getty (not to mention the company is for sale)

CRIMINAL! Good luck boys…

By Kerry Collings on May 21st, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Wow…..Pump was cool to me, but when i got this notice, I said no more music for them. How sad and greedy…besides, I made less with Getty than with Pump. The catalog is diluted and they take anything now. Just a numbers game. I hear they offered some people 50/50 still if they went exclusive…Is that true? Maybe i didnt make them enough money….SAD STUFF FOR SURE

By David Mc Laren on May 21st, 2009 at 12:45 pm

How about if we built our own forum, our own platform to distribute our music? I know how to set up a complex web site, I know how to market some ideas, I know graphic design. What are these guys doing that we cannot do by ourselves? We should not charge each other that we are trying to get our stakes out, we only charge clients, who want to use our music. You get 100% of what you deserve. Something like FaceBooks for composers. WE do have the power, to bring Getty and pump shit down, they are standing on us, not the other way around. It is US who has to stand up and they will fall off like fleas from a pure bread dog. (russian proverb ;-) send me an email to youiyyuio@yahoo.es, and this is NOT SCAM, I am just mad that artists always get fukced and the others make the money. Let’s stop this!

By Peter on May 21st, 2009 at 1:24 pm

I’m going to ask them to remove my music immediately. This is too much. After their commission and the tax cut, we will all end up out on the street. They act first and tell the composer last.

I have my first 2 albums on there (ambient and percussion).

Oh, and does anyone know the best way to break off from pump/getty? Seems it has to be done by post.

By L1M on May 21st, 2009 at 1:28 pm

I have had some success with Pump but it’s pretty lame that the composers sync fee gets cut.

Aside from the leads I got through the Film Music Network, there are a few other libraries I have had a lot of success with…InDigi Music, Music Beyond, and Scorekeepers. Although not giants like Pump, APM or Extreme Music, I know that InDigi and Scorekeepers are both run by composers, so their interest is usually with the composers and writers. They don’t accept just anything and everything either.

By Patrick Gleeson on May 21st, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Regarding composers banding together and somehow creating a newer, fairer entity: this is the old belling the cat problem–I attended many futile meetings over “doing something” about the 1980s & early 1990s development of television production companies becoming “authors” for royalty purposes of television score music, particularly Saturday morning shows. The problem is: we’re composers, not management executives and particularly not development executives, which is even farther away from our areas of expertise.

I don’t have any other solution, by the way; I’m just suggesting from sad experience that you not waste a lot of your creative energies on something that will almost certainly not end up being a realistic alternative. Make music and do the best you can with this bad situation. And yes, I do think it will get worse–greed spreads.

By David Mc Laren on May 21st, 2009 at 2:14 pm


I hear your concerns but this is exactly were we are so vulnerable. It’s like with Galleries who dictate what to paint and what not. And Getty & Co dictated what we will be paid and if at all. Now try to see this with the eyes of a client: They want to have one or two databases where they could find music for their needs (Besides, composing music for movies should always be a custom job). The problem is, that many musicians have their own web site but who knows about it? I really don’t think that it takes this much management skills to create an entity for independent musicians who need to have a strong and well visited internet presence. In times of Web 2.0 this isn’t a big deal anymore and each musician could license through YOULICENSE. I suppose we all are equipped with some brain otherwise we wouldn’t be here and does it take so much more to be really independent? At least it is worth a try. I am going to check out Digi Music and Scorekeepers. Perhaps it is not necessary to re-invent the wheel, but we have to me stronger and more resistant on our end. I thought Pump Audio offered a fair deal and I was in the process to upload music. I don’t want that anymore. 30%? HAHAHAHAHA, or, you get what you pay for!

By Aural Pleasure Music on May 21st, 2009 at 2:31 pm

We are very disappointed that Pump Audio/Getty Images has lowered the artist’s share. This seems very unfair and we are considering pulling our catalog and actively looking for competitors who do not exploit artists unfairly.

By L1M on May 21st, 2009 at 2:40 pm

David, it was InDigi Music, Music Beyond, and Scorekeepers…I think you read it wrong.

By Thomas Czerny on May 21st, 2009 at 3:20 pm

one of the better services is right here: http://www.filmmusic.net I just came across this article http://www.filmmusic.net/freeguide2.html and it explains well what we have to deal with. Try to find your niche and be yourself.

By Charlie Mac on May 21st, 2009 at 3:53 pm

Well, we all are quite upset about the 50/50 split changed to 63/35 split. On the other hand Pump Audio, is not to blame, it’s just not!!! It’s Getty Images the corporate giant, who acquired Pump Audio in 2007 for $42 million along with a catalogue of 20,000 independent artists. Anyone who knows business had to see this coming, it’s monopoly, and for quite some time now, Pump Audio has been the proverbial Boardwalk of the music licensing business for independent artist. Prior to the acquisition, Pump Audio was run by music minded people who cared about fairness, and did business with integrity. That’s all over with, but all is not lost, there are still other companies that are willing to do right by the artist that help build, and grow their companies. As far as for Getty Images/Pump Audio, they don’t need the our money, they’re filthy rich, but I will still pray for them, avaritia (avarice/greed) greed is one of 7 deadly sins.

By Ray Egan on May 21st, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Hey all…

I was just sent this page-link by a friend and full-time composer out of Reno.

Well…I wrote a long article here about this and I erased it……What can one do? A 50-50 split is obviously the “fair” division, 35% suggests to me one of several things. Getty is greedy and the bottom-of-the-totem-pole ( composers ) are the sacrificial lambs. They will blame the economy, but rather than trim some unnecessary business expenses ( Hey, EVERY company has them if they ever looked hard enough) we have to sacrifice a HUGE portion of our earnings.

NOTE: I have been with PUMP for over a year with 19 tracks and zero placements, lol…so that last point is academic…..

All-in-all I sell much better with Musicloops.com–around $100/month and am in 6 other sites that give me a few sales here and there……about what I expected anyway.

In conclusion I would have to say that, given PUMPS soooper long time to get your tracks approved ( 6-10 months??)??, plus the fact that not even one, teeny-weeny track of mine has been used for anything!!! I will stick with the others I use…most accept my tracks in a few days…….

Thanks all and the best of luck to you!!!


Miami Beach

By Kerry Collings on May 21st, 2009 at 8:09 pm

GETTY has become composer public enemy number one with this stunt…lets spread the word and get the power of the press to show their greed…..its really sad……so sad….

lets make them regret the greed….

By MMMG on May 21st, 2009 at 8:44 pm

As from the literature posted from the Film Music Network – http://www.filmmusic.net/freeguide2.html

This is the true problem re: Performance royalties…

That’s the raw truth, unfortunately. Often out of fear, sometimes out of apathy, or sometimes out of
frustration, composers are notoriously bad at getting together and using their collective power and
market share (most music on television is still instrumental music) to create any sort of positive change
as an industry. Composers seemingly would rather undercut each other in brutal price competition
rather than working together to make this industry a better place for all composers.
This is exactly why ASCAP gets away with paying a one-minute cue in film and television only 20%
of what a one-minute song is paid on the same show, watched by the same number of people. If
composers ever stood up and said, “Enough!” to this outrageous devaluation of instrumental music, it
could stop tomorrow. Problem is, most composers either don’t care, or are afraid to offend the royalty
societies and others, so the lousy treatment continues.

By Michael on May 22nd, 2009 at 2:40 am

I’m surprised at some of the comments. People should open up yellow pages and see the number of bona fide music supervisors and licencing operations out there. What’s more, the European ones do not take any of the publishing rights (and performance fees are paid for music in European cinemas, unlike the US). Pump Audio has just joined the ranks of the rip-off merchans. So what? There are other companies out there.

By doug edgell on May 22nd, 2009 at 5:48 am

I have had my music accepted by Pump – but have never received any placements (yet)
I know it seems like a bad deal but, I’m leaving my music in and will submit more. 30% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

To me it’s just one small piece of the puzzle. Teaching, performing, recording, music licensing, etc… I spread out my income streams so I can make money from several different music related fields.


By Uno on May 22nd, 2009 at 8:11 am

Can anyone say COMPOSERS UNION? Why not band with SAG or The Writer’s Guild or one of the more successful unions out there? Seems all of Hollywood has a union to protect rights and fair practices except the composers. Why is that?

By Marco on May 22nd, 2009 at 9:15 am


People like you FUCK up the whole industry. I have seen this in the visual arts, in Graphic Design, in Screen Writing. There is always a desperate whore who does not have the guts and dignity to say ENOUGH. It is not a question of making 35% of something for yourself. It is a question of solidarity with other composers. You are just another JUDAS.

By Uno on May 22nd, 2009 at 10:44 am

Marco — I’ll bet Doug would be happy to join a union that would protect his rights and guarantee fair income, if there was one for him to join. Is anyone out there doing ANYTHING along this line?

Wendell Phillips:
The labor movement means just this: It is the last noble protest of the American people against the power of incorporated wealth.

John L. Lewis:
Let the workers organize. Let the toilers assemble. Let their crystallized voice proclaim their injustices and demand their privileges. Let all thoughtful citizens sustain them, for the future of Labor is the future of America.

Abraham Lincoln:
“All that serves labor serves the nation. All that harms is treason. If a man tells you he trusts America, yet fears labor, he is a fool. There is no America without labor, and to fleece the one is to rob the other.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.:
We must learn to live together as brothers or we are going to perish together as fools.

By Carl M on May 22nd, 2009 at 10:56 am

Did any of you clowns read the contract ? Film Music Mag has free legal advice for members? Has anybody even inquired? PS:I’m not with pump

By DNMK on May 22nd, 2009 at 11:25 am

Pump can kick rocks. I have been using Music Dealers, they are awesome.

By Shawnna82 on May 22nd, 2009 at 11:47 am

I have worked with Pump Audio for many years and I just pulled all of my songs out. This is uncalled for!! The 50/50 split was drawing line, but I have come to realize that 50/50 is the standard with these companies, and they really do a great job at placing my music. I have had a lot of success in the past. I have all my songs in Rumblefish and they have yet to get me any placements. I don’t know why they can’t get me anything as Pump got me a few placements. I submitted my catalog to Music Dealers too a few weeks back and they have landed me a placement already. Since these two companies have similar terms, I am going to stay with these two companies and see what happens, but at this moment Music Dealers is pulling ahead in the race to my favorite. :)

By MZ on May 22nd, 2009 at 11:53 am

Pump Audio Sucks! They are greedy bastards!!

By Natalie R. on May 22nd, 2009 at 12:01 pm

It parallels what Getty’s doing with Flickr and such – from their message board:

Getty will be offering between 20% and 30% of the selling price to the photographer – this is way below stock industry standard that is closer to 50% and in a few cases 60%.

Good luck growing your business Pump Audio. And to think, I actually had it on my To Do list to sign a few artists up with them. Scratch that one off the list…

By Randolph Kenwood on May 22nd, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Well, it’s hard to not blame Pump and instead blame Getty, but let’s face it, they’re now one in the same.

I agree, a musicians union would be great, but in the long run, unless you got just about EVERY composer/musician/band to join, it wouldn’t work cause there’d always be some sucker willing to shill their music for super cheap and totally undermine the market.

For me and my various bands and side projects, we use the indie artist division of DL Music (www.dl-music.com).. they still do things 50/50 and have always been cool to me to deal with.

By L1M on May 22nd, 2009 at 1:20 pm

Yeah, like I said, Indigi Music, Scorekeepers and Music Beyond…I’ve had A LOT of success between those guys. There are a ton of them out there, but I am definitely happy with these guys who I’ve been dealing with for years.

By Billy Sullivan on May 23rd, 2009 at 10:12 am

I’d stop writing music and go sell insurance before I would give 10 seconds of my music to any company like Pump.
I thought the 50% deal was too high, let alone what they’re doing now. They reduce the value of your music composers… and you let them. They’re whores and so are you. Take your music back and go get yourself a gig.
That’ll separate the men form the boys.

By Sean on May 23rd, 2009 at 10:56 am

For what it’s worth (@MMMG), this is sync not performance royalties. I know, at least in Canada for sure and am pretty confident that ASCAP/BMI/SESAC are the same, that 50% of performing rights stays with the composer regardless of what Pump Audio writes in their press releases. It’s SOCAN policy, not Pump Audio. So the back end will stay solid even as they gouge the front end all to hell.

By MMMG on May 23rd, 2009 at 5:56 pm

Sean, I was merely referring to David McLaren’s thoughts on pooling a bunch of people together to fight the losses that composers are dealing with as a whole. MOST COMPOSERS ARE MERCENARIES AND DON’T CARE ENOUGH ABOUT THE

The front end should never exceed the 50/50 split. The backend on the other hand, I don’t care if they are getting 100% of the Publisher share while we are keeping 100% of the Composer share. It’s still 50/50 all around.

By bt on May 23rd, 2009 at 11:10 pm

I never had a drop in placements when Pump went to Getty but the whole process, attitude, and communication changed for the worse. Then this from Getty (under the guise of Pump)…
“As we plan for the future growth of our offering to the global music licensing client base, we have determined that to fully support the 400+ person Getty Images sales staff and invest in marketing and technology needs that we must make adjustments to the current revenue split system. By making these changes, we intend to accelerate the pace of our growth and achieve our goal of becoming the largest music licensor in the world.”
And for their aspirations of global domination I`m (and all of you/us) adjusted to a 35/65 split??? Huh….what`s wrong with this picture. I`m outta here.
I think aside from spreading the word amongst composers in general, we as composers and royalty earners should go back over our statements, contact the buyers/licensors of our work(s) and make them aware of Getty`s tactics and licensing/payout adjustments. Let them know where their product is coming from. Hopefully as well Getty will loose a lot of of their talent.
I`ve done an adjustment of my own to help Getty`s cause….I`m gonna give them 100% of my share of any future submissions…but a hundred percent of nothing is nothing.

By Naama - From YouLicense on May 25th, 2009 at 5:43 am

Hi all,
This is a very interesting discussion and it’s good to read all your comments!
I would like to chime in and let you know that YouLicense offers a different take on things.

You can get a basic free account and pay a 9% commission or go for 0% commission with a very affordable fee on our premium memberships. $5 a month for artists/composers and $10 a month for companies. Check it out http://www.youlicense.com.

By Mike Stevens on May 26th, 2009 at 12:13 pm

PMPWORLDWIDE.COM is still the best for the urban market

By B. Yotch on May 26th, 2009 at 1:39 pm

I have recently joined Music Dealers, I saw someone else mentioned them. I have only been with them for about six months but have gotten one placement with a pretty nice payout. The 50/50 thing is something I can live with I suppose but….I think they are worth checking out, http://WWW.MUSICDEALERS.COM.

By joan on June 3rd, 2009 at 5:32 am

i’ve been a member of beatpick.com. they can obtain good film & tv placements for you. 50/50 split on sync fee and 100% performance royalties to the artist.
slick front end.

By Paul on June 11th, 2009 at 7:19 pm

Im really glad to see that people are pissed off with this move by Pump.
In my opinion any songwriter who still leaves any of their music in there is a fool and obviously doesnt rate their own tunes very highly to take such a small cut.

50/50 is the norm and there are loads of “connected” music publishers out there offering non exclusive licensing deals.
Do yourself a favour, dont devalue music, remove your tunes and get the message load and clear to Pump.
Like I said to Pump in my email “dont bite the hand that feeds you”
Without skilled songwriters Pump doesnt exist, without Pump we still exist.

By Joe Padeski on July 6th, 2009 at 9:31 pm

Check out Music Dealers. http://www.musicdealers.com They are a big music company out of Chicago. Very aggressive and garner big placements. Pump is killing music licensing, and Music Dealers is reinventing it…

And NO, I do not work for Music Dealers.


By Nick on July 10th, 2009 at 8:10 am

I wouldn’t agree that pmpworldwide is the best for the urban market, nor would I agree that musicdealers is reinventing music licensing – that’s quite a strong statement to be said about an entity that merely has a slightly different business model than others in the business. When a business finds out how to get the PRO’s to figure out how to distribute our money for digital performances, then maybe I will be a little more impressed.

By Maximillion13 on July 21st, 2009 at 5:24 am

The new royalty rate is a disgrace. There is no justification for Getty to implement them other than pure greed. Pump ran so well under the old rates that Getty bought it! I am pulling my music off and finding an alternative. At some point you have to stand up against this short term thinking.

By Sammy on September 4th, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Nick- so 50-50 doesnt impress you more than Pump’s 35-65?
You gotta work with the status quo- we all want change but Musicdealers is good and Im definitely going to work with them , they have a track record and better deal. Still keeping my old stuff with Pump. PRO’s make decisions on their own about how they pay out royalties, licensing companies don’t have any say in it so I don’t understand your comment. If youre looking for change on that level, lobby some people/organizations to affect the PRO’s directly

By daznez on September 17th, 2009 at 12:56 am

I’m gutted, I really am.
Pump is the only place i’ve made any decent money from my music in the last 5 years. I’ve never totalled it but it’s probably around $5000 in all.
However, I don’t rely on this money to pay my bills – it’s just a nice bonus twice a year. Or was.
The only way to make sure this doesn’t become an industry trend is to pull your music and not accept the new deal.
I toyed with the idea of leaving what they had of mine with them, but believe – if artists accept less than 50/50, other companies will soon follow suit, and it will become an industry norm.
Not everyone will do this, but if enough artists do, the quality and range of their catalogue will diminish, and licensees will soon look elsewhere – probably to the new company we’ve all just signed with on a fair 50/50 split. Best recommendations?

By JILL COHN on September 25th, 2009 at 2:10 am

i terminated my agreement w/pump on 5/9/08, and now, 1 1/2 years later, they are now getting around to re-naming my songs, and claiming publishing, even when they NEVER did this DURING the term I was legally bound to them.
when i confronted them about this, they said that they even have rights to perpituity that servive on existing licenses. the problem is they won’t disclose when any license were issued, let alone what they were actually paid.
these guys are crooks, and I’ve HIRED A LAWYER who sucessfully seud AOL over copyright infringement.

We are looking for other artsits who have been wronged by getty images/pump audio.

JOIN US, change the world, and stop companies taking atdvantage of artists once and for all..

.if it wassn’t for US MUSICIANS providing MUSIC, OUR Product, that company, Getty images would be OUt of BUSINESS.
I CALL for all musicians to TERMINATE your agreement with Getty/Pump Audio ASAP–STARVE THis SHAM of a “Business”.., then, they won’t have any music to exploit, and they will be out of business in a matter of months… OR, they will continue licensing our works, (as they still are with me, even since I TERMINATED my agreement with them), and then we will have more evidence to sue them
yes, i’m mad. I have every right to be, these people are crooks, and I am going to do what ever I can to bring them down,

By daznez on September 27th, 2009 at 1:21 am

In fact, if Getty’s goal is really to ‘become the largest music licensor in the world,’ it would have been better for them to change the split to 35/ 65 in the composers’ favour. How much positive vibe would that have generated? How hard would we all be working right now to finish and produce more tracks for them?
Another example of big business being short-sighted, that will end up losing them share (and goodwill) in the long-run. Plenty of good suggestions for alternative avenues for licnesing on here, which I will be following up.

By zartan on October 1st, 2009 at 2:50 pm

I’m considering getting out of the game all-together. I’ve been working full-time house composing and writing for around 25 publishers and libraries for five years and on the creative (and damn near personal) sides…it’s taken it’s toll! Someone mentioned (twice!) above Indigi and Scorekeepers….if your pulling your stuff out of Getty Images/Pump I’d seriously consider knocking on their doors as they are great organizations and both Non-exclusive. Indigi if your urban/mtv ish and Scorekeepers if your reality/documentary by all means email them!

By Jason Kadlec on October 7th, 2009 at 2:21 pm

I just put together this quick survey – if you have ever had your music placed by Pump Audio, please tell me about it. I DO NOT work for Pump Audio – I’m an independent music consultant and musician.

Thank you for your time- it’s just a few short questions that you can answer anonymously. You can also let me know who you are if you wish, the choice is yours.

Click Here to tell us about your experience with Pump Audio

Thank you!
Jason Kadlec

By mansfield on November 15th, 2009 at 1:07 pm

BOYCOTT TIME. I really thing we as a group need to take some steps to unify on this, as if things keep going the way that Pump is pushing them…we’ll be paying people to use our music. We are the content owners and don’t need Pump Audio. They need us, and this is ridiculously disrespectful. Let’s all pick any other competitor and transfer our work there. After tax, Pump thinks it’s now ok for us to spend thousands of dollars creating work to then let them act as the majority earner? The risk is actually 100% on our sides since they don’t pay for the creation of the work. The founders just made millions selling contracts we made with them onto Getty. Let’s bin them please.

By Chris on November 16th, 2009 at 12:27 am

Has anyone really thought this through?


YES, there will always be those that are willing to take the cut. 30% of something is better than nothing.

But WHO will be the ones taking that 30%? Don’t forget that the composer pool is NOT the only place that experiences competition. There is also competition among publishers. Those who are desperate enough to need the placements will be willing to take 30% over nothing. Those who have valuable catalogs will pull them, and go where they can get more.

And where will that leave Pump? With a less valuable list of catalogs, that’s where! I’m not with these guys, but when I am ready, if they are still there, I might, MAYBE take them over nothing, but would likely try somewhere else first. Lacking placements elsewhere, I would go with 30% over nothing, knowing that the competition level is probably lower with Pump. If my stuff moves, come time for reup on the contract, good bye Pump!

They are shooting themselves in the head!

By PAINTREND on November 29th, 2009 at 8:46 am

The free alternative is http://www.youlicense.com
They offer different types of licensing, and look to be getting popular, in fact they are the number one result when you google “music licensing”… better than feeding the greedy’s out there too!

By Joey on December 8th, 2009 at 12:04 am

I was with pump audio for over 2 years. When I received the notice about the new agreement I told them to shove it up their a$$ without hesitation !! They sent me two emails explaining their position but all that did was insult my intelligence. The ONLY way to stop this raping of the artist is for the artists as a collective to say “NO” !!! Actually, it’s up to each and every artist to say NO on their own. Any artist who says that 30% is better than nothing is part of the problem and can equally share in the blame for what the biz has become !! I did my part with saying NO to Pump Audio , now I hope others do their part !

By Danny B on December 29th, 2009 at 6:39 am

Hi everyone -

There is an alternative to Pump – in fact one that was there before Pump.
http://www.musicstate.com splits everything 50/50 with the writers and has a long- standing customer base of over 100,000 registered users worldwide. Also, unlike Pump they don’t just focus on the US but target Europe and the emerging markets in the rest of the world. Check ‘em out.

By John Dudley on January 27th, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Pump Audio has proven to me most ineffective in providing an overall stable of competitive professional talent.
There has been talk amongst industry circles that they may have an investigation targeted at their company in 2010, especially with lowering the split to their advantage.
There are many companies offering this type of service, and 95% are effective and honest.
Try them.

By David Elvin on February 20th, 2010 at 4:20 pm

This is awful for any music library to do. I’ve taken my music to Platinum Music, based on a several recommendations. They’re based in London and have already placed a few of my tracks. They seem really nice guys too. They seem quite selective, turning down most of my stuff :( but I suppose that’s to keep quality high. Hopefully they won’t sell out like Pump!

By Max on June 16th, 2010 at 3:27 pm

It is disgusting but typical. Getty have been going through the creative world like a cancer taking everyone out of business. They buy the company – reduce the amount of money the people who actually create their product get and then undercut their competitors and then buy them at some point in the future. I used Pump Audio to avoid having to deal with Getty but they sucked it up along with everything else. 50/50 was not a great deal. 65/35 in their favour is a disgrace and undermines the whole creative industry. The fact that they are using MY royalties to undercut other companies is a joke that isn’t funny anymore…

By Max on June 16th, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Sorry forgot to mention that i agree with many others on here that they should be told to stick their royalty rate where the sun don’t shine. If you want people to produce good quality music with all the expense and hard work attached at least have the decency to pay a fair share for it.

By EP0CH on June 21st, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Yeah, this is quite outrageous. Keep those links comin, though, folks… stuff like MusicDealers and MusicState is pretty golden as far as I’m concerned. And I completely agree with that guy’s post up there about musicians not stayin together on stuff and being undercut more often than others. Keepin an active discussion going on stuff like this is among one of the ways we can do that, at least.

So, any other ideas? Has anyone heard of or had much experience with https://www.productiontrax.com

I’ve had some pretty good results with ProductionTrax so far… but ehh..

\\ keep the music alive \\
-EPoCH | http://soundcloud.com/ep0ch

By Supajam on June 29th, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Anyone know how many tracks are licensed globally each year (film, adverts, games, TV) and where I could find that sort of info?

Its time to strike back I think!

By bobskeyboardz on August 1st, 2010 at 10:13 am

it would be nice if there were other companies that promote artists for free; there is none. Pump Audio is the only company that will promote for free in an attempt to sell licenses to your music, all others charge a fee and even then you may not sell any licenses.

Until this changes Pump audio can take any percentage they want, this is very very sad!

By Billy on August 4th, 2010 at 8:01 am

I don’t know about none, music dealers just contacted a buddy of mine for some information because they were trying to do some partnership or something and i know their blog is focused on their artists. I think its really awesome that some companies would go far beyond their normal duties as a licensing company, especially a free one.

By victor on September 4th, 2010 at 9:25 pm

i was going to join pump but then i read this page and decided not to… slippery slope will lead to more % increase.. thanks for your comments everyone..

By Yadgyu on September 26th, 2010 at 8:21 am

Pump Audio is only “hated” because it is a big company.

I find it funny that musicians want their work to be heard by the masses, but berate a large company like Pump for playing by their own rules. Getty Images was smart for scooping up Pump. This will only help small composers to become more successful and prosperous.

From many of these comments, I can tell that some people here are bitter and a bit envious that they were not accepted. It took me a few times to get songs added to Pump. But I just kept plugging away. I did not cry and talk bad about this company. It doesn’t help at all!

By Billy on October 6th, 2010 at 8:57 am

So pretty much- you work or are in some way associated to Pump?

They aren’t hated because they are big, they are hated because they are greedy.

There are plenty of companies out there that do not take as much as Pump, but because it is a larger company they feel they are able to do so and get away with it.

“We have a track record, if we take more stupid artists wouldn’t be able to do anything about it because they want their work placed.”

Its pretty much the same as dating a chick who is a b**** all the time because she knows she looks good.

By Sterling on November 4th, 2010 at 5:40 am

Listen, the artists / bands who are making good money in the new music business are the ones who are selling smaller amounts of lots of things.

Sure, 35% of 10 songs isnt going to net you much but 35% of 50 or 100 songs………you get the idea.

By Mike Burnett on January 20th, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Sterling, the irony of your argument is that 35% of the licensing from 50-100 songs is also way less than 50%, let alone 65%, which is the cut Getty Images/Pump is now taking. Composers can go elsewhere to find that 50/50 or better split, e.g., Rumblefish or all the other places people are naming here. (This thread is a great resource.)

I have a couple dozen tracks or so licensed through Pump and I’ve had placements, but because of the 35/65 split, I’m going to be focusing on other licensing services until Getty/Pump gets their act together. I hope everyone else does the same.

By JIll Cohn on March 3rd, 2011 at 11:23 am



thank you! this is not a scam.. this is REAL, and that’s my personal email.. so give me a shout.

By Peter Miller on March 22nd, 2012 at 2:20 pm

I agree with most of the above. I had small amounts of earnings coming in from Pump Audio. When the new lower Artist cut came in from Getty, I was so disappointed. I hardly make anything and to have more taken out is so greedy. My Music is still there but it eats at me every now and then knowing how much they take out of it. doesn’t make sense

By Doug Martin on March 28th, 2012 at 1:15 pm

I was going to sign on but after reading the 35% cut, I will definitely pass now. That is totally unfair.

By Brad Stark on October 16th, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Getty Music has recently partnered with SoundCloud and their rate for musicians is 35%. I’ve written an article on this and posted it on the Audiogang website with the title: Getty Licensing Partnership with SoundCloud: 35% Licensing Fees for Musicians. The 35% royalty rate is part of Getty’s larger business strategy of acquiring and profiting from content providers and it is the same strategy they have used in the photography industry with payouts of 35% and lower.

By Greg Savage on October 23rd, 2012 at 3:24 am

I really don’t understand why people are having an issue with the % split. It’s not like this is an exclusive contract. I have no problem with the split and I make great money from Pump. Sure, it would be more if they took less but again, I’m free to put my music in other libraries as well.

So again, what’s the big deal here?

By annom on September 9th, 2013 at 3:49 am

My problem with pump is slightly different although i agree that the cut they are taking is beyond unreasonable.

They always seem to accept (give the green light) to my old amateurish B material, but they always reject anything even remotely interesting music theory wise.

for example I did a song in messiaen mode 2 with a key change to f arabic using half step resolution in the transition and keeping common tones in the voice leading in there as well. The song was #1 on the fiercebark charts for a month, did 100 times better feedback wise than the stuff that passed, and pump still rejected it.

I have a feeling there are some very unimaginative people working there screening our audio if they don’t recognize a simple messiaen scale as being correct music theory. By my experiences it seems the only really accept things that are in standard typical scales without anything like key changes.

I’m totally not working with them anymore. It’s not a constructive relationship if I have to dumb down everything I do for these guys.

By Amurco on April 2nd, 2014 at 9:10 pm

Great article. Really informative.

By FilmComposer on August 20th, 2015 at 11:27 am

Finally stumbled on this article and comments. Good.
I’ve been with MusicDealers as long as I have with Pump. I went to one of MD’s way early selective parties (only 20 or 30 people invited). Super cool company. Really cool guys. The problem is, I’ve had the same music in both MD and Pump and over 5 years, I’ve made $50 from MD and thousands from Pump…

Bottom line is, put your music everywhere. How else are you going to stay afloat?


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