Current Content Needs for Getty Images Music

Article Tools

While certain genres and styles tend to get more placements and licenses than others, quality always sells. If you are particularly strong in one area or genre, don’t be afraid to send it in!

Instrumental vs. Lyric :

Most of our clients are looking for instrumental music. It’s always good to have a strong vocal track in case it fits a client’s needs, but a huge portion of sales go to instrumental tracks.


Customers strongly favor tracks that have “hard” endings or outros. Unfortunately, fade-outs do not often work in the music licensing world. Stems (where the track is separated out into individual tracks for separate instruments) and cut-downs (15, 30 or 60 second edits) are also frequently requested. Now you can tag related tracks like these together in the Getty Images Music Portal, so that they will be grouped together on our site and easily searchable by clients.

Styles of Music:

It is always better to deliver content that is of high quality in mixed genres rather than low quality in the “right” genres. We are very careful with quality screening and will allow any style of music onto our platform if it is composed, performed and produced well. However, there are some needs that keep coming up:


    • Upbeat production music – Simple, poppy and unobtrusive background beds – think of a pharmaceutical commercial showing a family enjoying an outing, a vacation slideshow, an online product demo video. Do you hear major chord changes? Up-tempo, light drum loops? An acoustic guitar or a Ukulele? Maybe a glockenspiel? You are on the right track.
    • Solo piano compositions – Modern, ambient, sometimes evocative or emotive piano music. You can imagine a dramatic, brooding scene in a soap opera, or a piece set to accompany somber or even dramatic news footage. Minor chords, reverb, sparse but persistent and expressive and human.
    • Instrumental Hip Hop – Hip Hop has a tradition of samples and loops, which makes obtaining good quality, sample-free, copyright-cleared production music difficult. Can you put together a catchy beat, a solid bassline and some stabs and pads? Again, quality is everything, and getting those authentic sounds without borrowing a loop is a challenge, but it can be done. Clients often choose static but catchy pieces, but all moods and styles in this genre are welcomed.
    • Public Domain Works – Can you think of a well-known, recognizable piece of music that is in the public domain? Can you not find it on our platform? Great! You have a chance to fill that niche. Our rule with public domain works is that the composer needs to be deceased for a minimum of 75 years. This opens up a huge range of classical music, folk pieces, and even national anthems. Make your own arrangement or stick to the original – but again, the recordings need to sound professional.
    •  Rock and Pop – Solid sounding instrumental rock and pop are a constant in this industry. Styles frequently change and evolve, so if you catch our content sounding dated, take a chance at submitting something in the latest style. Instrumentals with clear intro’s and outro’s (no fade outs!) do well in this area, especially if the mood is clear and the sounds are catchy.
    • Electronic Music – Similar to rock and pop, this is an evergreen need with a constantly shifting stylistic focus. Electronic music can cover every possible mood and feel. Client needs range from static, upbeat beds to a more pensive, dramatic and ambient feel, to all out dubstep-fueled aggression. Try to make the work accessible to listeners (not too harsh or abstract) and clear and concise. Catchiness is always a plus, but the less obtrusive, ambient background tracks do well too.
    • Classical Music – Recognizable, public domain pieces are a great staple for any catalog or contributor, as are newer, production-friendly works, and even dramatic cinematic, orchestral music.
    • World Music – The world is full of music – and not all of it gets licensed. But occasionally, an obscure genre is needed, and if you fill that hole in our catalog, you may be the lucky contributor that gets the placement. This bucket is another chance for you to round out our catalog and hopefully snag some license placements if you catch us in a niche genre where there might be a need you can fill. Be sure to tag your keywords appropriately!


, , , ,

Related Articles

Previous ArticleWhen do I get access to ESP?