Getty Images and Indaba Team Up for Crowdsourced Ad Music

Partnership could create library of almost not quite pop hits

Get ready for more ads that sound almost, but not exactly, like your favorite pop songs.

The music-licensing arm of photo service Getty Images (called, naturally, Getty Images Music) has announced that it's partnering with Indaba Music, an online service that connects musicians with collaborators and moneymaking opportunities. The goal, the companies say, is to allow the musicians on Indaba to create new songs catering to the needs of the advertisers and other content creators using Getty.

That should fix one of the big problems Indaba CEO J.J. Rosen saw at his last job as an executive vice president at Sony Music. "You'd get a lot of inbound [licensing] requests . . . and then the majority of deals would not materialize," he said.

There were a number of reasons why these deals fall through, he says. A big one was the fact that brands often can't get clearance for the specific song they want. Going forward, if a client can't afford to license a Top 40 hit, or if it's just not available, the Getty-Indaba partnership should lead to the creation of songs that have the sound they're looking for.

Most of the time, those songs will be based on Getty's customer requests. That doesn't mean a song will be created for a specific ad, but rather Getty (which currently licenses more than 200,000 tracks) can see what types of music are in demand, and then post that request on Indaba.

To kick off the program, Getty and Indaba asked musicians to create songs in the style of popular songs like "Party Rock Anthem," "On the Floor," and "Where Them Girls At." A quick perusal of the Getty/Indaba music page reveals songs that are catchy, if a bit generic and forgettable—which is to say, they sound like the real thing.