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Getty Images launches music service

Company known for licensing images will now offer advertisers and broadcasters access to songs.

Getty Images, one of the biggest stock-photo houses, has launched a music licensing business designed to give broadcasters, movie makers and advertisers quick access to songs.

The commercial service was built with the help of Pump Audio, which Getty acquired in June. The music unit is only the start for Getty, which plans to expand the kind of content it offers.

The service will start with 20,000 original tracks by independent artists, the company said in a statement Monday. That number is tiny when compared with music libraries offered by consumer services.

For example, iTunes now boasts more than 6 million songs. Even tiny SpiralFrog, which launched its music site last month with songs from only one of the four major record labels, has about 800,000 songs.

Getty said in a statement that the company intends to partner with major record labels and publishers.