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Getty Introduce Connect API: Another Key Protocol For DAM Vendors To Integrate With?

by Naresh Sarwan on March 2, 2012

Stock media leviathan, Getty Images have recently announced the release of their ‘Connect’ API.  This allows users to search their vast repository of content and integrate it with their own systems:

Our set of APIs provides direct access to millions of images and hundreds of thousands of videos across our collections and brands. In addition, you can integrate our Getty Images-like search experience with our powerful sorting and filtering capabilities. You also gain access to our extensive and rich set of metadata and keywords. Lastly Connect enables downloads of all the file sizes available on from small to high-resolution files.” [Read More]

This is interesting for several reasons:

Firstly, Getty are probably the biggest stock library in existence having either bought up or wiped out large swathes of the competition around 10-15 years ago.  There are obviously other libraries that still trade, but if an organisation buys media like stock photo in any significant quantity, they almost certainly have some stuff owned by Getty in their collections and in many cases, they are their exclusive supplier too.  In 2010, we also reported that Getty were partnering with Flickr to allow non-professional photographers to sell licences to use their images through Getty using the ‘Microstock’ model.  So, Getty have the scale (and therefore clout) to generate momentum and establish technologies that the DAM industry has to take notice of.

The second point is that it illustrates a trend we have observed for content to increasingly be transported invisibly from users using back-end integration technologies.  If you are a corporate DAM user and your business purchases many images from Getty then there will be pressure upon DAM vendors to provide connectors that allow content to be directly ingested from Getty (and similar stock libraries) into your DAM system without the hassle of downloading it and re-uploading it.  Granted these tasks might be easier with watched folders, embedded metadata extraction etc but we envisage more DAM users wanting their chosen solution to do that for them automatically via direct integration (with an audit of what was purchased that can be issued directly to their finance department’s systems too).

Finally, Getty themselves produce a DAM system called ‘Getty Images Media Manager‘. Hitherto this has been less successful for Getty (certainly I encounter it less than other more well known names in the DAM system sector).  The Connect API might potentially offer Getty an advantageous position for sales of this solution if their competitors (as system vendors) are required by customers and clients to integrate with it and the IMM API becomes a de-facto industry standard as a result.

It seems clear to us that the future of DAM systems is in back-end integration.  Those system that can place themselves at the heart of an organisation’s media supply chain and act as a hub for media delivery will prosper and this is where the major competitive battles in the DAM sector will take place over the next 3 years, in our view.

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