Getty Extends Flickr Deal: Good News For Amateurs – Bad News For Picture Libraries?

As reported by the BBC, Getty Images have recently announced that they are extending an arrangement they have with Flickr to resell images shot by professional and semi-pro Flickr users to their commercial clients under a dedicated ‘Flickr Collection’.  Now all Flickr users can opt into this scheme.

Flickr users are the eyes of the world,” Douglas Alexander, Flickr’s general manager, told BBC news. “We have contributors from over 100 counties and images are coming in from every corner of the globe. This deal broadens the horizons and the global marketplace for commercial photography and gives our users the chance to make some money.” Neither Getty nor Flickr were forthcoming about actual rates saying they vary from job to job but are industry standard. It is generally thought the average rate for an image is between $150-$240 (£100-£160).” [Read More]

The arrangement gives Getty access to a potential 4 billion images uploaded by Flickr users (depending on how many agree to allowing Getty to represent them).  While being a great method for amateur photographers to earn some extra cash, this has some significant and not wholly positive implications for professional photographers who supply images to both Getty and other larger stock and rights protected agencies.

Our expectation is that this will significantly impact the ability of independent picture libraries to compete as more of their clients will turn to the larger aggregators  like Getty, especially now they can dramatically increase their inventory without either cost or effort.

The knock on effect for those in the Digital Asset Management sector that supply photo libraries with software and services may also have an impact (especially at the more low cost end of the market).  It must be remembered that the photo library sector were among the key ‘first movers’ in this industry and contributed greatly to the early innovations and technological development of many systems still in use today.  How many picture libraries will bother to invest (or be able to) in DAM technology must be now under question with this latest threat to their livelihoods.

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