Blue Earth
Glazer's Camera

Getty Backs Down on Price Plan Terms


Due to the recent uproar from several photography groups, Getty Images has announced a small concession regarding its recent posting of a $49 price for stock images on their web site. Getty's executive vice president for imagery issued a statement explaining the company's decision to reduce the duration of rights-ready and rights-managed web-resolution licenses from a year down to three months.

Originally, the company introduced a pricing plan that was a breakthrough in the industry, pricing almost any online photograph from Getty at $49. The pricing plan included creative, news, sports, entertainment or archival images for online usage of a 500-kilobyte file at 72 dpi. The Image Source and Arnold Newman collections were the only two exceptions.

Getty Images is now backtracking due to strong opposition from photography groups, such as the National Press Photographers Association and the Stock Artists Alliance (SAA). Comparatively, the average price for the use of an online image can range from hundreds of dollars to more than $1,000 for image licensing. The huge price cut greatly benefits consumers but puts a strain on photographers and Getty's competitors.

Various photography trade associations fear that the price reductions for online imagery which, SAA says, would cut the value of commercial licenses by 96 percent in some cases would equal lower royalties for contributors and the industry as a whole. Under the Getty model, SAA contends, business for independent photography companies and freelancers will decline and in turn will lead to less imagery that is new and fresh.

While many photo industry groups consider Getty's three-month reduction term for the $49 license to be an encouraging step forward, the SAA says it would still like to see the complete removal of rights-managed collections from the pricing plan.

In a recent statement, Getty says that the $49 license is a way to meet the exponential growth in demand for imagery that the industry is seeing. In the second quarter of 2007, Getty reported that iStockPhoto, the inventor and leader in microstock, licensed 4.25 million images, mostly low-resolution images used for web use. With the high demand by customers for online imagery, Getty moved in a direction to appease the consumer with a lower price point.