Average RM and RF Prices At Getty

Posted on 3/27/2014 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

On its web site for Flickr contributors Getty asks, “What are the average prices for RM and RF?” and then gives the following answer.
    “The average licensing fee for royalty free ranges from $175 to $225. And for rights managed licensing, keeping in mind that uses and fees vary widely; the average is around $550-$650.”
We believe Getty’s gross RM revenue for 2013 was less than $150 million and the gross RF revenue was also less than $150 million. Using $200 as an average for RF and $600 as an average for RM that would mean that 750,000 RF images and 250,000 RM images were licensed in 2013.

In 2006 Getty licensed rights for uses of 1,053,751 RF images and 607,945 RM images. This may give you some idea as to how much unit sales have declined in the last 7 years despite the fact that Getty now has more than 5 times as many images available for licensing as they had in 2006.

However, it is important to note that the averages Getty quotes do not include the RM and RF images that are licensed to large customers through “Premium Access” deals at huge discounts. Thus, if photographers divide the number of their total images licensed into the total revenue Getty charged for their use they will invariably find that their average price-per-image-licensed is much lower than the average Getty claims.

Recently, I had the opportunity to examine the 2013 sales reports of a few of Getty’s major contributors. They had some images there were licensed as RM and others as RF. While their work represent a small percentage of the total images Getty has available for licensing, I believe the experience of these photographers is representative. The overall 2013 average license fee for them was $298.71 for RM and $133.20 for RF.

If we divide these average figures into $150 million it would gives us 502,159 RM images and 1,126,126 RF images licensed in 2013 for a total of 1,632,285 images licensed from the RM and RF collections.  

In 2006 Getty had 1,761,214 images in its Creative Stills (CS) collection. Recently they had 9,464,907 (they are adding more all the time). In 2006 Getty’s gross Creative Stills revenue was $634.1 million. In 2013 CS revenue was less than $300 million. And Getty’s revenue has declined in each of the last 5 quarters.

Based on these figures we can get some idea of the volume of images that are being purchased at extremely low prices through Premium Access deals.

Also, it is important to note that from a gross revenue point of view it doesn’t make a whole lot of difference whether you license images as RM or RF. Overall they generate about the same amount of gross revenue. Getty licenses a much higher number of RF uses relative to RM and that percentage seems to have increase slightly in favor of RF since 2006. The royalty share paid for RM licenses may be higher than that paid for RF.

Image creators might find it interesting to compare their own sales reports with these figures. How many RM images were licensed for $600 or more and how much total revenue did those sales generate? How many RF images were licensed for $200 or more and how much total revenue did those sales generate? What percentage of all the images licensed in the last year did these sales represent? What percentage of revenue did they represent?

Copyright © 2014 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  


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