Getty Combines RF Collections

Posted on 2/16/2007 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



February 16, 2007

Getty has announced to its RF image image suppliers that in April it will be consolidating its 12 RF collections into 5 in an effort to improve the customer's experience.

Photodisc Red will be consolidated with Digital Vision under the Digital Vision name. Photodisc Green and Medio Images will be consolidated under the Photodisc brand name and Photodisc Blue and all the various Stockbyte and Stockdisc brands will be consolidated under the Stockbyte brand name.

Photographer's Choice RF and Retrofile RF will continue to function as separate brands with no change.

If the company leaves the search return order substantially as it was in November (See Story 897) the brands would have the following number of images shown in the first 270:

Number Images

Digital Vision






Photographer's Choice


Retrofile RF


It is worth noting that Stone+ only had 11 images in the first 270 and Riser 14. The new RF brands may get a larger number of images shown early in the search return order than the leading RM brands. However, if they don't maintain the same number of slots for these brands it would seem likely that there might be a drop in RF units licensed.


Currently, Getty has three different price points for its RF brands.

Highest Price

Medium Price

Lowest Price

1 - 3MB




10 - 16MB




25 - 30MB




48 - 75MB




The two brands that are to be consolidated into the Digital Vision brand are currently priced at the highest price point so there should be no change in the revenue generated for them. The two brands that will be in the new Photodisc brand are currently priced at the medium price point so it is unlikely that there will be any changes there either.

However, the new Stockbyte brand will consolidate brands that are currently at all price points. Stockbyte Platinum is currently at the high price. Stockdisc Premium is at the medium price point and Photodisc Blue, Stockbyte Silver and Stockdisc Classic are at the low price point. One would think that this might continue to be the lowest priced brand, but that would mean lowering the price of Stockbyte Platinum and Stockdisc Premium images.

It will be interesting to watch the Stockbyte price point and how it changes. Presumably Getty wants to end up with three distinct price points so it seems unlikely the company will raise the Stockbyte price. While they would like to find some way to increase RF revenue, they also have to be concerned about further widening the gap between RF and Micropayment prices. Thus, it would seem to be in the company's best interest to keep the Stockbyte prices at the current low price point.

The price for Photographer's Choice images is at the Highest price point and Retrofile images are at the Medium price point.

Improved Customer Experience

It is a little hard to see how this consolidation will improve customer experience. Getty has always maintained that very few customers search by brand. If the customer is doing a global search then it would seem to make very little difference as to which brand an image is attached to until the customer goes to price that image. Then brand isn't really making the difference. It is simply the price assigned to that brand, and as we have seen in most cases the price will not change.

One thing that concerns some photographers is that Getty has also said that certain images that are slated to move into one new category because of their current brand indentity, will actually be moved to a different category for which they might be more suited. For example a Digital Vision image may be judged to be more suitable at Photodisc prices or a Stockbyte image might be more suited to a Digital Vision category. They have described the new collections as follows and presumably this gives some hint as to how editors will decide on the new categories for an images:

    Digital Vision: Highly conceptual content with a global and aspirational feel.

    Photodisc: The most comprehensive range of content in RF, combining clear concepts with breadth and depth of contemporary subject matter.

    Stockbyte: Depth of scenario and diversity at an excellent price point.


If images are moved from one collection to another photographers may get an initial benefit from what Getty Images calls "resurfacing". Getty search return is based on the date the image was placed online with the newest images first. Thus, the longer an image has been on the site the lower it gets in the search return order. When an image is resurfaced it is given a new date of entry into the system. For example, if an image was first added to the collection in 2002 it might have a date of March 2002. When it is resurfaced to go into a new collection it might be given a date of February 2007 and thus be brought up before all those images that were uploaded in 2006 or earlier.

Copyright © 2007 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 301-251-0720, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, 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:  


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