Getty Terminates Agreement With Flickr

Posted on 3/11/2014 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Getty Images has announced to its Flickr contributors that it has provided notice to terminate its existing agreement with Flickr. The original 5-year agreement went into effect in July 2008. Getty has been unable to come to a new agreement at this time. Getty says they continue to be open to working with Yahoo!/Flickr.

Getty currenty has 882,334 Flickr images on the Creative Stock Images section of its site. This is a little over 9% of the total Creative Still images collection on

Getty has told Flickr contributors that, “Your current agreement with Getty Images remains the same and agreements will NOT be terminated by us as a result of this change, no matter how few images you have on” They added that they “have thoroughly enjoyed and been inspired by our experience working within the Flickr community.” And, “We have never been more committed than we are now to expanding on what we’ve started together.”

It is unclear why Getty and Flickr have been unable to come to an agreement. It is not unreasonable to assume that Getty has been earning something in the range of $28 million a year (9.3% of $300 million) from the licensing of Flickr images and paying 20% for RF and 30% for RM to contributors. It is believed that Flickr received very little with the original deal. They probably wants a bigger share than Getty is willing to give.  

Back in August 2013 Bernardo Hernandez was named CEO of Flickr. Many photographers have welcomed this move after several Yahoo missteps that have not really benefitted the Flickr community. Hernandez has been a Flickr contributor since 2005 and understands the potentials the collection has to offer professional users. He has said that he is “committed to professional photographers and will continue to provide ‘tools’ for pros.” (See this article.)

Hernandez may be planning to set up an in-house licensing operation rather than letting Getty reap all the benefits. Clearly, a huge number of image users search Flickr for the images they need. Getting customers to search Flickr rather than Getty would not be much of a problem. Many of these customers are willing to pay professional rates – often better than Getty negotiates. Many Flickr image creators are not all that happy with Getty given the, often low prices and low royalty share. Hernandez could probably set up an operation that would pay contributors at least 40% and still net Flickr, after expenses, much more than Getty will ever be willing to pay. If so, Flickr photographers would abandon Getty like the plague, and go back to the home they know and love.

Getty’s Plans

In the coming weeks the Flickr Collection will form the basis of a new house collection called Moment. Here are a few other changes that Getty will occur for Flickr photographers.
    •    Moment Mobile: Our new Moment-Mobile App provides another way for you to participate by submitting images shot on your mobile device. All Flickr collection contributors will be invited. (iOs only for now-Andriod to come). We are very pleased with the launch and early results from our Moment App, which is now being used by 3,500 contributors from 100 countries who have so far have submitted more than 30,000 images through the app.

    •    Since we will not be using the systems built for the Flickr partnership, we will no longer be searching and browsing through photostreams or Artist Picks looking for images and inviting them.  Instead, you will be using the same procedure as all our other Getty and iStock contributors and submitting full-sized, captioned and released images to us for review and selection.
    •    Curators: Flickr curators will continue and expand their role in identifying the best social content from a wider range of sources which, alongside our Moment App, will further grow our Moment collections.
    •    The Upload Portal you are already familiar with will be updated to accommodate a slightly different workflow. Since we will not be using the systems built for the Flickr partnership, we will no longer be searching and browsing through photostreams or Artist Picks looking for images and inviting them.  Instead, you will be using the same procedure as all our other Getty and iStock contributors and submitting full-sized, captioned and released images to us for review and selection.
    •    Support: Communication and daily guidance will continue via our Getty Images Contributor Community website and forum. We will be sending out a welcome e-mail containing the URL and your log-in credentials. These emails will begin shortly and continue over the next few weeks until everyone is covered.
    •    Creative Research: You will have access to our proprietary research briefs on an ongoing basis.
    •    Range of Products: You will have access to be reviewed for submissions to our other collections where appropriate including editorial, video, and -- our new platform for wall décor, print sales, and more.

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, 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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