Getty’s RF “Market Freeze": Expensive Customer Mess?

Posted on 8/7/2020 by Robert Kneschke | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Getty Images offers customers anything they want,  but their decisions don't  always seem well thought out.

In November 2019, Getty Images ended the "right managed" license model, with which image buyers were able to buy, among other things, exclusive image rights for certain regions, industries, etc., which they called the "Market Freeze" feature.

Paul Banwell (Senior Director, Contributor Relations at Getty Images) praised "Market Freeze" as follows in March 2019:
    "We will soon begin including a base level of Exclusivity into RM licenses called Market Freeze, which will allow customers exclusive use of an image for the combination of use, industry, geography, and duration of any commercial use license. This is sometimes known as “spot” Exclusivity but we're calling it Market Freeze since this term is well understood in the industry. Market Freeze would not apply to editorial use licenses. "
Now there are no more RM images at Getty Images, but Getty did not want to miss the hefty surcharge for the possibility of blocking images from sales. Therefore, they have decided to offer “Market Freeze” for “royalty free” images (RF) as well.

If a customer tries to price an image they get this message:
    “All licenses for license-free content include worldwide usage rights, extensive protection and simple pricing with volume discounts.”
Under the prices for various file sizes there is a new option:
    New – Market- Freeze

    Protect your creative work - we remove this image from our website, as long as you need it

    With Market-freeze, you can rest easy knowing we'll remove this image from our site for as long as you need it, with custom durations and total buyouts available.
Anyone is familiar with the image industry begins to suspect the problem: How can Getty Images guarantee “exclusivity” for RF images that are not exclusive? The best examples are the more than 8 million images from the EyeEm collection.

Therefore, the correct answer is that Getty cannot guarantee exclusivity for all pictures!

That is why the word “exclusivity” is avoided as much as possible, but only spoken of as saying that the image is no longer available on THE (ie the Getty) website. This does little to comfort picture users if the competition continues to receive the same material on a number of other websites. This is particularly painful with the prices Getty Images is asking for the "Market Freeze":

Currency 1 month
3 months
6 months
1 year
2 years
3 years
4 years
USD $2,000 $5,000 $7,500 $10,000 $15,000 $18,000 $20,000 $30,000
GBP 1,500 4,000 6,000 7,750 11,500 14,000 15,500 23,500
EUR 1,600 4,500 6,500 9,000 13,500 15,500 17,000 25,000
JPY 150,000 350,000 500,000 800,000 1,250,000 1,500,000 1,700,000 2,250,000
CHF 2,000 4,500 6,500 10,000 15,000 18,000 20,000 25,000
CAD 2,250 6,000 8,000 12,500 19,000 21,000 25,000 35,000
AUD 3,000 7,000 10,000 15,000 22,500 27,500 30,000 37,500
DKK 14,000 32,500 47,500 68,000 100,000 120,000 130,000 160,000
NOK 16,500 45,000 65,000 90,000 140,000 165,000 180,000 230,000
SEK 18,000 46,500 70,000 95,000 145,000 175,000 200,000 250,000
SGD 2,500 6,500 10,000 13,500 20,000 24,500 27,000 40,000
HKD 15,250 40,000 60,000 80,000 115,000 140,000 155,000 220,000
NZD 3,000 7,000 10,000 15,000 22,500 27,500 30,000 37,500
INR 90,000 265,000 400,000 600,000 900,000 1,100,000 1,250,,000 1,500,000
AED 6,750 16,500 25,000 35,000 55,000 66,500 75,000 115,000
THB 65,000 150,000 225,000 315,000 455,000 550,000 620,000 900,000

A "buyout" should cost 25,000 euros, the blocking for a whole year at least 9,000 euros. Also for pictures that are still available for sale through other picture agencies.

Of course, Getty Images could easily solve the problem by offering the "Market Freeze" feature only for material that they offer exclusively. The fact that they forego this shows how smart they think their customers are.

After all, they keep the name of a feature that Paul Banwell advertised for RM material back then:
    "By embedding exclusivity into RM, we are taking advantage of usage histories and limited licensing volumes to provide distinct reasons why certain customers would choose rights-managed over royalty-free and commissioned shoots.

    "Market Freeze will showcase content which is ready for exclusive, commercial licensing. Creative content where we are unable to offer Market Freeze will continue to be available, but only to customers with Premium Access agreements. "
While there was still an offensive talk of exclusivity in RM material, RF material is now dispensed with, only the name "Market Freeze" remains.

The bottom line for customers is: With the feature, you buy a worthless guarantee for a lot of money if you do not actively control whether your desired image is really offered exclusively at Getty Images.

How Getty Images wants a "buyout", actually the complete sale of an image that it does not offer exclusively, remains the big secret of Getty Images.

Copyright © 2020 Robert Kneschke. 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


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