iStockphoto Rebranded

Posted on 9/18/2013 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Getty Images has rebranded iStockphoto to just .iStock. with of sub-head of by Getty Images. The new logo is white on black instead of the former red iStockphoto. The rest of the site looks pretty similar to what was offered before.

The name change is designed to reflect that iStock sells more than photos – there's video, audio and graphics too. It also attempts to make the brand more high-end by association with Getty Images.

Getty has also announced a multi-channel marketing campaign to highlight the move. The ‘Free the Creative' campaign will be positioned as ‘for creatives, by creatives’. At the September 17th launch the main promotion was “1/2 of the site’s imagery is now 1/2 of its former price” which it has been offering a couple months. Today they are offering a 15% discount on the purchase of any credit pack.

Marketing Dilemma

Getty is involved in a very tricky balancing act when it comes to marketing their products. They want to increase iStock sales that have been declining. But if they manage to accomplish that goal they run the risk of cannibalizing's' Premium sales. At the same time they are trying to grow Thinkstock to compete with Shutterstock. But to the degree they are successful in growing Thinkstock they may cannibalize sales from both iStock and It is not clear that the marketing campaign is being coordinated across all three brands.

Consider. On iStock the average license fee is somewhere around $30, but considering the image chosen, and the file size needed, an image can cost as much as $240. Getty is pushing the higher priced images, not the discounted ones. Therefore, a lot of what customers will see if they use the iStock default search are images that will cost them more than $30.

At the average price of a Premium image is probably somewhere around $126, but at least one-quarter of the images licensed in 2012 were made available for fees of $25 of less. Thus, depending on who the customer is, and the volume of images needed, the customer may be able to get more rights for less money on than on iStock. Does Getty want to tell the iStock customers that?

Then we turn to Thinkstock where customers can purchase single images for prices that range from $6 to $10 depending on the Image Pack they purchase. They can get their images even cheaper if they need enough to justify paying for a subscription. What’s more, on Thinkstock they can also purchase many of the same images they can find on iStockphoto or

So does Getty push iStock more than Thinkstock? Do they push them both the same and hope the customers will pick the highest priced option they can afford? Do they also launch an extensive marketing campaign for as well and hope for the best? How do they differentiate between the various sites? Is it that iStock has more exclusive images (at higher prices) than the competitors? Most buyers have shown they don’t care whether the image is exclusive, or not.
The new logo – as well as the look and feel of the campaign that iStock's launching to support it – was created by London-based Build, which recently rebranded itself to London-based Steel and Seattle-based Graphiti Associates worked on the creative for a digital campaign to announce the rebrand. Kepler Group is handling media buying. The London and New York offices of Weber Shandwick developed the campaign concept, PR, social media, survey and infographic.

Copyright © 2013 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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