Premium Access At Getty

Posted on 11/20/2019 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (1)

For over a decade image creators have been discouraged by Premium Access pricing. I believe PA was first instituted around  2006 as a way for Getty to get a guaranteed monthly payment from some of its largest Enterprise clients rather than the company be being subject to the erratic monthly image needs of some of these customers where they might purchase a huge number of images one month and little or nothing the next.

If I recall correctly, initially PA contracts were only for RF images from the Creative Stills collection. Several years later the customers were also given access to RM images. Recently, I’ve become aware that now customers with a PA contract also have access to all the Footage clips clips they need.

It is unclear how prices are set for these PA contracts, but it appears that it works something like the following:

    A Getty sales representative goes to a potential customer and says, “We note that over time you use a lot of our images. Some months you use a huge number while in other months you use only use a few. If you will pay us a fixed monthly fee for a year we’ll allow you to download all the images you need, whenever you need them, during that year. That will also make managing your costs a little easier for you. What can you afford to pay us a month for the next year?” 
    Customer: Gives a number.
    Sales representative: “Fine, you pay us that much every month for a year and you can use as many still images or footage clips as you want from our collection .”
Getty then keeps track of the number of images or footage clips downloaded. At the end of the month they divide that number into the total amount received and that becomes the gross sale value of each download for that client, that month. There is no distinction based on the subject of the image, the quality, the creator’s reputation or what it cost the creator to produce the piece of content. There is no difference in price based on whether the download was a still image or a footage clip. Everything is a pure commodity.

In 2008 photographers recognized the potential dangers of this strategy. Here are two stories ( ) and ( ) related to photographer reactions at the time. The suit was later abandoned due to the costly road blocks Getty put up, and it never went to trial. At first there were only a few deals and they were for rather high gross revenue, but in the last few years virtually everyone can qualify for a deal and prices have declined dramatically.

Recently, I stumbled across what I think is a new website ( ) that seems to indicate that Getty is about to add all iStock images to its Premium Access offering. It says:
    Choose the Premium Access plan that gives you the best of Getty Images and iStock—all in one place.
    One plan. Two brands. Unlimited possibilities. Learn more about Premium Access today.

    • Access carefully-curated, high-impact imagery and videos—from on-trend creative to the latest in editorial.
    • Keep the creativity flowing with unlimited user seats and no daily/monthly download limits.
    • Choose a plan that covers all of your annual downloads and get the best price per image.
It looks like they are going to finally totally integrate Getty Images and iStock all in one search. It sure looks like there is no fixed price for this service. It is all about what the customer and the Getty salesperson can negotiate. I wonder how low a salesperson is willing to go in order to reach his/her gross sales quota for the month.

What Some Getty Customers Pay For Images

The following lists the prices that some of the major Premium Access customers have been paying to use images or footage in recent months according to recent photographer sales reports. In many cases there were multiple sales to the same customer during the month. The last three columns show prices these same customers paid in different months when they used a different number of images.

  Gross Photog.   Other Same Different
  License Royalty   Royalties Client Month
  Fee 30%        
Shami Media Group $0.23 $0.07 Footage      
Sabbatical Entertainment $1.30 $0.39 Footage      
Aufeminin $2.60 $0.78 Footage      
Hearst Newpapers $2.93 $0.88 Footage      
Hearst- Taiwan $3.00 $0.90 Footage      
Time Inc Premium Access $3.47 $1.04 Footage      
Zazoom $4.00 $1.20 Footage      
Business Insider $5.50 $1.50 Footage      
Corus Television $5.27 $1.58 Footage      
Cambridge University $5.37 $1.61 Footage      
Conde Nast $5.57 $1.67 Footage $2.11 $2.15  
NBC Universal $6.03 $1.81 Footage $1.94 $1.91 $2.58
Cheddar Inc $6.17 $1.85 Footage      
Oath Inc $6.40 $1.92 Footage $1.94 $2.58  
Yahoo Entertainment $6.40 $1.92 Footage $1.94 $2.58  
Viacom $7.27 $2.18 Footage $2.43 $2.61 $2.81
Microsoft Multimedia $7.87 $2.36 Footage $2.69    
Galaxy Media $8.50 $2.55 Footage      
Brut $8.90 $2.67 Footage $2.71 $2.76  
FCCE BV $9.53 $2.86 Footage      
Advance Publication $9.77 $2.93 Footage      
Group Nine Media $10.00 $3.00 Footage $3.90    
ABC News Radio $12.00 $3.60 Footage      
Ziff Davis $13.06 $3.92 Footage      
NBC Sports $15.00 $4.50 Footage      
Fortune $15.00 $4.50 Footage      
C-Span $15.73 $4.72 Footage $5.90    
Inshorts Medialabs $0.36 $0.11 Still      
Sabbatical Entertainment $0.41 $0.12 Still      
Edelman DO Brasil $0.57 $0.17 Still      
Nat. Trades Union Cong. $0.62 $0.19 Still      
YAFFA Publishing $0.74 $0.22 Still      
McClatchy Group $1.29 $0.38 Still $2.13    
250 Mills $1.25 $0.38 Still      
Promotora de Inf $1.90 $0.57 Still      
Thomson Reuters $2.26 $0.68 Still      
Leaf Group $1.70 $0.68 Still      
TI Media $2.30 $0.69 Still      
Aramark $2.50 $0.75 Still      
Relias Learning $2.59 $0.77 Still      
Hearst - Russia Global Deal $2.78 $0.83 Still      
Radio France $2.83 $0.85 Still      
Hearst - UK $2.86 $0.86 Still $0.82    
ESPN PA $3.15 $0.95 Still      
Teletech Holdings $3.36 $1.01 Still      
Dubai Media $3.90 $1.17 Still      
Prisma Media $3.93 $1.18 Still      
Hearst - North America $4.00 $1.20 Still $2.75    
PRISMA MEDIA $4.09 $1.23 Still      
Exxon Mobile Corp $4.25 $1.28 Still      
Tamedia AG $4.67 $1.40 still $3.72 $1.48 Still $1.15    
Express Newspaper $5.21 $1.56 Still      
Cambridge University $5.37 $1.61 Still $1.95    
RADIO FRANCE $5.84 $1.75 Still      
NBC Universal Digital CNBC $6.48 $1.94 Still      
TI Media $3.54 $1.96 Still      
TELEGRAPH MEDIA GROUP $6.51 $1.96 Still      
Yahoo Entertainment $6.59 $1.97 Still $2.58    

Copyright © 2019 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


  • Greg Vaughn Posted Nov 22, 2019
    For the past couple of years almost all of my Getty sales have been PA. It is no longer worth the time and effort to submit to Getty with these ridiculously low rates. Thankfully, Alamy hasn't quite gone this low yet.

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