Unification Of iStock And Getty Images Sites

Posted on 11/1/2016 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Big changes at Getty are on the way. Getty has supplied its contributors with the following information about a Unification project that will create common platforms for both iStock and Getty Images contributors.

While many specifics have been provided there are still a number of questions about how this may impact current contributors and industry competitors. I will comment in a later article. In the meantime, I will be very interested in comments or questions anyone in the industry might have.

Getty Unification Project

We believe in the power of imagery to change the world. We know that the combination of your talent and our unrivalled market knowledge and distribution can deliver amazing content to our customers and generate growing revenue.

This can happen most efficiently if we all have the right tools and resources to empower you to shoot, upload and track the performance of your photos, illustrations and videos.

That is why we’ve spent this year working on Unification – a project which creates common platforms for both iStock and Getty Images contributors and brings the right investment and technology to our contributor systems.

We gave you some advance notice of this project back in May and can now share more details. Below are the key dates and some of the main benefits.

Unification Timeline – Contributor Tools

December 2016

    •    Training materials provided for Enterprise System Portal (ESP) content upload.
Scheduled for January 3, 2017
    •    iStock.com contributor tools will be retired on www.istockphoto.com/xnet
    •    Login details for the ESP Platform sent to iStockers
    •    iStock contributor tools become available via the ESP Platform.

Main Benefits

A better platform with third party tools support
With the ESP platform comes a more stable API which will provide continued support for third party tools such as DeepMeta, Qhero and StockPerformer – there will be no need for you to change your accounts in those systems if you already use them.

Moving from the aging iStock tools and APIs to an actively supported, modern technology stack will enable continued investment and the ability to introduce better contributor tools in the future.

Batch submission advantages
The ESP platform supports batch uploading and keywording, either directly via ESP Upload or through third party tools, which gives the following advantages:
    •    You can upload entire submissions and associated releases and metadata.
    •    We can review your submissions faster, reducing time to market and speeding up error correction.
    •    We can link the files within the submission to ensure they show up in the ‘Similar images’ area on the Asset Detail Page.
    •    We may be able to accept a wider range of shots if we see them in the shoot context, for example when isolated elements work to support a lifestyle shoot.
For all of these reasons, we strongly encourage you to submit entire shoots in the future, or similar series of images within larger shoots if you are working with high volumes.

Stronger keywording
The ESP platform is integrated with the Getty Images keywording tree. This is an automatic synonym structure which connects keywords to related terms higher in the tree. For example, the system automatically associates the keyword ‘Paris’ to the parent term ‘France’ without needing to manually add ‘France’.

Better contributor tools

ESP has integrated support for Account Management, the Getty Images system where you will find your royalty and payment details. This includes a new feature for you to raise questions directly via tickets, then view and add to our responses within the tool.

Enhanced SEO
The new Asset Detail Page (ADP) and Search Results Page (SRP) have already moved to the Getty Images platform as part of Unification, leading to faster load times and better indexing of iStock.com pages in search engine results.

Creative Briefs for Exclusive Contributors
For Exclusive iStock contributors, Unification will bring more integrated support for sharing creative briefs and research. We will be rolling out a more proactive and strategic briefing approach in 2017.

Updated ASA
Effective December 1, we will update the ASAs to reflect these changes.  You will see the link to the new ASA when you upload through the iStock Site starting near the end of October. We are updating things like how you contact us, how we contact you and when we calculate and pay subscription royalties. You will also see changes from the ‘iStock Site’ to the Getty Images contributor site and ingestion platforms. In addition, we have added some guidance and requirements on drone usage. If you upload content prior to December 1 or fail to terminate your current ASA by sending us notice before December 1, you will be deemed to have agreed to the new ASA.

Unification Timeline – Royalties

Scheduled for January 20, 2017
Royalty statement for December transactions available via Agreement Management in ESP.

Scheduled for January 25, 2017

Payments for December transactions will be reflected on the January 20 statement, as explained below.

Main benefits

More detailed monthly royalty data
Moving to the Getty Images royalty platform will result in better visibility into all royalty earnings across all platforms, including additional subscription data from Getty Images.

The more detailed reporting requires more time to process, so royalty earnings will no longer be updated in real time but will instead be published via a royalty statement on the 20th of each month following the month the earnings were made (except royalties payable on subscription downloads, which shall be paid in the month following the end of the applicable subscription term).

We are aiming to transition your last two years of total monthly royalty earnings data from the current iStock contributor system to the new one in January. If you would like to retain royalty data that is older than January 2015, we recommend you log into the existing system to retrieve it before the end of the year.

A new foundation for Stats
We understand how important it is for you to have real time data on the performance of your content. Moving to the same back end technology platform as Getty Images means that we’ll be able to provide better stats on customer interactions with your content than was possible previously. We’ll have the foundation of this new stats approach in January and will enhance it over time.

Based on our current schedule, please note that there will be a transition month in December between the two systems. File download statistics will still be available within the stats tab on your profile and via MyUploads but all royalty earnings will be unavailable for the month.

Next steps
We hope this gives you good insight into the many positive changes that Unification will bring. With a single sign on to the EPS Platform the contributor will be able to access three separate areas for the following information listed below:

  Single Sign On  
ESP Upload Tool Account Management Contributor Community
File Upload My Account What to Shoot
File Upload via API Royalties News
  Support FAQs
Stock Performer    

Our next official update will come in December when we share details of the main differences between uploading at iStock.com and the new batch functionality with ESP Upload.

We are fairly confident about the royalties system transition dates and the cut-over from iStock.com upload to ESP on January 3 but, like any technology project, delays are possible. If anything changes, we’ll let you know as soon as we can.

Many thanks
The iStock team

Copyright © 2016 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 www.selling-stock.com, 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: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  


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