Videoclips Sales At Getty

Posted on 3/24/2016 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

A videographer wrote recently complaining that two of his video clips had been sold by Getty Images to Viacom for a broadcast show on Comedy Central. This show also appears on the web. These two sales were made through a Premium Access deal and netted the videographer a whopping $8.46 for the two sales.

He had found my 2008 story about Photographers Sue Getty Over Premium Access and wanted to know if the suit was successful. I had to tell him that the suit was eventually dropped and Premium Access is alive and well.

On the other hand, for some contributors $8.46 is a great royalty.  Recently, I was asked to review the Premium Image sales made in 2015 for some of Getty’s major contributors. Of the over 1,800 individual image licenses that I examined 50% were for for gross fees of $5.00 or less. Another 7.8% were for gross fees of between $5.00 and $10.00 making a total of 57.8% of all sales for fees under $10.00.

Comparing With iStock

This is very interesting when one considers the prices charged for images on Getty’s iStock site. The price charged for an iStock Signature collection image is 3 Credits. Customers can purchase 300 credits for $2,400 or $8.00 per credit. It has been reported that 75% of iStock’s revenue from single image sales is generated from the downloading of Signature images. Images from the cheaper Essential collection cost only 1 Credit and that can range from as low as $8.00 to $12.00 depending on the number of credits purchased.

In theory is the place to go to get Premium Images and iStock is a microstock site that is believed to offer images at less expensive prices. However, as these figures show, when purchasing images from in at least 50% of the cases the customer pays less than if they had purchased an image from iStock.

To be fair, it is possible to get iStock images at lower prices by purchasing via a subscription. There are subscription plans that allow 10 downloads a month of Essential images for $40 ($4.00 each), or Signature images for $99 ($9.90 each). With larger subscription plans allowing either 25 or 250 downloads per month it is possible to get the price per-image down to as low as $0.80 to $1.60 per download. But Getty also gives away some Premium images on for prices this low.

Premium Stock vs Microstock

The argument many photographers give for not wanting to participate in microstock is that they don’t want to license rights to their images at such low prices. While Premium images occasionally sell for much higher prices, and it is impossible to get the same high prices licensing images as microstock, given Getty’s Premium Access licensing model a huge percentage of Premium images are being licensed for prices that are much lower than the prices being charged by many microstock sites. If you want Getty Images to handle the licensing of your images there is no way to opt out of the Premium Access deals.

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, 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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