Where Getty’s Headed In H2 2016

Posted on 7/6/2016 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Paul Banwell, Senior Director, Contributor Relations for Getty Images has just sent contributors the following letter regarding Getty’s directions for the future. This information should be of interest to every stock image producer and distributor regardless of their relationships with Getty Images.

Market Opportunities H2 2016

Since rejoining Getty Images four months ago I’ve been struck by the tremendous amount of change in the industry.

As part of our commitment to sharing information with you more frequently, I’d like to take a moment to share with you some of the most significant changes and opportunities I have noticed and how Getty Images is actively managing these changes and opportunities.

Internally, as we head into the second half (H2) of 2016, a number of key projects are underway as Getty Images invests for the future and continues to lead the industry:
  • In partnership with VCG, addition of Corbis content to further differentiate our offering with customers;

  • Unifying the Getty Images and iStock back end technology platforms to simplify our interactions and accelerate innovation;

  • Taking a stand against Google’s image-scraping practices to protect copyright; and

  • Significantly expanding our global marketing efforts and investment.
Externally, the appetite for visual content has grown exponentially and expanded far beyond the large agency customer. Small and medium agencies, small and large corporations and the growing freelance movement are now regular consumers of imagery; however, their requirements differ dramatically driven by changes in the market.

Digital media is now the primary means to reach and engage consumers – digital consumption has more than doubled since 2010 and digital advertising now far exceeds that of newspaper, magazine and outdoor combined. Digital media continues to fragment into smaller and smaller audiences with increased publishing frequency. Online video content and advertising growth continues to outpace overall digital growth.

In this environment, project budgets reflect the fragmented scale of digital. Purchasing practices reflect the volume required to exist and compete online. Rights requirements reflect the need for flexibility to publish across platforms and geographies. A la carte purchasing of custom licenses is simply not practical.

In our world, this translates to the increasing customer preference for Royalty Free (RF) content, the increasing importance of video and the growth of subscription and bundled offerings – like Getty Images RF UltraPacks. Royalty Free now represents the vast majority of the market and approximately 80 percent of Getty Images creative licensing revenues. Getty Images video licensing revenues grew in excess of 20 percent in the first quarter of 2016. Subscription and bundled offerings now represent approximately 40 percent of Getty Images revenues and are increasing their share of our revenue.

RM continues to occupy an important place, servicing customers and projects that demand control, bespoke rights and the very best quality. In fact we continue to see customer willingness to pay a premium for quality and expanded rights, refuting the notion that content is a commodity. We have seen this through the success of iStock Signature subscriptions relative to Essentials and competitive offerings. We have seen this in the launch of RF UltraPacks relative to lower-priced competitive alternatives and we have seen this through the success of Prestige.

We believe content matters even more in the crowded and fragmented digital space. We believe there is significant opportunity to continue to move a high volume of “microstock” customers and digital uses up the quality ladder at a premium to their existing spend. We believe this will generate revenue and royalty growth, but this growth will increasingly accrue to quality Royalty Free stills and video and to subscription and bundled offerings such as Premium Access.

We understand these market changes are often not as clear to our contributor community, which is why I wanted to cover this ground. The realities are that the fastest path to royalty growth is participation in growth areas of the market – Royalty Free, bundles/subscriptions and video. Conversely, the fastest path to long-term royalty decline is to limit participation solely to areas of reduced demand – Rights Managed and single image sales.

Embracing this environment will mean focusing on overall returns and royalties rather than individual licenses. It is a volume world, but Getty Images believes in and continues to see opportunity for premium content if it is aligned to the market.

I hope this expands your visibility to our view of the market and how you can benefit. Whatever part of our business you work with, experience has shown that the market rewards consistent submissions, constant evolution and quality, so now is always the best time to get shooting!

Best wishes
Paul Banwell
Senior Director, Contributor Relations


The link Banwell provided for "Google's image scraping practices" was the same as they provided for "Premium Access" lower down in the article. This link does not seem to provide any information about Google's image scraping practices or Premium Access.

For the image scraping issue I have provided a link to one of my stories. While Getty is supporting  CEPIC actions in Europe, it seems that they do not intend to do much of anything in North America.

With regard to Premium Access check out this link. Many believe that Premium Access does little, if anything, to benefit image creators.

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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