Will EyeEm Be The Main Future Supplier Of Stock Images?

Posted on 3/20/2020 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

As I pointed out in yesterday’s story EyeEm is the single largest supplier of stock images to Getty’s Creative Collection. Currently 8,005,719 of the 30,472,764 images in Getty’s Creative Collection have been supplied by EyeEm. That’s 26% of the total collection making EyeEm by far the largest contributor to Getty Creative.

More to the point is how quickly EyeEm has become Getty’s dominant supplier. In August 2016 EyeEm only had 253,328 images with Getty, which at the time represented 1.7% of the total collection. It has grown from almost nothing less than 4 years ago while most of Getty’s other suppliers have stopped adding new images to the collection or pulled out all together.

EyeEm’s main collection currently contains over 100 million images from over 25 million photographers. Contributors may choose to also offer their images for licensing through EyeEm Market. It is unclear how many contributors have actually chosen this option. When licensed directly by EyeEm Market the images are priced at: $20 for Social Media use, $50 for a web license or up to a 5,000 print run and $250 for unlimited print reproduction or in a product for resale. All sales are non-exclusive for unlimited use. Photographers receive a royalty of 50% of what EyeEm receives. For more information about participating in EyeEm Market see Item 9 here.

In theory photographers are notified when a photo has been licensed and they can then “request” a payout. I recently heard from one photographer who had been waiting for over a year for a payout. This photographer had contacted the company several times and been told repeatedly that the money would be coming. In the interim, he had several additional sales of his images through Getty, despite the fact that he had terminated his agreement with EyeEm because he had posted some of the same images to Getty directly before he started working with EyeEm. After I started asking questions of EyeEm he finally received a $74 payment and an apology. The delay may have been because he had terminated his agreement and not a common practice at EyeEm.

Another EyeEm photographer with a very large image collection reports that he has never had a payment problem. In the last 12 months he has had 18 direct sales via the EyeEm marketplace at an average royalty of $39 ($702 total). In addition, he has had 1486 sales of the images EyeEm has supplied to Getty at an average royalty of $3.36 ($4,993 total).

It is interesting that based on this photographer’s experience EyeEm makes about 83 times as many sales through Getty as they make from their own site.

EyeEm’s royalty percentage of the gross license fee Getty charges customers is unclear. Based on what Getty pays most other RF suppliers, I suspect EyeEm’s royalty share is about 20%. They then pay the photographer 50% of what they receive. If $3.36 per-image is about 10% of what Getty charged the customer that would mean that the average gross sale price was about $33.60.

This figure is more or less consistent with the $29 average license fee I calculated in 2018 after examining the sales results of several of Getty’s major contributing photographers. It is also important to recognize that back in 2006 Getty’s average price for a RF license was about $243. This points to how much prices for stock image uses have fallen since 2006. Unfortunately, there has not been an equal decline in the time, effort and cost of producing good usable stock images.

If EyeEm images sell at about the same rate as other images in the Getty collection EyeEm should be generating around $73 million annually for Getty. EyeEm’s share of these sales should be something in the range of $10 to $15 million annually.

EyeEm also has images with other distribution partners including AdobeStock and Alamy. They have about 400 images in the Adobe Premium collection. It is unclear if they have additional images in Adobe’s general collection. EyeEm may terminate distribution partnerships and enter into new distribution partnerships at any time. Photographers may not specify the distribution partners where their imagery will be submitted.

Copyright © 2020 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


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