What's Getty's Industry Share With PhotoLibrary Acquisition?

Posted on 5/10/2011 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (1)

Photographers are trying to assess how much the acquisition of PhotoLibrary will add to Getty’s gross revenue and what impact it might have on Getty’s overall control of the stock photo market.

I estimate that gross 2010 revenue for still photo licensing worldwide was about $1.45 billion. Over the years I have defined the “stock photo market” as including the licensing of still photos and illustrations, but not footage or any of the ancilliary activities that Getty, Corbis and some other companies are involved in. I also include in my gross figure revenue generated by the picture divisions of AP, Reuters, AFP, etc. and of course the editorial division of Getty Images.

Next, I try to distinguish between the revenue generated by the two major divisions of the stock photography business – Creative and Editorial. (I need to note that Creative is Getty’s term for this segment of the business and is not meant to imply that editorial photography is not creative.) My reason for the distinction is that on the hard news Editorial side of the business much of the revenue is generated through subscriptions where customers pay a fixed monthly or annual fee for unlimited access to a library of imagery. Thus, it is hard to breakdown these fees on a per-image used basis. Fees on the Creative side are usually based on how each specific image is used. The book publishing side of the business is normally thought of as Editorial, but for most print uses a specific fee is charged for each image used so the licensing is handled like the Creative side of the business.

The following are my estimates of how overall 2010 revenue should be broken down.

Editorial Revenue $450,000,000
Creative Revenue $1,000,000,000

Within the Creative revenue there were the following breakdowns:

Microstock $450,000000
Getty Images $260,000,000
Corbis $115,000,000
Alamy $22,000,000
PhotoLibrary $15,000,000
All Others $138,000,000

Getty’s Share overall in each of these segments of the market was.

iStockphoto $300,000,000
Editorial $225,000,000
RM $130,000,000
RF $130,000,000

In general the PhotoLibrary acquisition will have very little impact on Getty’s overall revenue. In the past when Getty made much larger acquisitions than PhotoLibrary the growth in Getty’s revenue was usually not equal to the some of the two companies operating separately. There will be some cost savings for Getty as a result of the consolidation of various internal activities and probably some staff reductions. It seems unlikely that Getty will pick up many new customers who haven’t heard of Getty Images. Some of PhotoLibrary’s customers will go to other sources because they don’t like working with Getty. Others will have a broader choice of imagery to choose from, but will end up buying the same number of images as they have purchased in the past.

It also seems likely, based on the new photographer contract, that Getty will continue to offer more lower price deals in an effort to try to increase volume.

For more background on how I arrived at these numbers check out:
Stock Photo Market Size: 2010 and Stock Photo Business Gets Smaller

Copyright © 2011 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.  


  • Kim Westerskov Posted May 10, 2011

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