Are Getty’s Top Suppliers Providing What Customers Need?

Posted on 11/10/2017 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

One of the interesting questions raised by the chart in the previous story and the chart below is the annual revenue each collection might possibly generate. Certain specialized collections may have provided very few images and thus generate much less than the larger collections. However, by using the attached chart brand owners may be able to get a senses of whether their images are selling as well as those of their competitors.

Based on Moody’s recent report of Getty’s gross revenue for the last 12 months, I estimate that Getty’s Creative collection generates about $280 million in revenue annually. That number has been pretty flat in the last few years despite a huge growth in the number of images in the collection. Using this number, the average annual revenue per-image generated for Getty Images from each image in the creative collection is $13.32. At a 20% royalty the average photographer, directly contracted to Getty, or an Agency or Production Company whose images are distributed by Getty, should receive $2.66 per image in the collection, annually.  

For example, there are 3,494,298 images in the EyeEm and EyeEm Premium RF collections. At $13.32 per-image per-year the EyeEm sales should have generated about $46,544,049 for Getty Images and approximately $9,284,833 for EyeEm (at 20%) if their images are used as frequently as those in other collections.

For Caiaimage, with 31,954 RM image, and assuming their gross sales were average, their images should have generated about $424,627 for Getty, and at 20% royalty $84,925 for Caia.

My bet is that Caia’s revenue was much higher than this and EyeEm’s much lower. This is because Caia is producing the kind of images that are in high demand by customers while EyeEm is not.

For the most part EyeEm images have been created by photographers whose primary interest in posting them online has been to show their work to others (mostly photographers), not earn money from their images. Of course, if someone is willing to pay them a little money to use one of their images, that’s an added benefit. They are certainly not going to turn the money away, but it’s not a primary motivation.

Professional photographers, on the other hand, are trying to earn a portion of their living from the images they produce. They spend time trying to understand what customers need and focus on producing the kind of images that customers will pay enough to use to cover costs and realize a profit.

At Getty the number of images added from EyeEm and Moment has grown dramatically in the past two or three years. Many of these images are great and beautiful photographs. However, I believe that, for the most part, they tend to not be the kind of images that are in high demand fy customers for their projects.

I may be wrong in this analysis. Maybe images from EyeEm and Moment are selling as well, or better than those of who I think are among the leading stock image producers such as Caiaimages, Hero Images, Maskot, Tetra, Johner, Science Photo Library and Westend61.

If the amateurs are not producing the images customers are buying, then it may be time for someone to think about what it needed to make it economically viable for professionals to produce such images.

There could be some other problems as well. Images that are not selling may be buried under newer images of equal or lesser quality. If customers never see certain images they won’t buy them. The answer may be to keep re-doing the same images over and over in order to get them to the top of the pile, but somehow that doesn’t seem that productive.

Also, certain types of subject matter will sell much better than others. Consequently, sales revenue from nature, wildlife and scenic collections may not be near as good as those from people, lifestyle and medical collections.

It may also help to improve upon the same themes that have worked before, but it is often difficult to determine what customers will consider an improved version.

The chart below is ordered based on the number of images found when searching each collection on November 9 and 10, 2017. I’ll repeat these search in 6 months or a year to determine trends.

Rights Managed RM Whole   Royalty Free RF Whole
    Owned       Owned
Lonely Planet Images 781,392 X   EyeEm 3,482,166  
Corbis Documentary 596,008 X   E+ 2,038,528 X
Photolibrary 519,124 X   Moment Open 1,361,997 X
The Image Bank 495,937 X   Moment 1,054,230 X
De Agostini Picture Library 285,676     DigitalVision Vectors 831,786 X
Photographer's Choice 257,390 X   Stockbyte 669,666 X
Corbis 232,292 X   Photodisc 610,017 X
Moment 187,870 X   Corbis 326,489 X
Gallo Images 174,726     Westend61 211,059  
AWL Images 142,621     Photographer's Choice RF 201,654 X
National Geographic 137,452     Cultura 193,609  
Minden Pictures 115,789     Blend Images 192,242  
Perspectives 113,604     DigitalVision 184,845 X
Science Source 97,651     amana images 156,538  
age fotostock 96,872     Image Source 118,622  
robertharding 96,855     iStock Unreleased 118,529 X
All Canada Photos 89,180     Foap 111,625  
amana images 82,651     National Geographic 108,748  
Dorling Kindersley 80,252     Fotosearch 98,433  
Stone 79,558 X   Tetra images 93,174 70,284     F1online 93,145  
VisitBritain 67,496     Moment Unreleased 93,122 X
LOOK 66,834     imageBROKER 89,481  
Taxi 63,040 X   Vetta 86,681 X
Oxford Scientific 62,038     PhotoAlto Agency RF 83,723  
First Light 61,170     Collection Mix: Subjects 82,535  
Universal Images Group 60,110     Science Photo Library 74,910  
National Geographic Magazines 58,086     Design Pics 72,330  
Canopy 56,997 X   Juice Images 72,282  
Panoramic Images 55,475     Imagenavi 70,147  
Photononstop 53,981     Johner Images RF 69,966  
imageBROKER 49,406     TongRo Images 61,975  
arabianEye 47,601     Foodcollection 60,975  
Picture Press 45,845     OJO Images 53,736 X
Hulton Archive 44,690 X
  Glowimages 53,200  
Historic Map Works 42,074     Alloy 52,110 X
Passage 42,058     Hero Images 49,137  
Aurora 40,891     blue jean images 46,302  
Contour Style 40,270     View Stock 46,224  
Iconica 40,222 X   Moment Mobile 44,842 X
SuperStock 38,906     fStop 44,268  
WaterFrame 38,389     Sino Images 42,365  
StockFood Creative 36,872     BLOOMimage 39,477  
Biosphoto 32,749     Brand X Pictures 37,022 X
Topic Images 31,918     MIXA 36,934  
Archive Photos 31,893     RooM 36,344  
Visuals Unlimited 31,857     Rubberball Productions 35,324  
Glow 30,689     Gallo Images ROOTS RF 34,384  
Arcaid Images 29,797     Score by Aflo 34,342  
Cultura Exclusive 27,108     Photosindia 34,096  
Westend61 25,192     Radius Images 33,712  
Stock4B 23,674     Purestock 33,026  
Science Faction 21,350     Caiaimage 31,954  
Axiom Photographic Agency 19,387     Best View Stock 30,953  
WIN-Initiative 19,069     CSA Images 28,609  
Photonica 18,638 X   Maskot 28,354  
Taxi Japan 16,306 X   Imagemore 27,309  
Nature Picture Library 16,168     IndiaPicture 26,839  
Ikon Images 13,704     Stocktrek Images 26,582  
Moment Select 13,068 X   ONOKY 25,495  
Images Bazaar 13,025     Aurora Open 24,651  
The LIFE Picture Collection 11,970     AsiaPix 24,148  
F1online 11,628     Mint Images RF 24,117  
Photonica World 11,569 X   Imagezoo 21,778  
Mondadori Portfolio 11,373     UpperCut Images 19,752  
China Span 10,179     Dorling Kindersley RF 19,130  
Car Culture ® Collection 9,863     Dex Image 16,994  
Science Photo Library 9,256     Folio Images 16,233  
UpperCut Images 8,249     ABSODELS 15,861  
Illustration Works 8,073     Retrofile RF 12,962 X
Asia Images 8,029     STOCK4B-RF 12,650  
Yann Arthus-Bertrand 7,850     EyeEm Premium 12,132  
Collection Mix: Subjects 7,221 11,901  
Nordic Photos 7,035     Publisher Mix 11,080  
SambaPhoto 7,021     DisabilityImages 10,961  
Folio Images 6,346     Asia Selects 10,508  
View Stock 5,665     beyond fotomedia 10,433  
CGIBackgrounds 5,336     Redchopsticks 10,351  
ABSODELS 4,562     Stockbyte Unreleased 10,144 X
Mint Images 4,420     Ingram Publishing 9,519  
Discovery Channel Images 4,386     Imagewerks Japan 9,330  
AFP Creative 3,787     Inmagineasia 9,279  
Bettmann 3,436 X   MILATAS 9,047  
Blend Images 3,329     Ivary 7,231 X
Untitled X-Ray 2,932     Hola Images 6,889 2,786     IZA Stock 6,348  
Allsport Concepts 2,584 X   ZZVE Illustrations 6,251  
Johner Images 2,459     XiXinXing 5,979  
Retrofile 2,363 X   Gulfimages 5,788  
Altrendo 2,332     Corbis Unreleased 5,420 X
Popperfoto 2,295     arabianEye 5,251  
Da Vinci Codex Atlanticus 2,238     Photononstop 5,245  
LatinContent 2,014     UFO RF 4,890  
Imagezoo 1,961     ArtBox Images RF 4,572  
Riser 1,918 X   Passage Unreleased 4,546  
America 24-7 1,847     VStock 4,489  
Hola Images 1,741     Fuse 4,268 X
RooM 1,693     ImaZinS 4,132  
Nativestock 1,457     OJO+ 3,866 X
Art Images 1,154     Luxy 3,688  
Fototrove 1,138     Hoxton 3,410  
Refinery29 1,010     HEX 3,065  
Moment Unreleased 602 X   MITO images 2,385  
ImaZinS 579     LatinContent 2,114  
Corbis Historical 6 X   Loop Images 1,860  
Bloomberg Creative Photos 0     Bloomberg Creative Photos 1,686  
Conde Nast Collection 0     GeoNova Maps 1,154  
EyeEm RM 0     Evok Images 843  
Genuine Japan 0 777  
NYonAir 0     Pixta 718  
Publisher Mix 0     Silkroad images 163  
        PictureIndia 121  
        Chic Sketch 119  
        Conde Nast Lifestyle 0  
        iStock 0 X
        iStock Unreleased + 0 X
        Lonely Planet RF 0 X
        Nordic Life 0  
        VisitBritain 0  

Copyright © 2017 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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