Getty Creative Collection Transformation

Posted on 3/18/2020 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

In the last four years there has been dramatic shifts within the Getty Images Creative Collection. It is unclear how this has affected gross revenue generated as Getty has stopped providing a public breakdown of the revenue segments of its business. Nevertheless, it is believed that since 2016 annual gross Creative revenue has consistently generated about $280 million of the company’s roughly $850 million in gross revenue.

There has been very little change in revenue generated year to year despite the massive change in the number of images available for licensing and the creators of that imagery. In August 2016 there were 14,992,119 images in the Creative collection. In June 2018 there were 23,922,471 images available and as of March 2020 there are currently 30,472,764 images. Obviously, more images does not result in more revenue.

During this same period Getty has been licensing more uses year to year, but at lower and lower prices per-image-licensed. This has resulted in flat revenue, at best, for the company. It has also resulted in lower and lower average royalties for images creators because sales are spread among so many more creators.



In 2016 there were 208 different collections in Getty Creative. Some of these collections were, and continue to be, wholly owned by Getty, but the majority were provided by independent agencies whose work Getty represented.

Between 2016 and 2018 there were dramatic changes in the number of images each outside agency added to the collection. (See link above.) In this two year period the vast majority of agencies added very few new images, or started pulling back on the number of images they had in their collections.



There seems to have been two major reasons for this. First, as license fees declined, (See here) more and more of the photographers who were trying to earn a portion their living producing stock images stopped producing as they discovered that this was no longer a productive way to spend their time.

Second, many image producers who already had images in the Getty collection, determined that at the prices charged Getty was devaluing their work and they wanted their images pulled so they could try to license them for more reasonable prices elsewhere.

Shutting Down Right Managed




Getty’s decision in November 2019 to shut down Rights Managed licensing led to a massive decline in the number of collections represented. For years Getty had been licensing many of its RM images at Royalty Free (RF) prices through Premium Access deals. Now they gave RM suppliers the choice of either licensing all their images at RF prices or having them removed from the collection. Virtually all the independent agencies decided to remove all their images if there was no longer a chance of obtaining higher prices for some uses.

As a result, 98 of the the 208 collections (47%) that were represented by Getty in 2016 are no longer available through the company’s website. In 2016 these collections represented 40% of the images in the Creative collection. By 2018, collectively, these agencies had, on average, reduced their share of the total collection by 17%. However, at this point these 98 agencies only represented 21% of the Creative collection because Getty had added so many additional RF images from other sources. As of March 2020 the following agencies have zero images with Getty.

  2016 August 2018 June 2020 March
       
360cities.net   4,058 0
AFP Creative 3,811 55,887 0
age fotostock 84,306 112,895 0
All Canada Photos 90,463 107,363 0
Allsport Concepts 2,594 2,584 0
Altrendo  
2,330 0
America 24-7 1,856 1,847 0
Arcaid Images 5,774 29,423 0
Archive Photos 24,954 38,713 0
Art Images 1,159 1,150 0
Asia Images 15,740 8,032 0
Aurora 39,917 40,326 0
AWL Images 130,547 142,878 0
Axiom Photographic Agency 18,792 19,383 0
Bettmann 903 3,434 0
Biosphoto 1 39,809 0
Blend Images 343,271 200,696 0
Caiaimage 26,332 35,594 0
Canopy 48,254 56,320 0
Car Culture ® Collection 4,767 9,860 0
CGIBackgrounds 5,336 5,336 0
Chic Sketch   119 0
China Span 9,809 10,657 0
Conde Nast Collection   1,344 0
Corbis Historical 3 7 0
Da Vinci Codex Atlanticus 2,238 2,238 0
De Agostini Picture Library 217,630 314,261 0
Discovery Channel Images 4,387 4,387 0
EyeEm RM   0 0
First Light 46,750 60,655 0
Fototrove 1,147 1,110 0
Gallo Images 162,351 183,113 0
Genuine Japan   0 0
Glow   26,972 0
hemis.fr 70,504 72,350 0
Hero Images 41,317 56,828 0
Historic Map Works 42,078 42,074 0
Hoxton 709 3,983 0
Hulton Archive 44,026 44,456 0
Iconica 42,614 40,064 0
Ikon Images 11,831 14,461 0
Illustration Works 8,112   0
Images Bazaar 11,206 13,014 0
Inmagineasia   9,275 0
iStock   0 0
iStock Unreleased +   0 0
Johner Images 21,127 2,459 0
Juice Images 22,889 72,995 0
Lonely Planet Images 734,694 804,970 0
LOOK 64,946 67,656 0
Minden Pictures 210,854 123,160 0
Mint Images 4,648 4,420 0
Moment RF & RM 637,599   0
Moment Select 13,731 12,946 0
Flickr (added to Moment) 19,375   0
Mondadori Portfolio 11,364 11,375 0
National Geographic Magazines   58,240 0
Nativestock 1,458 1,458 0
Nature Picture Library 11,940 16,038 0
Nordic Life   0 0
Nordic Photos 7,042 5,955 0
NYonAir   0 0
OJO+ 3,867 3,865 0
Oxford Scientific 62,075 60,876 0
Panoramic Images 52,564 55,471 0
Passage 53,553 46,285 0
Perspectives 69,192 110,093 0
Photographer's Choice 235,567 259,157 0
Photolibrary 496,271 526,003 0
Photonica 18,586 18,594 0
Photonica World 11,558 11,579 0
Picture Press 39,564 50,021 0
Pixta   718 0
Popperfoto 1,922 2,298 0
Radius Images 34,223 33,707 0
Retrofile 8,056 2,363 0
Riser 2,007 1,918 0
robertharding 87,697 101,924 0
SambaPhoto 7,607 6,932 0
Science Faction 21,412 21,260 0
Science Source 99,544 98,698 0
Sino Images 18,966 47,092 0
Snapwi.re 778 777 0
Stock4B 23,131 23,673 0
StockFood Creative 35,110 34,448 0
SuperStock 39,525 38,893 0
Taxi 57,056 64,107 0
Taxi Japan 16,344 15,804 0
The LIFE Picture Collection 905,678 11,965 0
Topic Images 29,197 31,365 0
Universal Images Group 59226 59,486 0
Untitled X-Ray 2,061 2,932 0
VisitBritain   67,226 0
Visuals Unlimited 32,756 31,193 0
WaterFrame 35,797 39,994 0
WIN-Initiative 18,709 19,352 0
Yann Arthus-Bertrand 4,441 7,848 0
ZZVE Illustrations 6,275 6,251 0
     
 
98 Collections 5,917,471 4,915,126 0
       
Total Getty Collection 14,992,119 23,922,471 30,472,764

No New Images Added


In addition, fifty of the collection still represented by Getty have, on average, added no new images since June 2018. In 2018 collectively they represented 1,863,831 images and today they have 1,861,809 images. A few of these collections are wholly owned by Getty. Some the company bought years ago, but they have done nothing to add new images to these collections.

Those that are still independent companies have either stopped producing new images or determined that it is no longer beneficial to add more images to the Getty website because sales and prices are so low. Thus, 71% of the collections that were on the Getty site in 2018 now only represent 6% of the images still in the Creative collection.

  2016 August 2018 June 2020 March
       
ArtBox Images RF 4,573 4,572 4,571
Asia Selects 10,604 10,508 10,501
AsiaPix 10,282 24,108 24,143
Aurora Open 18,789 28,805 28,279
Best View Stock 29,602 30,951 30,937
beyond fotomedia 10,583 10,431 9,198
BLOOMimage 41,182 39,507 39,018
Collection Mix: Subjects 65,414 92,250 100,031
CSA Images 25,037 28,580 28,492
Cultura 164,301 230,617 216,146
Dex Image 16,978 16,994 16,979
DisabilityImages 10,557 11,100 11,373
Evok Images 385 843 713
EyeEm Premium 2,824 14,538 16,937
foap   111,772 110,889
Foodcollection 26,133 63,416 66,137
Fotosearch 104,032 92,216 87,647
fStop 40,112 46,312 50,236
Fuse 30,984 4,259 4,184
GeoNova Maps 1,154 1,154 1,153
Glowimages 53,194 49,042 49,012
Gulfimages 5,788 5,788 5,786
HEX 2,796 4,681 4,677
imageBROKER 80,439 199,995 209,323
Imagemore 29,917 27,246 27,233
imagenavi 68,909 70,831 71,208
Imagewerks Japan   9,322 9,317
Imagezoo 23,827 23,739 21,614
IndiaPicture 19,929 28,017 31,599
Ingram Publishing 9,570 9,514 8,860
Ivary 7,234 7,231 7,227
IZA Stock 6,348 6,348 6,345
Loop Images   2,673 2,709
MedicalRF.com 11,900 11,901 11,897
MILATAS 8,099 9,047 9,081
MIXA 36,943 36,922 36,855
OJO Images 53,702 53,076 52,930
ONOKY 22,367 25,569 25,719
PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections 79,607 85,196 87,935
Photographer's Choice RF 183,934 203,838 193,808
photosindia 34,096 34,096 34,093
PictureIndia 8,323 121 121
redchopsticks 10,351 10,353 10,353
Refinery29   1,170 897
Rubberball Production 35,208 35,324 35,322
Score by Aflo 34,342 34,340 34,332
Silkroad images 1,860 163 163
UFO RF 4,353 4,890 4,890
VStock 90 4,487 4,961
XiXinXing 5,984 5,978 5,978
       
  1,452,636 1,863,831 1,861,809

Significant Reduction In Number Of Images


Another 19 brands reduced their collection by a significant amount in the last two years. This . may because they converted some RM to RF and removed the rest.

  2016 August
2018 June
2020 March
       
ABSODELS 9,151 20,423 15,844
Alloy 10,708 52,101 35,512
amana images 199,933 225,932 114,811
arabianEye 47,053 52,796 5,132
Brand X Pictures 37,396 36,981 29,938
Corbis 468,113 569,770 350,536
Corbis Documentary 590,642 600,766 126,238
Dorling Kindersley RF 96,074 99,793 16,999
F1online 21,307 20,880 9,338
Folio Images 7,449 21,074 16,544
Hola Images 8,634 8,629 6,885
LatinContent 5,743 731 130
National Geographic 223,188 197,341 72,135
Passage Unreleased  
4,548 2,637
Photononstop 52,038 66,673 17,641
Purestock 33,029 33,022 7,968
TongRo Images 63,478 49,690 39,768
UpperCut Images 8,262 28,003 19,759
Vetta 101,762 59,167 28,473
   
   
  1,983,960 2,148,320 916,288

So Where Is The Collection Growth?


Twenty-three brands, most with collections of under 100,000 images, have grown their collections significantly since 2018. The total images for this group was 1,162,013 in 2018 and 1,740,514 in 2020.

  2016 August 2018 June 2020 March
       
Bloomberg Creative Photos   3,563 7,410
blue jean images 41,880 48,145 54,802
Cavan   93,364 138,959
Corbis Unreleased   6,826 10,299
Design Pics 64,653 73,825 80,839
Ello     90
Gallo Images ROOTS RF collection 18,615 38,094 44,905
Image Source 107,814 122,653 131,356
ImaZinS 968 10,708 37,589
Johner Images Royalty-Free 42,376 76,517 84,817
Luxy 85 9,484 13,177
Maskot 22,313 32,203 43,909
Mint Images RF 13,923 27,760 39,888
MITO images 1,192 2,913 3,336
Publisher Mix   11,113 17,499
Retrofile RF 7,276 12,485 14,488
RooM 27,447 45,081 59,419
Science Photo Library 93,188 90,453 111,122
STOCK4B-RF 12,236 12,642 93,210
Stocktrek Images 23,875 26,509 113,044
Tetra images 91,957 94,828 202,977
View Stock 28,681 57,199 79,933
Westend61 149,011 265,648 357,446
       
  747,490 1,162,013 1,740,514

Getty also added a significant number of images to 12 of its house brands. Combined these brands had 6,004,331 images in 2018. In less than 2 years they have grown by 65% to 9,907,020. In many of these cases Getty actually owns the images and is not required to pay out a royalty. Thus, they can sell them at any price they want.

However, many of the images in the Stone, Image Bank and Photodisc brands are owned by individual photographers. Many of the images in the Stone and Image Bank brands were formerly RM. Their creators probably decided that, low as future royalties might be at Getty, it is unlikely they would earn more anywhere else. Thus, given the potential low earnings it was not worth their cost inf time and re-keywording to try to place the images with a new agency.

  2016 August 2018 June 2020 March
       
a-Clip     58,882
E+ 892,753 2,450,306 3,839,249
DigitalVision 150,510 197,231 371,891
DigitalVision Vectors  
1,065,823 1,560,986
Lonely Planet RF   0 43,245
iStock Unreleased   309,706 908,847
Photodisc 558,184 680,492 884,553
Stockbyte 666,225 669,292 740,118
Stockbyte Unreleased   20,355 135,006
Stone 76,555 80,304 488,216
The Image Bank 463,143 530,822 455,478
The Image Bank Unreleased     420,549
       
  2,807,370 6,004,331 9,907,020

Most of the new images are coming from 3 suppliers – 500px (currently owned by Visual China Group), Moment (made up of images from Flickr photographers) and EyeEm. Virtually all these images have been shot by amateurs who take pictures in their spare time as a hobby and are more interested in the idea that their work has some value (little as it might be) to someone. The revenue the images might generate is unimportant.

Currently, 16,047,133 of the 30,472,764 images, or 53% of the entire Creative Collection have been supplied by these three companies. EyeEm alone has supplied 26% of all the images in the collection, or about 8 times the number of images they had with Getty less than 4 years ago. Moment images make up 16% of the collection.

Clearly the stock photo business is no longer a way for professional photographer to earn much money and has been taken over by amateurs.

  2016 August 2018 June 2020 March
       
500px     3,111,596
EyeEm 253,328 4,542,663 8,005,719
Moment 453,639 1,725,673 3183,793
Moment Mobile 29,703 45,749 45,181
Moment Open 1,346,112 1,354,911 1,337,255
Moment Unreleased 410 159,854 363,589
       
  2,083,192 7,828,850 16,047,133


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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