Getty Images Announces Innovative Industry Leading API Platform

Posted on 2/23/2012 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (1)

Getty Images, Inc. has announced the release of Connect by Getty Images, an innovative new content distribution service. This powerful and flexible API is designed to give Web publishers built-in access within their publishing tools to Getty’s images, as well as the search metadata associated with them.

Through Connect by Getty Images, companies can enhance and expand their offerings to further serve their customers’ needs, more efficiently manage workflows and costs, and generate revenue through constantly refreshed content.
Currently, over 40 companies, ranging from media companies, digital media and advertising services, print-on-demand services and mobile and web-based applications, are leveraging Connect to yield value within their products and offerings. Included among the users are Bleacher Report, ReachLocal and Zazzle.

Moving From BtoB to BtoC

Instead of being compensated by businesses for broad use of images, Getty has developed a way to cooperate with businesses in order to market directly to their customers – the eventual consumer. The way each of these consumers uses the service could vary widely and be very customized. Pricing for individual personalized uses will likely be very different from the way image use has been priced traditionally. It is unclear how photographers will be compensated when a single individual is the end using customer.
Take Zazzle for instance. They offer customized T-shirts, mugs, hats, buttons, necklaces, pillows, napkins, placemats, postcards, magnets, etc. Customers can use their own pictures, but it would appear that now they may also be able to select any image from the Getty collection. What will the charge be for an individual use of an image for a single T-shirt? What will the creator’s share be? If Getty is charging it’s normal rates listed on its web site it seems unlikely that Zazzle’s customers will be willing to spend that amount of money for a single custom T-shirt. Other rates may have been negotiated.

Or take ReachLocal. They offer customized web advertising for local companies. The customer purchases a menu of services for a package price as low as $750 a month. What portion of that will be allocated to the photo ReachLocal happens to need for the website that is one small part of their total service?

In some cases customers may just want to browse through photos of a certain vacation spot, or of their favorite sports or entertainment personality. They don’t want to download or “use” the picture in the traditional sense of use. They may want to tell their friends about the photo and send them a link or post it on their Facebook page, but will they be willing to pay for such a use? Indications are that Getty will not be charging the web publishers anything for access to Connect.

For purposes of comparison consider what Encyclopaedia Britannica is doing with its Image Quest database that students can use for research. EB logs each view of an image as a unique transaction. That seems fair. If more people want to look at the most recent picture of Angelina Jolie than at a chemistry experiment then the photographer who shot the Jolie picture should receive more compensation. However, based on the figures in my EB story it would require 200 transactions for a photographer to earn $0.70. Very few images are likely to generate enough volume to earn significant revenue.

"Connect makes it easy for customers and partners to integrate Getty Images’ tremendous breadth of content, our rich-set of metadata and industry leading search within their platform, products, services, and applications,” said Jonathan Klein, Co-Founder and CEO of Getty Images. “The platform is a comprehensive, customizable and scalable solution that enables businesses to improve their products, streamline workflows, reduce storage costs and launch compelling new services.”
Connect by Getty Images is now available to all Getty Images customers and partners. To learn more about Connect and its advanced capabilities, please visit

Copyright © 2012 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:  


  • Jen Morgan Posted May 15, 2012

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