Getty To Supply Amazon Echo Users With Photos

Posted on 9/17/2018 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Getty Images, has agreed to make Getty’s award-winning collection of sports, news, entertainment, archival and creative images available to enhance the voice responses from Alexa on all Echo devices with a screen.

Exactly how image creators will be compensated for this use of their images has not been explained.

Alexa has always been able to tell customers answers to their questions but with the launch of Echo Show and Echo Spot, Alexa is now able to show customers whatever they want to know. This integration allows Getty Images’ extensive library of premium content to shape the visual style of Alexa.

“Our premier collection of editorial, creative and archival content is a natural fit for Amazon’s Echo products, bringing best-in-class visuals to Echo users,” said Peter Orlowsky, Senior Vice President of Strategic Development, Getty Images. “We are honored to unite with Echo’s screen-based products and to use our deep library of content to give Alexa her best look yet.”

Getty Images content creators are on the ground, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, capturing events from all corners of the world, from red carpet events to football stadiums to conflict zones and beyond. This means that customers can now turn to their Echo devices with a screen and say, “Alexa, who won best Actress at tonight’s Academy Awards,” or “Alexa, what is the capital of Uruguay,” and Alexa will respond with the answers and provide the most up to date premier imagery of the winner from the red carpet and stunning photos from Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay.

Getty Images is a world leader in visual communications, with over 300 million assets, of which over 200 million are digitized, encompassing the latest global news, sports, celebrity, music and fashion coverage; exclusive conceptual creative images; and the world’s largest commercial archive.


Some of the sports and news photos, available on the Getty Images site are created by staff photographers who are paid a salary. These photographers receive no additional compensation no matter how many times their photos are actually used. Getty also wholly owns certain archival images (the Hulton collection, for example). One hundred percent of the revenue generated by these images is retained by Getty.

But, the vast majority of entertainment and creative imagery has been supplied to Getty by freelance photographer and other stock agencies. All of these individuals and organization have contracts with Getty that require Getty to pay them a fee every time one of their images is used.

It is not clear how Getty expects to track these uses and how much Amazon will pay each time one of Getty’s images is called up by one of Amazon's customers.

We do know that Getty is already licensing some uses for less than one penny ($0.01). We also believe that one-third of the prices they currently charge customers to use an image are less than $5.00 and 55% are less than $10.00.

It seems likely that once Echo Show and Echo Spot an in full operation the percentage of images licensed for prices below $5.00 will certainly double to more than 66% of all licenses. It is unclear how such additional use will benefit image creators.

Copyright © 2018 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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