Good News For Corbis Photographers

Posted on 4/19/2016 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Some Corbis photographers whose images have been integrated into the Getty Images collection tell me that their images are appearing high in the search-return-order for searches of their particular subject matter.

Newness has always been an important element of Getty’s search algorithm. It appears that the date the Corbis images were added to the Getty collection, not the date the images were created, is the date being used to determine newness. This could mean that images taken several years ago and buried in the Corbis collection may have a new lease on life and favored over newer images created by Getty contributors.

Other sources with good contacts among Getty staffers have been told that the staff has been ordered to do everything possible to get Corbis images to the top of the search return order in the next three months. In theory, this will demonstrate to customers that Getty now represents Corbis images. It is unclear how a customer is supposed to recognize that a particular image in the collection is one that came from Corbis. It is also unclear what will happen after three months.

Another aspect of the algorithm that may provide a long-term benefit for Corbis photographers is that it favors images where Getty keeps a higher percentage of the gross fee collected and pays out a smaller royalty share. Most Corbis photographers are agreeing to contracts that offer a lower royalty share than is typical for most Getty contributors. Thus, their images may stay near the top of Getty search returns, not just for three months, but for some time to come.

Getty wholly owned material will continue to show up ahead of most Corbis images, but the images of long-term Getty contributors will probably be pushed further down in the search return order.

In its Creative collection Getty currently has over 4,927,000 RM images and over 9,330,000 RF images. I estimate that Getty licenses rights to about 1.7 million RF uses annually and less than 450,000 RM uses. Many of the images are licensed multiple times and a significant number are never licensed.

Copyright © 2016 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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