How About Some Encouraging Information For RM Photographers

Posted on 12/9/2016 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (4)

After my story last week on “High Level Thoughts On The Stock Industry” John Fowler asked, “Have you found any encouraging information at all from any RM photographers?  There must be some folks doing something that works for them.”

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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:  


  • Grant Faint Posted Dec 10, 2016
    good info... it isnt nice to hear that so many buyers only want RF as getty gives only 20% of a sale to photographer.

    grant faint

  • Tibor Bognar Posted Dec 10, 2016
    While I'm not familiar with RF prices (so far I've sold RM only) I partially disagree with this analysis. Several agencies I work with sell the same quantity of images as when the going was good, but of course at much lower prices. So, RM is still sold. One positive side is that the pricing is flexible and at least a few images sell for a good price. And of course Getty pays 35% for RM and 20% for RF... In my experience RM is not dead yet!

  • Jean-pierre Lescourret Posted Dec 10, 2016
    Do you really think that Getty would be so glad to distribute the Corbis imagery (90% RM) if the
    RM licensing was obsolete ?
    Where this 1% of the images licensed annually as RM is coming from ?

  • Jim Pickerell Posted Dec 16, 2016

    I think Getty's main purpose in acquiring Corbis content was to eliminate the competition, not sell RM images. Besides, the transaction didn't cost Getty anything.

    Getty currently has 17,451,230 image in its collection and 11,054,890 are RF leaving only 6,396,340 RM in the collection. In addition the Prestige RM collection only has 144,017 images. If a customer wants to see any of the other 6,252,323 RM they must do a search for "All" and then they are shown one RF image for every RM image shown.

    Taking all this into consideration, I believe there are very few situations where customer get to see many of the RM images in the collection. Maybe it works for niche subject matter where the number of images returned in a search is very small.

    You've also got to remember that a huge percentage of the RM images licensed are licensed through "Premium Access" deals at very low prices so you might as well be licensing them as RF and giving them a better chance of being seen.

    Also Getty is encouraging many supplier to transfer their RM images to RF. Currently the ratio of RF to RM is 63% RF to 37% RM. I think it won't be long until 75% of the images on the site will be RF.

    As to the 1%, you must remember that a huge percentage of the images licensed are licensed via subscriptions. You may not like the low prices, but you can't ignore these uses because that is what the customers are using.

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