CtoA 4 - Present To Getty

Posted on 11/26/2018 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Once the data has been collected then it will be time to talk to Getty – as a group. For years they have shown they are unwilling to pay attention to suggestions from individual agencies. The more Specialist Agencies that participate in the analysis the better.

The results of the analysis should:
    1 - Represent a significant portion of the 6 million images that have been contributed by Specialist Agencies.



    2 – Show that the proportionate share of gross revenue generated by the participating agencies is greater than the average of $280 million that the agencies represent. For example, if the collection of agencies participating in the analysis currently have a combined total of 2,000,000 images in Getty’s collection they will represent 8.4% of the total collection. On average this number of images should generate a combined “gross 2018 revenue” for Getty of about 8.4% of $280 million or $23,520,000. (That means total royalties paid to the Specialist Agencies in the group will be in the range of $5  to $7 million.)
My guess is that the images provided by Specialist Agencies generate a lot more than $73 million (26%) of Getty’s revenue. Conversely, the amateur images that they are flooding their collection with are likely responsible for a much smaller percent.

If the 33% of the total collection that the EyeEm/Moment/foap images represent are an average share of Getty’s gross revenue, they should generate about $92 million annually. The percentage of images from these sources is growing rapidly, but combined I don’t think they generate anywhere near this amount of revenue.

If Getty’s purpose is simply to collect more images, then going after those produced by amateurs is the easiest way to quickly grow their collection. But, if their purpose is to grow revenue, they need a new strategy.



Hopefully, the share of the Specialist Agencies willing to participate will represent many more than 2 million images and clearly demonstrate that such images sell much better than the rest of the collection overall. The images they have supplied are likely to generate a higher percentage of Getty’s total revenue than the images of the other collections – particularly the EyeEm/Moment/foap collections.

Point Out


That Specialist Agencies images represent a higher percentage of the images customers want to buy than the other collections represented by Getty.



That creators have stopped producing new work because it no longer makes economic sense. The costs to produce new images are greater than the revenue creators receive from their use. Price increases are the only way to convince experienced creators to resume production. This small increase may not be enough, but at least it is a step in the right direction away from the long standing downward price spiral.

Each month that prices continue to decline more and more producers lose interest.

The reason customers have not gone to Shutterstock or Adobe already is that they can’t find the type of images they want on those other sites. If the customers really need the images Getty has to offer, then they will either pay a few dollars more for what they need or settle for images that won’t satisfy their needs as well.

Even if Getty loses some customers, they will end up making a lot more money.

About 5,177,900 of their 9.5 million licenses were for fees of less than $10. If Getty was able to sell the same number for $10 each they would earn $51,889,000 instead of $7,728,000. If 85% of the people who previously purchased images for less than $10 refuse to pay the higher price and go somewhere else, and only 15% of their current customers are willing to pay the $10 minimum, Getty will still make more money. They don’t need more and more customers they need customers that are willing to pay a reasonable fee that will cover costs.

It $10 is too much then at least start by setting a floor at $5.00. In this case instead of licensing one-third of their uses for less than $5 customers would be asked to pay this modest fee. Instead of the $3,054,000 a year that is currently generated from this one-third of unit sales, Getty would earn $15,741,500 if all the users paid $5 for each image they had previously received at a lower price. If these customers only use one image for every five they used previously, and pay the $5.00 price, Getty would still make more money.

If the customers purchasing images at these low prices were all small startup businesses with no capital to invest, there might be an argument for supplying images to them at very low costs. But, many of the customers who get the images they need at these extremely low prices are large corporations that insist they must have more and more images for less and less money. They say they cannot afford to pay more because their businesses are not profitable enough.

What If Specialist Agencies Don’t Generate More Than A Proportionate Share Of Gross Revenue?


If after doing the analysis, it is determined that Specialist Agency images produce less than their proportional share of gross revenue then it may be time to move the images to another marketing option, or consider winding down your business.

If you’re not important to Getty, then you have no leverage to bring about change.

Maybe you can make more money by licensing the images on a non-exclusive basis through Shutterstock, AdobeStock or Alamy rather than being exclusive with Getty.

Some photographers are discovering that they can earn more with exclusive images in the iStock Premium collection (at iStock premium prices) than by having the same images in the Getty RM collection, even when they make a handful of high value sale with Getty on a very occasional basis.

At the very least, by carefully analyzing your own data from Getty sales and sharing the information with other specialist agencies you gain valuable information about how to move forward.


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 www.selling-stock.com, 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: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  

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