There’s been much contention recently over the deal made between the snapshot sharing site Flickr and the behemoth of the picture library stock agency world Getty Images.
A couple of years ago the companies agreed that Getty could have their pick of the millions of images uploaded to Flickr. Of course not all of them are snapshots — some probably approach professional standards. But now Flickr has announced their “Request To License” programme. This is what they said:
“Starting today in the Flickrverse [bleagh!] Flickr members and visitors can work with each other through a new program with Getty Images called “Request to License”. We’ve built this program on the success of our launch of the Flickr Collection on Getty Images just over one year ago.
“So, how does it work? Under the Additional Information heading on your public photo pages you’ll see a “Want to license” link. Only you see this link. Visitors to your photos won’t.”
There is whipped up concern that Flickr members have no idea how to value their images and that Getty will rip them off. This is very, very unlikely.
Our concern at fotoLibra is that it’s Getty who have no idea how to value their images, as this week a Getty spokesperson was quoted by Amateur Photographer as saying:
“Flickr contributors will receive 30% of the fee and the average price for Rights-managed images is around $500 (£335). Royalty-free images are licensed at set prices based upon the file size the customer purchases. Flickr contributors will receive 20% of the fee and the average price for RF is around $200 (£134).”
(Incidentally fotoLibra member photographers get 50% of the sale fee and Platinum members get 60%.)
Well, that’s news to us. Getty’s ‘average’ prices, that is. I have lost count of the number of potential clients who have refused to deal with fotoLibra because “you’re so much more expensive than Getty Images.” Yet our average price for Rights-managed images is around $76 (£51), compared to their quoted $500 (£335). So maybe someone isn’t telling the full, entire, unvarnished truth here. And it’s not me.
If those quoted prices really are true, why hasn’t fotoLibra been swamped with buyers? Our photographers are every bit as good as theirs, and our average price is 15% of their quoted average price. That is a staggering difference.
I very much doubt that Getty Images averages $500 per rights-managed image sale. How I wish that were true! Perhaps it’s all smoke and mirrors, like those famous microstock offers of a dollar for a picture.