Finally..everything in one place.
Microstock and traditional Royalty Free (RF) have finally united on one, simple to use, website. The entity behind it ? Well, Getty Imagesof course. Some were already playing with it, others were staying away from it. Getty jumped in it, two feet at a time.
No more of this ridiculous RF branding that presupposed that RF image buyers are actually faithful to a brand like they would be to a car manufacturer (oh, dear, I only buy Honda’s). Buyers need an image quick and easy, and that’s all. They don’t care if it was shot by Joe Boobleeboo or that guy that grossed millions of dollars last year (ya, right).
Because the pricing is by subscription only, there is no price comparison. Thus images are downloaded based on their value to the customer, not by how much they save. Amateurs are now on the same level as super pros (are there any left in the RF space?). Meta search engines like SpiderPic can stuff it as they cannot compare pricing.
Getty has finally broken a few old barriers here and is fighting back against its old competition. Shutterstock, as well as Alamy and other volume based image banks must be shaking in their winter boots. There is volume here, there is extreme ease of pricing, there are very strong search capabilities and most importantly, there is superb ease of use. No more of this pricing on size, no more pricing based on collections (or brand), no more different offerings at different sites in one place.
Furthermore, once downloaded, an image can be used over and over without any additional license fees. Thus companies (book publishers, corporations, small image intensive design companies) can easily create an in house database and store images until they need them again, for free. Why go anywhere else?
This is going to suck the air out of many RF based businesses ( that was predictable) by attracting a lot of customers.
Pay once, download once, use for an infinite time, is something that we are probably going to see expand like a wildfire through the industry for several reasons: Poor or nonexistent DRM, inefficient tracking systems and an expensive legal process, especially for RF.
This new launch by Getty will certainly have a huge impact across all aspects of the RF photo sector. It will be very interesting to see who will try to compete via others means, and who will just decide to shut down. One thing is sure; there is no turning back now.
By the way, this is the same model that they plan to roll out for editorial usage very soon.
About the author
“This business has too many Surveyors and not enough Bohemians” Roger Therond , legendary photo man, once said to a good friend of mine, Eliane Laffont. This blog is about restoring the balance and letting the Bohemians talk.
Paul Melcher has been named one of the “50 most influential individuals in American photography” by American Photo. He is currently senior vice president of the PictureGroup. He writes the Thoughts of a Bohemian blog