The everywhere image

Just when you thought is was over, it starts again, like a bloody headache. Getty Images, the agency that suffers and profits the most from micro stock is about to launch a cross brand collection. Called the Agency Collection, at least on Istock,  it will be priced at a premium to Vetta and will be available on iStock, Getty Images, Jupiter and PunchStock.

It will include images from Getty Images, but also from iStock contributors.

Why is this important ? Because this will be the first time that the same image will be available on all brands owned by Getty Images. Will they be priced the same? The post from Istock Kelly Thomspon doesn’t say, although the mention that they will be “priced at a premium to Vetta”seems to indicate that there is a good chance they will be.

A long awaited natural step, this cross brand collection will give Getty a lot of valuable data.

First and foremost, it will show which brand is the most successful at selling these images. If Istockphoto sells more than twenty times what Getty images has sold, you can be sure that will prompt the Seattle giant to revisit the need for sales people, something they are trying hard to prove. If Punchstock doesn’t sell any, they might shut down that brad.. And so on.

It will also show if an image sells better if available on multiple sites at the same time. In theory, it should be.

Istockphoto certainly has an edge in this competition. Not only it is a 100% royalty free platform, unlike the others, but  it has much, much more traffic than the others, which, for RF, is critical.

Getty’s Traffic

Kelly Thompson, the current COO, has much more to say in his forum post, mostly regarding another royalty rate adjustment. It is becoming so complicated that these poor microstockers need a high end degree in mathematics to figure it out.You have to wonder if they do it on purpose, a bit like those credit card fine prints.

The launch of this new cross brands collection is due out this month ( September) and it will also be interesting to see how Getty will market it . Will it be one campaign for all brands or all brands independent to each other ? We suspect, the latter.

Because this will be the first time the same images will be available on all brands own by one of the mega giants,it will mark the final breakdown of the walls that use to separate UGC and pro, as well as traditional and Microstock. Now, everything is everywhere at the same time.

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

Marco | Editor

Editor at large and founder of a bunch of stockphoto businesses

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