New York, NY, July 9, 2008--PhotoShelter Inc., the leading online destination where more than 37,000 photographers sell stock photography and access powerful solutions for e-commerce and image storage, today released a statement from CEO Allen Murabayashi, commenting on the recent partnership announcement between Getty Images and photo sharing website flickr. Murabayashi directly linked the strategic move by Getty and flickr to the positive, tangible impact that PhotoShelter's business model is having on the stock photo industry, and cautioned photographers to carefully scrutinize the details of Getty’s contract terms before agreeing to exclusive sales rights and ceding as much as 80% of every sale to Getty.
"The Getty-flickr partnership validates that PhotoShelter is driving positive changes in the stock photo industry and is threatening Getty's domination at the high end of the market. We entered this industry with a mission to change it after seeing how industry giants like Getty have grown increasingly out of touch with buyer needs and ever more exploitative of photographers’ rights and royalties. Our solution: offer image buyers new levels of freshness and diversity by cultivating a global community of photographers, giving them an open, commercial platform to sell their work as stock, and ensuring they get a fair deal on every sale.
The structure and timing of this announcement validates that we are achieving our mission. Getty sees a successful approach that compromises their market share, margins, and control of the industry. They are tapping into the flickr community to find image diversity and new talent. In other words, they're searching for exactly what is occurring every day at PhotoShelter. As we close the first half of 2008 with strong growth in photographers joining our movement and big ticket licensing deals to large clients that have traditionally bought through Getty, we view this partnership as a logical move by a threatened industry leader..
"Over the past two years, Getty has approached us on multiple occasions with a similar partnership deal. We rejected Getty because we felt it was bad for photographers on many fronts and would not allow us to accomplish our mission of providing diversity to buyers and commercial independence to photographers, by sharing with them a greater percentage of every sale.
Getty’s Fine Print
"Flickr users should be aware that the standard Getty contract terms give Getty exclusivity on selling their images, enables Getty to control the pricing and usage terms, and guarantees them pennies on the dollar for every sale. Sharing 20% to 40% of every sale with the photographer is simply a raw deal. When the agent for the sale earns a larger share of revenue than the artist who produced the work, that’s just inappropriate. Through PhotoShelter, photographers earn 70% of every sale and have access to the fastest growing set of commercial licensing opportunities to ad agencies, magazine and book publishers, corporations and leading design firms. This could mean a difference of thousands of dollars on a single sale.
The standard Getty contract also prohibits a photographer from selling an image elsewhere, and gives Getty control to dictate pricing and usage terms. Through PhotoShelter, photographers set their pricing and usage terms, and are not bound to exclusively list images here. We are promoting photographers’ commercial success and don't seek ways to control or restrict that success.
Image Buyers Embrace PhotoShelter
"Image buyers have embraced PhotoShelter’s approach because they demand the ultimate in diversity -- fresh, high-quality images being replenished by thousands of photographers across the world on a daily basis. The only true way to achieve this is to cultivate deep relationships with a truly global community of photographers that are focused on commercial success, provide photographers with both a fair deal and the right incentives to continue to produce quality work, and share with them the tools and insights that push them to achieve their full potential in the business and art of stock photography. We believe image buyers will see this new partnership as a half hearted step toward offering greater diversity while battling the competitive threat posed by the organic community we are growing.
"In an attempt to address changing buyer demand and tap into a new source of content – this new arrangement still perpetuates Getty's old-world business model that's based on exploiting photographers and providing the minimum selection necessary to buyers, while focusing on eliminating competition. This partnership falls short of addressing the real movement -- that's changing the industry for the better.”
PhotoShelter is an online photo community where 37,000 of the world’s photographers find new opportunities and liberation from the traditional model of selling their work.
The PhotoShelter Collection is a global stock photography marketplace where photographers from 130 different countries contribute over 4,000 new images daily for rights-managed and royalty-free licensing. Through PhotoShelter, photographers keep an unprecedented 70% of every sale, compared to the industry standard of 35%. The Collection provides image buyers with a freshness that results when accomplished pros and undiscovered hobbyists share their distinct perspectives in an edited collection designed to add diversity and authenticity to any project.