Flickr/Getty stock biz

Thomas Hawk asks if the Flickr/Getty stock photo program is really going anywhere or not. One of his supposed scenarios is that Getty is really using the partnership to lock-in with Flickr before Microsoft can buy Yahoo and Corbis can get its claws into Flickr.

I personally question whether this is such a great opportunity for the Flickr photographers as he suggests. Right now the stock business sucks for many photographers, and for the stock companies like Getty. Do they really need more images, or just cheaper images, or more photographers willing to provide cheap images – IOW, really good amateurs who don’t need the income?

I’m not a stock photographer, but more folks selling their work cheap because “it’s so cool to be published” is not a good business model.

1 Response to “Flickr/Getty stock biz”

  1. January 2, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    It will be interesting to see how this unfolds. My own guess would be that there will be a lot of resentment from Getty’s existing Pros if too many Flickrish images start showing up in search queries on Getty. It’s my understanding that the Flickr photos will be priced similar to Getty’s primary collections and that the images won’t be priced to undercut their existing business. I believe the stock photography is largely a zero sum game which means that every photo Getty sales by one photographer is likely a sale taken away from another photographer.

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"The camera makes everyone a tourist in other people's reality, and eventually in one's own." - Susan Sontag, On Photography
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