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The Cost of Commercial Image Licenses – Average Getty Prices

Getty is one of the largest sources for editorial and commercial image licenses. Hence, it makes sense that many e-commerce stores use them for image sourcing. E-Commerce retailers primarily use blogger images from various events to display on their website. Their goal is to motivate users to buy clothes from their store (to visualize – see what Zalando is doing on their website below). The following article will help you understand how much of a budget you would need to have for such a project, due primarily to image licenses.

Getty is the world’s leading provider of high quality photography, video, and music, for creative and editorial use. One of the reasons they are the best is their simple business model. It works like this: browse and search for images on their website. If you want to use something, purchase the rights to use that specific image. The actual price can change according to many different factors. We’ll also share some data we’ve collected on average prices for the most common uses.

License Types:

First of all, let’s talk about licenses, which is the biggest factor here. There are two main types:

  1. Editorial Use License: Images that have not been released for commercial use and have also been taken without the consent of the individuals in the photo. Due to this, their use is limited. You can still use these images in non-commercial mediums such as by displaying them on a blog, publication, newspaper, news broadcast and other non-commercial applications. However, what if you want to use the image in order to sell a product? Not going to work. You’ll need the commercial-use license (see next)
  2. Commercial Use License: Images used with the intent to sell a product, raise money, promote or endorse something. Due to the commercial nature, more legal papers are required. Usually these types of images will have an identifiable person or place, so a model release form is required. This is a service Getty provides behind-the-scenes. In addition, the commercial license includes everything available in the Editorial Use License. This license pretty much covers all the other use cases not included in the Editorial Use License. For e-Commerce websites and brands wanting to display user generated images on their websites, this is likely the type of license you’d need.

Editorial Licence Example

Editorial Pricing

Let’s get down to business. Most photos from fashion shoots are priced with the same standard. See the pricing below. (note – this is ONLY for editorial needs, not for commercial) and is determined mainly on photo size.

Size Ideal For Pixels Price
Small Web, presentation and small print uses 396 x 594 px $175.00
Medium Higher-resolution digital and print uses, including tablets and half-page print 683 x 1024 px $375.00
Large Maximum size for all digital and print uses, including full page and larger 2513 x 3770 px $575.00

Commercial-Use Pricing

The next and more interesting question: How much would it cost you to use fashion influencer images on a commercial e-commerce website? This would usually be covered in rights-managed (RM) and rights-ready (RR) sub-license types. We see the actual amount is calculated by the actual usage of the image.

Let’s look at the prices of some different use-cases for the fashion blogger image below. The fashion blogger is wearing a Zara dress and New Look red shoes. Not a bad look for elegantly strolling the streets of Paris. This classic photo could easily give shoppers inspiration to purchase similar products.

Unlike the editorial license, the actual price of the commercial license is not listed on Getty’s website. This is because you’ll need to fill a form to get the actual price, as seen below:

Due to the variety of options, it’s not always easy to instantly find the correct use-case for a project. Let’s remember: our goal is to display images on the commercial store website to motivate users to buy. It seems like our project can be licensed using a mix of these two:

  • Advertising – Print, display and TV / Advertorial – “Use in an editorial style article (any placement – print or electronic) intended to indirectly promote a product or service. Includes right to archive the image in context of the original scope up to 5 years.”
    Selected usage specs: 1 year, USA, Fashion industry
    Price: $1,505.00 USD
  • Digital Media / Digital Advertisement – “Advertisement within an application, website, game or other software. Includes banner ads, over-page, in-page or web video advertisements. Use of advertisement on social media platforms requires purchase of separate “Web-Social Media” license.”
    Selected usage specs: 1 year, USA, Fashion industry
    Price: $850.00 USD

Types of models

In addition to the basic pay-as-you-go pricing we discussed before –  what else is available?

  • Pay as you go – For the casual users. As in our previous example, the model is simple. See an image? You buy it. This is the most common type of licensing for small and medium businesses. Bulk packs are available (called Ultrapacks) and give you approx. 20% discount.
  • Company subscriptions – More common with larger organizations / publications. The company pays a fixed amount per month or year and can use a large/unlimited number of images. Exact pricing data here is harder to come by, but we can assume it’s anywhere from 30-40% discount on the original price. More info

Project cost

So let’s get back to our example. Your company wants to display a shoppable discovery page using influencer images. You would need around 100 different blogger images. Furthermore, a commercial-use license for each image is needed. Above, we saw that those range from $850 to $1,505. We’re optimistic, so we’ll use the lower price of $850 USD per image. Let’s add a bulk discount of 30% for a medium-sized organization. We’re down to $595 an image. That would come out $59,500 USD for the set of 100 images. This project needs to be repeated again every fashion season (3-4 months) to cater to the different clothes coming out. We’re at $200,000 for a fully functional annual solution.

That doesn’t include the manual work it would require for someone to make each image shoppable. This is done by matching each with a relevant product, which can take a while.

Summary – Getty is expensive!

In conclusion, licensing images aren’t cheap. Getty is the de-facto market leader and thus, has a monopoly over the industry and charges high prices. The license required in order to promote a product turns this great idea into something only very large companies can afford.

Alternative for Getty

Bllush offers an alternative to Getty by licensing fashion images sourced from real-life influencers. These images are ideal for marketing fashion products in e-commerce to the modern user. You can do keyword searches and browse the catalog of lifestyle photos.

Search: black leather mini skirt (link)

Search: pink dress (link)

Access the interface here




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