Getty is one of the largest sources for editorial and commercial image licences. Hence it makes sense that many e-commerce stores use them for image sourcing. They primarily use blogger images from various events to display on their website. Their goal being to motivate users to buy clothes from their store. To visualize – see what Zalando are doing on their website below. The following article will help you understand how much of a budget you’d need for a project like this – due primarily to image licences.
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 share some data we’ve collected on average prices for the most common uses.
First of all, let’s talk about licences, which is the biggest element here. There are two main types:
Editorial Use Licence – 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 them in non-commercial mediums such such as displaying on a blog, publication, newspaper, news broadcast and other non-commercial applications. However – if you want to use the image in order to sell a product? Not going to work, you’ll need the commercial-use licence (see next)
Commercial Use Licence – 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 licence includes everything available in the Editorial Use Licence. This licence pretty much covers all the other use cases not included in the Editorial Use Licence. For e-commerce websites and brands wanting to display user generated images on their websites, this is probably the type of licence you’d need.
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.
Web, presentation and small print uses
396 x 594 px
Higher-resolution digital and print uses, including tablets and half-page print
683 x 1024 px
Maximum size for all digital and print uses, including full page and larger
2513 x 3770 px
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 licence, the actual price of the commercial licence is not listed on Getty’s website. That is because we’ll need to fill a few questions 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 that works well with 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 amount / unlimited amount 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
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 licence 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.
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 licence required in order to promote a product turns this great idea into something only very large companies can afford.
Bllush offers Plug n’ Play shoppable discovery pages. Our solution allows your users to browse different styles by showing influencer photos. Each image is matched with a product you sell, so users can instantly buy. Best of all, we take care of everything, including all the licences. Just plug n’ play. Contact us for a demo quote.