Getty Images has been playing catch-up to Shutterstock in terms of innovation and the way stock photography needs to evolve. They still have wonderful content, but have always proved intimidating and cost-prohibitive to many users.
Well, they just announced that some imagery will now be free to use online in social and blog situations via provided embed codes.
This is similar to the way that YouTube allows people to embed their videos on sites. Getty's embedded images will be hosted by Getty, giving them perpetual control of the image—meaning, they can take the image down or disable the link at any time. And Getty removes the watermarks, but does include a rather large attribution at the bottom of the image. And, of course, one click of the image brings you to Gettyimages.com where—surprise—you can purchase or license the image.
Another odd thing, I think, is that the attribution is not a part of the image itself. After embedding the image, one can right-click and save the non-watermarked image to your desktop. If I were Getty, I would have put a subtle attribution on the image itself at the bottom, but I guess I'm happy they didn't.
The BIG Problem...
This all sounds great, right? If you're a blogger, you can go to Getty Images, find a great shot and for no cost, have a great and legal image for your story. Except...not all of Getty's images provide embed code...is it just royalty-free imagery? No, some RF pics have it, some don't. Some rights managed shots have it, some don't. Same with editorial. Okay, so maybe there's a search function only for images with embed codes? Nope.
So, this to me just points to Getty's lack of understanding of their users and how they can increase their customer base. This was obviously a huge decision made at the top, and I applaud them for this. But where is the announcement of this on their front page? Nowhere. How long did I search for a cool embedded shot to use at the top of this post? Too long, because I had to wade through multiple photos that didn't provide embed codes.
Here's hoping this will evolve and Getty will make this a bit more user-friendly.
Your move, Shutterstock...