The search engine landscape is never devoid of surprises. The latest shocker comes from Getty Images in the form of 35 million images which you can use for free. Getty images is the world’s largest repository for images with over 35 million free images. Yes, the stock photo agency has suddenly decided to abandon the policy of finding and persecuting piracy offenders, and make a smart move. The treasure trove is open, and we expect bloggers and social media enthusiasts already have a big smile on their faces.
So, why Getty images suddenly has a change of heart? Don’t even think about considering it as a philanthropic gesture. And the company is definitely not concerned about freedom of Internet. The reason it decided to hang up its boots is the extent of high piracy prevalent in the online space. Putting watermarks on images serve little purpose anyway, as anyone with a little knowledge of internet can find his way out of this legality.
Anyway, tracking down each offender is not feasible for any online business, big or small. It is estimated that thousands of such images have already been by the web, and there is a dire need to overhaul the complete system. This step by Getty is indeed a welcome step. Anyway, it has only filed seven cases in the last five years. So, taking legal steps was never on their table.
What’s the Catch?
Okay, we are too excited on hearing the news. But, there are no free lunches in the world. Getty Images has also included a stipulation in the package. The rider is that no one can actually download those amazing pictures. The mere option available is to embed the images on your site. Getty Images will also provide a free tool to embed the images.
It has also clarified that these images are only available for non-commercial usages. However, it would be quite difficult for Getty Images to exercise control over the patterns of use. Craig Peters, business development exec at Getty Images, added that his company won’t allow employment of images for ad campaigns.
How to Use Free Images from Getty Images
The process also requires little efforts on your side. Log on to the Getty Images official site, look out for images and locate minuscule embed icon beneath the image. In this manner, the pictures will arrive to your site; however, there will be a link to the parent site. Also, the company holds the power to even place advertisements or monitor user behavior. Of course, there will be ads.
What’s in it for search marketers?
If you are in the search marketing business, chances are that you know the importance of custom images. It is estimated that employment of custom images accelerates the web traffic by 14% to 26%. Usually, you need to purchase these images from a portal like Getty Images. But, the latest move by Getty Images has paved the way for free custom images for small and big enterprises alike.
Will it be Successful?
The opportunity is definitely enticing; as it can open new revenue streams for the company and many other similar ventures. Video Sharing site YouTube is already monetizing on the embedding model, and it will be fairly interesting to witness the model getting applied to images. It’s true that many business will still see more benefits in paid pictures. But, Getty’s motive is to reap benefits from the untapped market for free images. Many experts might see this development as sellout; but, the change in lanes could fetch more revenues for the company. Let’s hope that the move benefit both company and end users.
In our view, Getty Images has embarked on a new policy, and rightfully sense a huge opportunity in the market for free images.