On the Flickr/Getty Deal

Following up several links to this breaking story (notably this, and this) about Getty Images (the famous stock photo agency) inking a deal with Flickr to allow Getty photo buyers to tap into selected/vetted Flickr photographers.

Pretty interesting stuff.  Very interesting, in fact, following the prognostications here about Getty’s future in still photography being in microstock.  The situation just looks bleaker and bleaker for the professional photographer trying to follow the traditional trajectory.

The really interesting thing is that they are claiming there is no hidden microstock play here.  The thing is, I just can’t see Flickr not rolling out a microstock service that would compete with this.  I’m really surprised, actually, that this hasn’t happened yet.  The only rational explanation is that Flickr is positioning themselves as the conduit for all these third party players, so that selling/licensing, etc. is just another service like minicards, prints, books, dvds, etc.  If so, then expect to see a microstock service show up eventually, possibly also via Getty, and pushed out toward the “second tier” Flickr users.

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