In this interview with Catherine Gluckstein, the VP of Getty Image’s iStock, which the photo agency bought back in 2006, discusses the difficulties of finding a business model for images from citizen journalists.
Getty’s own foray into the cit-j space saw it buy and later shutdown Scoopt.
“[A] lot of people who take the pictures are not necessarily trying to monetise them – it works best when they send them to the news organisations,” explains Gluckstein.
iStock, which is a pro-am microstock play, is finding success with timeless images, she says. Contributors receive up to 40 per cent commission with images sold to users from $0.95 each.
Gluckstein, who is also CFO of Life.com – the resurrected photo magazine, also comments on the role of social media as a significant driver of traffic to the site.
Time Inc and Getty Images yesterday launched Life.com, which offers free access to more than 7 million photos that depict the news.
What was once a deceased US publication, Life has now been revived and is online.
The site features photos from as far back as the 1850 up to the present day. Around 3,000 photos are added each day.
Users can view, rate, share and link to the photos, which will be categorised into news, celebrity, sports, travel and animals.
Celebrities will also have the chance to create galleries of their favourite subjects or themes, with Ellen DeGeneres will be the first to do so.
Life.com editor, Bill Shapiro said in an article for Brand Republic, the tagline for the site is ‘See your world’, which he believes shows the sheer amount of photos that users can view that have shaped their lives.