Content Marketing Blog

Getty’s free images seen by 5 million people a day

The fast-paced and competitive nature of online marketing means brands need to constantly adapt to change if they want to continue reaching their target audience.

“You cannot stand in the way of two massive forces: the customer and the technology” said co-founder and chief executive of Getty Images, Jonathan Klein, in a recent interview with The New York Times.

Getty Images has recently allowed people to download selected pictures for free, a move that sounds almost suicidal for a company that sells the rights to online photos.

But Klein believes technological change should be embraced as an opportunity for growth, pointing out that these free photos are currently being seen by around 5 million people a day.

“If customers are going in a different direction or they find a better way, a cheaper way or a quicker way to get the picture, you better supply it to them or somebody else will.” he said.

Klein pointed out that the 1.3 million customers currently buying their photos aren’t getting anything for free.

The free images aren’t of any use to professional websites. They can’t be resized and contain an embedded link to the Getty website, but people can post these pictures on their blog or share them on social media.

Around 99 per cent of the people who visit GettyImages.com aren’t going to purchase any pictures, explained Klein, but by giving away pictures free of charge, they aren’t missing out on any business and are getting free advertising.

“It’s building our brand, and by building our brand good things happen. We get more organic or free traffic, so our search engine optimisation through Google works better.” said Klein.

Getty Images got a little more publicity than they hoped for, with Microsoft’s latest tool actively encouraging consumers to use some of their 80 million unique photos.

‘Bing Image Widget’ takes images from search engine Bing’s image section, regardless of whether or not they are copyrighted, reported Bloomberg, so in retaliation, Getty is taking parent company Microsoft to court.

The tool is used for publishers and helps embed copyrighted photos onto websites intended for commercial use.

This move by Getty Images is a brilliant example of how brands can adapt to the changing market and come up with new ways to meet the needs of consumers, as well as their own needs.

Posted by Dylan Brown

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