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Getty to snap up Flickr users' pics

The logos of Flickr and Getty Images

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Kai Ryssdal: Alright, all you amateur photographers out there listen up, because this one's for you and it might eventually mean a couple of bucks in your pocket.

The popular photo-sharing website Flickr has made a deal with Getty Images. Getty's going to be able to go on Flickr, find pictures it likes and thinks it can sell and then start paying photographers for their work.

Jeremy Hobson has more.


Jeremy Hobson: Getty makes almost $900 million a year distributing photos to companies like ad agencies and media outlets. CEO Jonathan Klein says the Flickr deal helps Getty tap into the next generation of talented photographers.

Jonathan Klein: We have a partnership with a very strong brand which has a tremendous amount of traffic where our customers are already playing and looking for images but they cannot license them.

About 27 million members share their photos on Flickr and 54 million visitors stop by to see them every month.

Now, Klein says, not all the members are going to get a Getty contract.

Klein: From a quality perspective, I would say it's varied. There are two billion images.

Now Getty won't buy individual images. It'll put willing photographers on contract.

Flickr's General Manager Kakul Srivastava says Getty offers Flickr users credibility in the commercial photography world.

Kakul Srivastava: The premium sort of traditional licensing models that are generally associated with professional photography.

Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Brian Smith thinks the deal could stop a freefall of photo prices industry-wide.

Brian Smith: There has been a big push in the industry for lower and lower and lower and I think with Getty's knowledge of the industry, hopefully photographers that contribute to Flickr can get what their work is worth.

Getty says that'll likely be between 250 and 500 bucks a photo.

I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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