08 Jun 2015 Understanding Exclusivity in Stock Photography
The term ‘exclusivity’ means different things in different parts of the stock photo industry. Knowing those meanings is crucial to understanding the context of different topics and conversations.
Let’s take a look.
Exclusivity in Rights Managed
With few exceptions, all images are exclusive to the distributor for RM licenses. This enables the distributor to negotiate usage based on industry, geography and time, using a full history of the images’ usage.
Exclusivity in Traditional Royalty Free
Image exclusivity is almost always a contract requirement in traditional RF.
It’s functionality was thought to overcome duplication when agencies are distributing to other agencies, thought with so many levels of re-distribution this isn’t always successful.
Image Exclusivity in Microstock
Image exclusivity is an option of making one individual image exclusive to a single agency in microstock. It’s only offered by a few microstock agencies, most prominently Fotolia and Dreamstime.
The benefits are typically increased royalties, an option to increase the price, and sometimes also a search boost.
Royalty Free Exclusivity in Microstock
RF exclusivity, sometimes known as “full exclusivity”, means the contributor (photographer/illustrator or company) can only license RF images at that agency. It is a relatively new concept that doesn’t exist in the traditional market. It was introduced by iStock, and right now it’s only available in only three other companies: Fotolia, Dreamstime and Depositphotos.
This deal excludes other license types like RM, CC, public domain or custom use license.