EyeEm, the Berlin-based startup which focuses on high-quality photo sharing, has signed a partnership with Getty Images to license EyeEm images across its platforms, including on iStock by Getty Images and a bespoke collection where they are royalty-free and rights-managed. The EyeEm collection will be populated with images from its community.
It’s worth pointing out that this is a pure distribution deal – Getty is not investing in the startup. But clearly this is going to mean decent revenues for the company that, to date, has raised $6 million from Passion Capital, Wellington Partners and Earlybird Venture Capital.
The marketplace is opt-in for the users themselves, but EyeEm maintains control of who gets to join, helping to keep the quality of photos high. Those users, many of whom are professional photographers taking casual snaps with smartphones, add their best snaps work to the marketplace. These smartphone photographers then get repeat revenues, because of the deal with Getty. The upside for the users is that they hold all rights and can leave the marketplace at any time.
This arrangement between EyeEm and Getty effectively competes with Shutterstock and Fotolia (the France-based image service).
The key thing here of course is that EyeEm is very different, in that these are real-world ‘authentic’ photographs from real people, not your average image stock stuff.