You can get free images, but do you want to show someone else’s ads?


Some online publishers may be celebrating the news. Getty Images creates approximately 35 million free high-resolution photos for non-commercial use online.

Non-commercial also means your blog. That’s even if you already have Google Ads or other money-making ads on your blog. This even means that a major publisher like The New York Times could embed images for free on its news site and apps.

But beware ! You will also divert your blog visitors from Google ads which will hopefully earn you money.

Indeed, Getty plans to monetize this free content by running advertisements displayed somewhere on the images. Getty Images Senior Vice President of Business Development, Content and Marketing Craig Peters explained the plan in a recent interview. But he didn’t say exactly how the ads would appear with free embedded photos.

Peters told the British Journal of Photography how this could be similar to how Google Ads appears on embedded YouTube videos. So if you’re embedding Getty Images, it’s like allowing someone else’s ads to appear on your website for free.

Ads aside, don’t forget. If you start embedding free images from Getty, you risk hurting other small businesses as well. These include freelance photographers who took some of the photos in the first place and would like to be paid for their use.

Another stock photography startup,, responded to the news with an “open letter” posted on PicFair’s official blog. In the post, founder Benji Lanyado insists that despite the free images, demand for commercial photography from those willing to pay for its use continues to grow.

However, Lanyado says that in most cases, photographers still aren’t paid enough for the images they create. He explains:

“The vast majority of the money paid for these commercial images does not go to the people who create them. On average, 74% of image fees go to intermediaries. Yes, seventy…four…percent go anyone except the photographer.

In a prepared statement on In Focus, an official Getty Images blog, co-founder and CEO Jonathan Klein said:

“Images are today’s means of communication and imagery has become the most spoken language in the world. Whether through a blog, website, or social media, everyone is a publisher and increasingly visually literate.

Based on models new embedded images may include the photographer’s name in a box below the photo. They would also include social sharing buttons. Thus, your friends and relations could publish them on social networks and even embed them on their own pages. A visitor clicking on the image would be directed to a Getty page where they could purchase the image for commercial use.

Image: Wikipedia


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