(Oct-25-13) Getty Images Partnership with Pinterest

Friday October 25, 2013
There are a few reasons why we are excited to tell you about Getty Images new partnership with Pinterest. Some of you may be using Pinterest to promote your photography business or for personal projects. In just a few short years, Pinterest has reached more than 53 million unique visitors a month according to ComScore. For those of you who are not familiar with Pinterest, it is a social network that allows users to create theme-based image collections or virtual pin boards. Users upload or "pin" images of things that interest them or that relate to their hobbies, projects, recipes, redecorating ideas -- you name it.

Our Pinterest partnership breaks new ground in terms of applying technology we've been investing in to realize a whole new revenue stream. How? In a word -- metadata. Starting with exclusive Getty Images house content we will be retrieving the metadata for our images pinned to Pinterest's site by their users, then associating the metadata with the relevant image file on Pinterest. In the process, Pinterest is able to leverage that same metadata to provide new features and a more robust experience for their users. We plan to expand this program in the future to include iStock exclusive content and other exclusive collections, gradually increasing the number of images on Pinterest that carry metadata and attribution.

How does the metadata find the right file and vice-versa?

That's where our PicScout Platform enters the picture. Most of you are familiar with PicScout's unique fingerprinting technology and image registry which allows us to identify our images by crawling the web for a match. In recent contributor communications we also alluded to new PicScout technology that will do much more than that. It is early and still evolving, but now we can finally show you a significant example of this technology in practical use and the benefits of partnerships like this one with Pinterest.

Here are some of the nuts and bolts of how we will work with Pinterest:

Images shared on Pinterest will be matched against the PicScout Platform registry to identify exclusive Getty Images house content. We will then provide the metadata to Pinterest for the identified images via our Connect API -- provided they are not pinned in the context of a licensed use (e.g. magazine cover). Identified, stand-alone content will be associated with the proper metadata, including photo credits and image numbers. In addition, we'll work with Pinterest to make sure that your images get proper attribution and include a path back to our websites, where your content can be licensed. We're working out the details on implementation of the partnership.

Pinterest will pay Getty Images metadata fees, which Getty Images will share with contributors in line with our standard agreements. While these fees are small, associating and monetizing metadata is just the next step in the evolution of our PicScout image recognition technology and our API, Connect -- and their practical uses.

In summary, Pinterest is only one of the many online services that are changing the way information is distributed and consumed. Our agreement with them is a first step toward realizing the opportunities that these services, and the Internet as a whole, present. We hope this deal is the first step in a partnership that will create new opportunities for Getty Images, its contributors and Pinterest. Ensuring metadata is connected to your images is a benefit we have been focused on bringing to you and our customers for some time. With hundreds of millions of pins per month, Pinterest is one of the 3 largest social networks alongside Facebook and Twitter. We are thrilled to be entering into this partnership and excited to be showing you the potential that our Connect and PicScout Platform APIs are bringing to bear.

Getty Images Blog