Flickr to launch image licensing scheme to help members monetize their work

Flickr has announced a new marketplace initiative that aims to connect shooters with buyers such as photo agencies, editors, bloggers, and anyone else in need of striking imagery.

The move comes a few months after Flickr and Getty ended a six-year partnership that allowed select photographers to sell their work through the global agency.

Details on Flickr’s latest effort to enable shutterbugs to monetize their work are currently few and far between, though a blog post from Flickr curator and content manager Liz Lapp succeeds in revealing a few tidbits.

Essentially, it appears a curatorial team will help connect Flickr photographers who have salable content with a range of businesses in need of visual content – big hitters such as the BBC, the New York Times, and Reuters all get a mention.

The Yahoo-owned company will also take care of what it calls “the tedious work” (ie. the process of licensing the pictures), suggesting, not surprisingly, that Flickr will take a cut of any sales.

“Beyond licensing opportunities with photo agencies, we will look for ways to showcase your photos on the Flickr blog and across other Yahoo properties like News and Travel,” Lapp said in the post, adding, “We’ll also try to connect you with original photo assignments.”


Looking to make a few bucks out of your photos? You’ll first have to sign up to be considered for inclusion in the program. If Flickr’s curatorial team like the look of your work, it’ll be in touch with more details on terms and conditions.

Another high-profile photo-sharing site, 500px, launched a similar initiative in February. Called ‘Prime’, it allows photographers to sell images to buyers for no lower than $250. When the service began, 500px said it would offer shooters a 30 percent cut of all sales. However, following widespread criticism of the rate, it soon upped it to 70 percent.

It’s certainly going to be interesting to learn more about what kind of commission Flickr intends to offer photographers enrolled on its service. We’ll be sure to update when we learn more.