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Why Choose Rights Managed?

Why Choose Rights Managed?


Rights Managed Licensing

By: Rick Leckrone, CEO Blend Images

My career in stock photography began in 1990. As a junior account executive at Westlight, a Los Angeles based image library, I spent a lot of my time pricing imagery for clients. At the time all images were licensed as what we now refer to as “Rights Managed”. Pricing was based on exposure – how many potential viewers of the image. We had general pricing guidelines, but as new usages were requested– putting an image on a CD-ROM for example — we were constantly updating our sales manuals to accommodate an ever more complex media landscape.


Today more images are downloaded and used in advertising and marketing than ever before. Digital marketing requires much larger quantities of images and clips as advertising turnover rates are extremely high. It’s not uncommon to test 10 or 15 different image and copy combinations in a Facebook campaign to determine what messaging best creates interest in any targeted market segment. As designers became more self-sufficient with the advent of desktop publishing, and then the rise of the Internet, Rights Managed licensing became increasingly inconvenient for image buyers. A new form of simplified, packaged licensing was created – Royalty Free. Royalty Free licensing provides for a large bundle of rights at a typically lower price point to accommodate the needs of the fast-paced world of digital marketing. All micro-stock agencies, and most commercial stock libraries now license most of their material as Royalty Free.


Is Rights Managed (RM) licensing still relevant? The short answer is RM licensing can often be your best solution. RM offers some unique advantages that are often overlooked. Pricing is based on exposure, and in some cases RM can be a less expensive option. At Blend Images, a high-res Royalty Free image with broad rights in a large file format retails for $250.00. But, perhaps you’re just using the image editorially, in this case an editorial use for your website is only $99.00 in RM.


Another advantage of RM imagery is more comprehensive asset history tracking. If you’re interested in an RM image, our sales manager, Theresa ( can very often tell you how many times the image has been licensed in the past and to what market segments. This control also allows us to offer exclusivity to clients who want to ensure that the image they choose won’t show up in other ads within an industry, or even more broadly. You can limit exposure of your selected imagery from other competitors for a short amount of time, or years. While we can, at your request, take Royalty Free content off the market for some period of time, we can’t guarantee past usage hasn’t occurred in any particular market segment unless, of course, the image has never been previously licensed.


As you can see in this example above, if a client has requested exclusivity, this information will show up directly on the website. In this example, image #BLM032718 is not available for use in the pharmaceutical industry until November 1st 2019.


When our editors are determining the best fit for license type, very often material will be selected for RM that is perfect for very specific needs – more complex themes, or unique images that are difficult to find in commercial stock. In fact, some of our most interesting and beautiful imagery exists in our rights managed collection. It’s a great place to search for that special shot to lead your campaign.


We hope next time you visit, you’ll take a peek at our RM content in stills and motion. If we can be of any assistance, please do reach out to us in live-chat, by email, or give a call.

How to find and price Rights Managed content?

Rick Leckrone is CEO of Blend Images, one of the largest independently-owned stock photography agencies established by top commercial photographers. As the world’s leading collection of diversity lifestyle imagery, Blend also offers high-quality creative content in the categories of business, medical, education, industry, travel, architecture, and food. Currently offering over 340,000 images and motion clips online, including royalty-free and rights-managed collections, Blend celebrates ethnic and cultural diversity throughout its unique imagery.
  • Michael Blackman

    Thank you for that thorough explanation! And love the images at the top of the page!

    August 15, 2017 at 1:41 pm
  • Beautifully written, Ric; cheers to you!!!


    August 18, 2017 at 5:59 pm

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