Time Inc. announced today that it has partnered with Getty Images to jointly launch a new website called Life.com. The website will offer free, downloadable images from current and past photographers. It is scheduled to go live early in 2009.
The images will be available only to consumers for non-commercial usage. In a press release, Time Inc. senior vice president Andy Blau promised that consumers would be able to "interact intimately" with the available imagery. Apparently that means printing photos for personal use, sharing photos with others, and "purchasing photo albums of user-made collections."
The imagery will include Life's entire collection, including previously unseen images. That's cool. Getty will be contributing archived content as well as current imagery. The new site essentially represents Getty's effort to spread its business beyond publishing and advertising and get into the consumer area. I'm not sure the Life reputation has much left to offer to the kinds of people who search the internet for imagery, but it probably won't hurt. --David Schonauer