how do stock photos and others like it make money?

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Like I can see if you go to their website and download it they can make money off ads, but if I go on google images and download a stock photo how do they make money off that?

In: Economics
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Stock photos are only free with the site’s watermark. That annoying semi-visable logo right across the photo. The sites that supply those stock photos usually charge a fee to use photos without the watermark.

They sell the photos to companies and other businesses that need to use a stock photo without the watermark. The ads isn’t really a big part of it.

Lets say that you had a company that wants to make a brochure advertising their new product. They don’t want to spend money hiring a photographer to take photos of models to put in that brochure. They would have to find models, hire a photographer, get a location to shoot at, it’d be expensive and a waste of time. So they go to a stock photo company, and find a photo that they had professionally done that will work for their brochure. The company then pays to use that photo for their advertisements.

They sell the photos. If you go to Google images, download the image, and use it commercially, you’re breaking the law. It’s copyright infringement, you do not have permission to use that image. A lot of the time, the ones you can just download are watermarked and/or really low quality.