Important information regarding the new pricing model as of january 6th, 2020 - 8:00am

january 6, 2020 - Keystone-SDA AG has fundamentally revised the pricing model for subscribers. Numerous customers already have renegotiated contracts under the new model. The modular pricing model has an impact on the functionality of the multimedia portal on, in particular on the customer-specific display of the conditions under which a picture or graphic can be obtained. The most important changes are explained below:


Identification of the customer-specific conditions on the image or graphic

Our customers can have different conditions on certain images or graphics, depending on the contracts. On the multimedia portal, the conditions under which an object can be obtained are shown on the object::


Subscription (A)

Contingent (K)

Single acquisition (E)




A stands for subscription. An image that is marked accordingly can be obtained by a customer as part of a contractually agreed subscription. With a subscription, all objects of a particular class can be obtained and used for an agreed and collectively paid usage. 

Example: A customer may download and use all news images from AP, EPA, Keystone-SDA, APA, or DPA that are not older than 30 days for use in a printed newspaper without any additional costs and pays a flat fee for this annually.

Picture above: Identification A on an image that can be obtained by subscription.



K stands for contingent. An image that is marked accordingly can be purchased by a customer within the framework of a contractually agreed contingent. A contingent usually consists of a fixed number of images or graphics of a class that can be obtained for a certain period of time and used for a certain purpose. The use of the contingent is compensated at a flat rate

Example: A customer may purchase 200 news images from AP, EPA, Keystone-SDA, APA or DPA within one year. Each download is deducted from the contingent and reduces the remaining acquisitions by 1. Depending on the agreement, a contingent may be overdrawn, whereby such a download results in a separate invoice at a predetermined price.


Picture above: Identification K on a picture, which can be obtained in a contingent.


Single acquisition

E stands for single acquisition. Between the customer and Keystone-SDA, there is only an agreement on single acquisitions in regard to an object marked with E. Depending on the contract, an individual price for a specific use may be agreed. If no individual rates have been agreed upon, the usage will be charged according to the usual price lists, which Keystone-SDA applies. These are largely based on the prices of the SAB (Swiss Association of Picture Agencies).


Picture above: Identification E on a picture that can be obtained by single acquisition.


Picture above: Identification E and indication of the conditions relevant for the customer on a picture that can be obtained by single acquisition.


Multiple simultaneously valid conditions

In some cases, it is possible for several conditions to be displayed on one object at the same time. For example, an image can be marked with contingent (K) and single acquisition (E) at the same time. 

Example: (E K|RM).

Picture above: Identification E and K on a picture, which can be obtained via a contingent or by single acquisition.


This means that the corresponding image or graphic can be obtained using two different conditions. In the first step of the acquisition process, the customer must choose which condition should be used to acquire the object. 

Picture above: Selection dialog in the acquisition process. The customer must decide which condition is to be used to obtain the image. In the example via contingent (K) or single acquisition (E).


Example: A customer has a condition contingent (K) for an agreed usage (for example, for an employee magazine) and a condition single acquisition (E) for all other usages (for example, poster campaign, Internet advertising, etc.). The customer now chooses whether he wants to purchase the image within the contingent or whether he intends to use it for other purposes. The intended use is registered when the picture is purchased and is taken into account accordingly during settlement.


Questions about the indicated conditions

If you have any questions about the conditions that apply to you, please consult the contract or login agreement that you received when you registered. Alternatively, you can contact your client advisor or our sales department by email at or by phone at +41 58 909 52 00.


Incorrect conditions

It may be that assumptions had to be made or errors occurred during the migration of your previous customer data to the new model. It is also possible that new conditions have been agreed which have not yet been communicated to all employees on the customer side. If you feel that the multimedia portal does not reflect your agreement correctly, please contact your client advisor or our sales department immediately by e-mail at or by phone at +41 58 909 52 00.


What do the license types RM, RMc, RMm, RMs mean?

Objects marked accordingly are Rights Managed. This means that the price is basically determined by the way the object is used. RMc designates Rights Managed images or graphics, which require a clearance by the supplier for each use. RMm indicates Rights Managed images, for which a minimum price for the usage is defined. RMs indicates Rights Managed images for which special prices are applied (Special Fees). Rights Managed images, which are marked with RMc and RMs, must be approved for download and use by our sales department in any case.


What does the license type RF mean?

Images marked accordingly are royalty-free. This means that the price is only determined by the amount of data or size of the image and by the distinction whether the image is used once or multiple times. With Royalty Free, the actual usage is irrelevant for the price calculation.


What does the license type HO mean?

HO identifies so-called handouts. These are pictures that were provided by third parties for editorial use, for example a photo that was distributed by the press office of a police organisation for free editorial use. The images are marked with the corresponding source. Handouts may only be used for commercial end products, e.g. advertising posters, upon request, but may be used free of charge for editorial use.


What does the license type PR mean?

R designates commercial images, i.e. content that has been produced and distributed on behalf of and against payment by third parties as part of a public relations measure. The images or graphics are marked accordingly. Commercial images may only be used for commercial end products, e.g. advertising posters, upon request, but may be used free of charge for editorial purposes.


What does UNK mean?

UNK marks objects for which the license terms are currently unclear. A direct download is not possible. However, this only applies to a small part of all objects. Our sales team will be happy to clarify the conditions and help you to obtain such images. Just fill out the request form, which will be shown during the purchasing process.


Why can I not obtain certain images or graphics? 

Depending on the contractual agreement, it may be that certain images can only be obtained via an inquiry or manual delivery by our sales team. These restrictions are often defined at the request of the customer. If the restriction is not based on an agreement, an error may have occurred when mapping your conditions. In such a case we apologize and ask you to contact your customer advisor or our sales department by email at or by phone at +41 58 909 52 00.


Why does the subscription filter in Advanced Search show me images that are not in my subscription?

Currently the filter still works with the old model. If your contractual agreements have been changed as of 1 January 2020, the filter may not work correctly. Please be patient, we will provide new filters that will allow you to filter by all the contents of your contractual agreements. We expect this to be completed by the end of January.

We thank you for your understanding for any inconvenience and ask you to contact us immediately if the media portal does not behave according to your expectations.

You can reach our sales team by e-mail at or by telephone on +41 58 909 52 00.

January 3rd, 2020 - Markus Läng