Rights Managed (RM) The rights managed license outlines how, when and where the image can be used this assures the purchaser of the image a level of exclusivity.
When purchasing a rights managed license there could be specific time and geographical limitations as well as specific and per-use rights. The license only covers the consigned use, to use the image in another way a new license is needed. The price for a license varies according to its intended use. Depending on the photo the price can vary significantly.
For RM photos there is a more detailed buying process. Because of the custom, set, specific rights a buyer acquires over a RM image they are generally less widely available, and you are less likely to see duplicates in use simultaneously.
Rights managed photography can provide a level of protection to the image purchaser. The seller of the photograph, when made aware of the intended use of the image, can alert the buyer to any possible conflicts in image use. The arena of brand confusion can be bypassed by using rights managed licensing.
If you can be clear on where you want to use photos sometimes it can be more cost effective to purchase the rights managed photo for a specific use rather than paying more for a royalty free image which you end up only using once.