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Articles from February 2009
Thriving New York photographer, prolific stock shooter and Stock Artists Alliance president Shannon Fagan attended the first User Generated Content Conference and Expo in San Jose earlier this month. Fagan provided Selling Stock
with some of his key take-aways, offered here with additional commentary.
Thought Equity Motion has partnered with the National Collegiate Athletic Association to offer online publishers NCAA March Madness video programming, complete with classic Motown sound.
We already know that professional image buyers have slashed spending. This week, stock-industry blogs and coversations were filled with phrases like "40% decline" and "half the revenues of last year." PhotoShelter says the sky is not falling, but its own survey shows that 40% of buyers are reducing image budgets. With iStockcharts data suggesting that iStockphoto revenues declined by 12% from January to February, many wonder if the microstock market is finally beginning to feel the effects of the global financial crisis.
Buyer-respondents to PhotoShelter's recent survey say microstock use might decrease, but in reality, the answer depends on the type of buyers you ask.
ImageSpan, the California-based creator of the LicenseStream platform, has announced agreements with the American Society of Media Photographers, the National Press Photographers Association, and the Worldwide Community of Imaging Associations (known as PMA). Through these new partnerships, ImageSpan will be offering discounts on LicenseStream services to nearly 35,000 members of the three bodies.
Subject to some post-closing adjustments, Getty Images has completed the acquisition of Jupiterimages. Jupitermedia, which will now be called WebMediaBrands, is using the proceeds of the sale to pay debts.
GumGum has added b5media, one of the world's largest blog networks, to its client roster. In slightly more than a year since since its public launch, GumGum ranks among the top 100 Quantcast destinations.
The new microstock arm of the Corbis empire, Veer Marketplace, is live as of Monday. This makes Veer the first major provider to integrate user-generated imagery into a traditional Web site.
Recently, several stock agencies have found it necessary to discontinue operations. When that happens, photographer royalties often go unpaid. What went wrong for these firms and their photographers?
Last week, two leading stock-image companies have made announcements that sent their contributors into apoplectic fits: Alamy released its Commercial Collection. Fotolia cut contributor royalties. Both came as a surprise to the two agencies' contributing photographers.
Getty Images has expanded its photographer grant program to include two $15,000 grants for work that raises awareness of a non-profit. These Grants for Good invite photographers to apply by April 15, and winners will be announced in June at the 2009 Cannes Advertising Festival.
Many may find the total number of images available worldwide for rights-managed and royalty-free licensing surprising.
Sources at Getty Images report that the company had double-digit (10% or more) growth in stock-footage revenue in 2008. This is particularly significant because footage sales in 2007 were slightly down from 2006.
PhotoShelter has asked photo buyers to share what they love and hate about image Web sites. Some of the answers, such as a universal hatred of unskippable Flash intros, are predictable, while others are less obvious.
In November 2003 I began tracking Getty Images return-per-image by dividing the total number of RM and RF images into the total revenue generated in the previous four quarters. In the last four years Getty’s gross revenue from still image licensing has grown about 50%, but as the charts below show, not nearly as fast as the number of images added to the collection. As a result image suppliers have found that they have to produce more and more images each year just to stay even.
PicScout co-founder Offir Gutelzon has stepped up to become its chief executive officer. Gutelzon and co-founder Eyal Gura previously shared CEO responsibilities.
California home and architectural stock agency Look Photography has engaged London-based Pepper Stark to manage international distribution of the royalty-free Built Images and the rights-managed Sheltered Images collections. Pepper Stark is also representing India Picture, the Indian delegate for Corbis.
The British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies has announced that it is making a strategic change in focus, in order to reflect the needs of the current economic climate. The body has unveiled a new set of objectives, key among which is attracting more picture buyers to the BAPLA membership.
With the approach of the February 20th Jupitermedia stockholder vote on the sale of Jupiterimages to Getty Images, tensions are rising among employees and image suppliers.
The Getty-owned microstock has launched its much-anticipated audio business this week. Separately, iStock announced a partnership with software-as-service provider MuseWorx, which hopes to capitalize on the cost-effectiveness of its online offering during a downturn.
The latest Corbis Creative IQ Trends report says the technological gender gap has closed as women increasingly incorporate technology into their daily lives.
Former American Photo
senior editor Miki Johnson is heading liveBooks' new blog as social media editor. Titled RESOLVE, the blog intends to become a collaborative online community that brings together photographers and industry pros to keep the business relevant, respected and profitable.
Photographers frequently ask how royalty-free still photography got started and why creators only receive 20% of royalty free sales. Here is a little history.
Portland stock-photo agency Aurora Photos has launched Aurora Novus. The new business will be based in Los Angeles and will focus on digital storytelling via the Web, television and other digital platforms.
The Associated Press and Getty Images both announced new exclusive distribution partnerships on Tuesday. AP Images has become the photo-licensing agent for the National Collegiate Athletic Association, while Getty Images is the new distribution partner of the Association of Surfing Professionals. Financial arrangements of either agreement were not disclosed.
Capture Office Online, a suite of Web-based back office software widely used by photographers, stock agents and photo buyers in the U.K. and Europe, has integrated the Picture Licensing Universal System into its pricing functionality.
Citing economic pressures, several U.K. newspapers announced reductions in rates paid to their suppliers, including journalists and picture agencies. The British Association of Picture Libraries and agencies has recommended its members reject the new pricing.
A recent proposal a use-based pricing model generated many subscriber comments, which this article endeavors to address.
"The overall market today increasingly demands images that address needs across all price spectrums--traditional and microstock. More and more Veer customers desired a broader offering. The Veer brand needed to deliver on this," says former Veer executive Nairn Nerland, who now holds the post of senior vice president, networks, Corbis.
Leading traditional and microstock photographers and agency owners share their views on selling the same images at different prices.
When to Use Assignment Photography,
a new e-book published by 74-year-old New York agency Black Star, presents specific circumstances in which buyers should commission shoots rather than to settle for microstock or other cost-cutting options.
For some time, observers have wondered about the apparent lack of traction of Corbis' late-to-market microstock division SnapVillage. Apparently, so has Corbis: SnapVillage will be gone by the end of this year, to be replaced by a new product.
Stockholm-based NordicPhotos has become PicScout's first new client of 2009.
Getty Images has become the exclusive distributor of the Jane Goodall Institute's footage of endangered chimpanzees.
The Associated Press is going after Los Angeles artist Shepard Fairey for copyright infringement. The AP claims to own the photo Fairey used as basis for the famed Obama "HOPE" poster; Fairey claims fair use. Image ownership and the application of the fair-use exception are the two unclear aspects of this potential legal battle, which has yet to become a formal lawsuit.
In 2008, Alamy paid its contributors $20.8 million of $31.5 million in gross sales. The company has also disclosed summary sales and return-per-image information for the top 100 sellers in the photographer and agency categories, demonstrating that there is no right answer to the age-old question of loose versus tight editing.
Citizen journalism Web site Scoopt will not make it to its fourth birthday. Established by Scottish duo Kyle and Jill MacRae in July 2005, Scoopt became Getty Images' property in March 2007 and will cease to exist March 2009.
The National Archives of Scotland, in partnership with The National Library of Scotland, National Museums Scotland, The National Trust for Scotland and The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, has developed Scotland's Images.
If the iStockphoto's growth rate were to remain flat for the rest of 2009, it would license rights to over 25,690,000 images for the year.
The work of CandidatePhotos co-founder Chris Fitzgerald is now available via The Image Works. Covering 20 presidential candidates and 30 states, the collection depicts the two-year period preceding the recent U.S. election.
The industry needs a new pricing model. The models we have include rights-managed, royalty-free, subscription, microstock and rights-ready, which is about to become extinct. What is needed is use-based pricing, or UBP.
Around 30 people will be departing Corbis over the next two months. Cognizant of the global economic crisis, the Bill Gates-owned company is taking a fiscally conservative approach to 2009.