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Articles from March 2008
On the last day of Q1 2008, a21, Inc. reported its 2007 results of $23,306,000 up from $19,633,000 in 2006. However, this growth is somewhat misleading as about 50% of the company's business comes from Art Select, which provides wall art for homes and businesses. The Art Select division was acquired in the middle of Q2 2006. Thus, a full year's sales are not reflected in a21's 2006 revenue.
The Stock Asylum, an online site that has provided news and analysis of the stock photo industry for the past five years, has announced that it will discontinue operations on April 6.
According to the transaction statement filed by Getty Images with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last Thursday, negotiations are still ongoing with a potential buyer other than Hellman & Friedman. The document also discloses, for the first time, the revenues of Getty-owned microstock business iStockphoto and other business segments.
Montreal-based photostockplus.com offers photographers a turn-key online platform with two products: a stock-licensing operation, and a package geared toward events such as weddings.
Panasonic, the flagship brand of Matsushita Electric Industrial, has renewed a three-year sponsorship contract of Our Place-World Heritage, a photo project that aims to build a photo library of the worldâ€™s historic sites. The
Osaka-based company, which recorded revenues of over $77 billion last year, is the project's principal financial sponsor.
California stock agency LOOK Photography now distributes select rights-managed and royalty-free images by Narratives, Red Cover and Quick Image.
BrightQube, a stock-image distributor and search engine founded in 2007, has launched a carbon-reduction program. The company will purchase TerraPass carbon offset credits that correspond to the amount of time buyers spend on its Web site for the duration of the program. All buyer activities will be taken into account, from setting up free accounts to building lightboxes and purchasing images.
Last week, Digital Railroad and the Midwest chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers organized a Chicago image-buyer roundtable. The panel included local advertising, corporate and publishing executives, who offered a rosy perspective on the state of the stock-licensing industry.
James Alexander, the former head of Adobeâ€™s failed stock-image operation, has joined Jupitermedia as senior vice president and general manager of Jupterimages.
The Associated Press continues on the quest for domination of the sports and entertainment image segments. After moving longtime executive Daniel Becker to a newly created director post for entertainment content, AP replaced him with Getty Imagesâ€™ veteran Guinevere Smith.
The PicApp licensing model has caused great concern among photographers in recent days, but it could well be the forerunner of the best way for photographers to earn money in the future.
Many image producers and distributors like to show slight variations of a situation on the theory that some customers may want a horizontal rather than a vertical, or a different expression, or a medium shot vs. a close-up. But to maximize sales of all subjects it is extremely important to be cognizant of the search engine's strategy for delivering search returns.
Editorial Photographers of U.K. and Ireland, an independent membership-based group and email list, is spearheading a grassroots copyright campaign. The first step is a new Web site, Copyright Action, a "community and educational resource that aims to become the intellectual property equivalent of Crimestoppers," according to EPUK.
The latest report from TNS Media Intelligence, a research firm specializing in advertising and marketing information, says the ad market continued to sputter at the end of 2007. The year ended with $148.99 billion in ad revenue, a 0.2% increase of ad spending since 2006. TNS senior vice president of research Jon Swallen describes the market as stalled and "engulfed by the spreading pessimism about general economic conditions."
News agency AP is shifting focus, taking a primary role in covering sports and entertainment news worldwide and across all platforms.
After several months of private beta-testing, PicScout's ad-supported image application is open to the public. While still officially in beta, PicApp now offers bloggers and publishers access to free editorial and creative imagery.
Since the launch of Getty's new search engine last August, several image partners have become increasingly unhappy with the falloff in revenue their images generate and how low their images appear in the search return order.
Pro-Imaging, a Abergavenny-based professional photographer organization with a global membership base, has issued a protest against One NorthEast, the U.K. Regional Development Agency for the Northeast of England and part of the U.K. Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. Pro-Imaging is challenging the terms of entry to One NorthEast's Student Challenge 2008, which invites submissions of creative ideas with a regional theme.
Within days of each other, two U.S. government agencies issued decisions in ongoing proceedings concerning Getty Images. On March 13, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission closed its 16-month inquiry into Getty Images' equity compensation grant practices. On March 18, the Federal Trade Commission cleared the way for the company to go private. Despite the good news, Getty still has to contend with several lawsuits.
The World Intellectual Property Organization continues to labor over the updates needed to international laws, which have been greatly affected by technological developments. Though the March session of WIPO's copyright committee reported little progress, issues like orphan works are beginning to make it onto the global IP agenda.
The Division of Enforcement of the Securities and Exchange Commission has notified Getty Images that it has closed its informal inquiry into the company's stockoption grant practices without recommending any enforcement action against the company, or any individuals associated with the company.
X-Rite, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based color-management company that recently acquired Pantone, has introduced the ColorMunki product brand. Targeting the professional photography and design communities, the products ensure accurate color from inspiration to final output.
iStockphoto is extending a year-old program that makes low-resolution images freely available to Microsoft Office users. Due to the success of the pilot, the two companies plan to increase the number of available images and expand the program to new languages and countries.
Moodboardunlimited's "You Set The Price" strategy is intriguing. The tremendous advantage is that the company will never lose a customer due to price, and the offer should attract new customers. However, there are at least three significant disadvantages.
Clients of San Francisco media-management company Spitfire Photo now have access to the digital imaging services of JaincoTech.
In a world of ailing giants and their low-priced rivals, 3-year-old PhotoShelter is beginning to look like a serious contender for shooters and buyers seeking alternatives.
The information world is moving rapidly toward more customized and targeted communications, which will dramatically affect how photographers market and promote images.
Politics is big business for image producers, and a U.S. election year can be particularly lucrative. It is not surprising that stock, news and photojournalism agencies make a significant investment in producing and marketing relevant content. The quantity of such offerings corresponds to market demand, which is now at an all-time high.
With the acquisition of eStockMusic.com, Jupitermedia Corp. has added online music, for as low as $1.00, to its micropayment offering of royalty-free still photos, illustrations and footage available through Stockxpert.com.
"Metadata for Better Business," the 2nd International Photo Metadata Conference, will be held June 5, during the 2008 CEPIC Congress in Malta.
The Picture Archive Council of America is renaming its Copyright Education Program in memory of Jane Kinne, a lifelong photographers' rights advocate who passed away Nov. 3.
Barcelona-based age fotostock has partnered with Stock Xchange, an image agency and production company that will represent the age fotostock and pixtal brands in Singapore.
Mochila, an online content marketplace, has released an ad-supported slide-show player for photos. The 300-pixel-wide widget allows publishers to embed static or dynamic image-content into their Web sites, free of charge.
Companies offering stock images for sale need to continually provide customers with new material and a greater "depth of choice." But as growth in number of images exceeds growth in revenue, RPI automatically falls. The problem is that older images in the count have less chance of selling and that skews the averages.
With Getty Images going private, others in the industry will lose access to valuable data that has helped them keep up with future industry trends. Without access to Getty's detailed quarterly figures, it will be nearly impossible to make long-range industry projections.
The inaugural New York Photo Festival, the brainchild of Daniel Power of powerHouse Books and Frank Evers of VII Photo Agency, will take place on May 14- 18, 2008, in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn's waterfront.
Leading U.K. editorial stock-house TopFoto has reinvented image-search by adding a time component. TimeSearch places the agency's collection of images in their historic context, offering clients that need to illustrate an era, an event or other subject matter a fast and easy way to find stock.
Since 2006, the production of multicultural-image agency GoGo Images has been distributed global through over 100 partners. Now, GoGo founders and Corbis alumni Joe Barrett and Jennifer Hurshell have decided the company is ready to go directly to the client with a new boutique Web site.
PhotoShelter Inc. has made it possible for photographers with a Flickr Pro-level account to easily upload a copy of some or all of their images to the PhotoShelter Personal Archive (PSPA) and begin distributing them for commercial use.
The Cover Story, an Amsterdam-based journalism and photography agency, has launched a new Web site. According to managing sirector JP Douma, this is the first step of a new corporate strategy to strengthen The Cover Story brand globally.
Facebook, a popular social-network site, remains in the middle of a prolonged controversy arising from the its terms and conditions of use. Last November, users protested Facebook's liberal sharing of personal data. Now the anger has spread to images.
The primary reason for offering images as RM rather than RF is the hope of earning tens of thousands of dollars from a single sale. But the number of such sales is infinitesimal. Stock image sellers should consider whether it's better to have two separate types of RM images. The two divisions of RM would be Rights Managed Non-Exclusive (RMN-E) and Rights Managed Exclusive (RME).