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Articles from June 2008
Historically, video has been the domain of Hollywood and TV studios. The Internet has democratized video production, giving rise to user-generated and Web-only content. According to Thought Equity Motion and its client WatchMojo.com, these new content types have increased the options available to marketers and ad agencies. At the same time, they have caused a decrease in production budgets, fragmented target audiences and impeded attempts to monetize online video content. Thought Equity and WatchMojo.com say they have cracked the monetization code by combining resources to produce high-quality low-cost content designed to satisfy Web and out-of-home advertisers.
One of the biggest hurdles traditional RF and Microstock sellers face when confronted with the idea of switching from an RF pricing structure to a use-based one is how to explain such a switch to customers who've been told one price fits all and not to worry about usage.
Launched in 2006 by Canadian photographer Robert Kent and Getty Images, the annual Summer Solstice Shoot took place on June 21. It united 100 top photographers in raising cash for Compassionate Eye Foundation's educational projects in Guatemala and South Africa.
Photopreneur, a blog dedicated to sharing money-making opportunities for photographers on the Web, has released a WordPress plug-in that enables bloggers to find and post free images. Called iFlickr, the plug-in searches Creative Commons-licensed photos among Flickr's 2.5 billion images and guides the user through inserting select images into blog posts.
At the recent 2008 CEPIC Congress in Malta, the MILE Project (Metadata Image Library Exploitation) was launched. The focus of the European effort is to build a database of works claimed to be orphaned. It seems more practical than its U.S. counterpart.
iStockphoto has announced that it is bringing back the holiday it established last year. Punctum Day will be celebrated on August 19, with $40,000 in prizes to be awarded to iStock contributors. In addition, iStock will once again give its exclusive contributors 100% of the revenues generated by their images on an undisclosed date within the next two months.
Cradoc Corp., the maker of popular photo-pricing and business-management products fotoQuote and fotoBiz, has developed an image-keywording solution: fotoKeyword Harvester. According to the company, fotoKeyword Harvester presents a new approach to keywording.
Many photographers are concerned about the new Alamy Novel Use program. They fear that making images available for blogs, social-networking sites and certain educational uses at microstock prices will make it easier for their images to be stolen or used without authorization.
As the number of images entering the market keeps growing, companies that license them are face with the difficulty of handling the technical aspects of volume licensing. The trend has given rise to many a start-up, from technology companies that produce back-end content- and business-management applications to companies that specialize in image editing and keywording.
The traditional commercial market for stock images is slowly declining in number of units licensed, but there is a potential for a huge growth in sales to consumers. Advances in technology make it possible for new still images uses to blossom, but producers and distributors must embrace changing market realities.
The Automated Content Access Protocol project, which aims to devise a universal standard for the automated expression of permissions online, is adopting the semantics of the Picture Licensing Universal System. PLUS standards have been developed to standardize the communications and management of image rights and to simplify automation of related processes via machine-readable licenses.
London-based royalty-free producer Image Source has published Sneak Preview, a promotional catalog featuring a selection of the latest images added to its collection. Alongside its own production, the company is prominently featuring fair-trade brand World Portraits.
At Cannes Lions 2008, the 55th International Advertising Festival, Corbis announced the separation of its rights-services division into a separate business entity. Rebranded as GreenLight, the company is also adding a talent-negotiation service that will help advertisers secure sports, film, television, music and other celebrities for promotional activities.
Traditional picture sellers are missing a tremendous opportunity to assist customers in their search for images. Instead of limiting the search return order to one standard system chosen by the agency, agencies should offer customers a variety of options.
Corbis has been publicizing the fact that it is underwriting a new New York-based Museum of Art for the Arts for some time. Today's official announcement from the company reveals that there is no such thing.
The traveling World Press Photo Exhibit will be on view from June 27 to July 17 at United Nations headquarters in New York. Sponsored by the World Press Photo Foundation, Getty Images, the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United Nations, Canon, TNT and the UN Department of Public Information, the exhibit will feature 185 winning images from the 2007 World Press Photo competition.
It has been suggested that traditional agencies can learn from their younger microstock rivals. A lot these discussions center on technology, from the ability to sort search results by downloads to the features and widgets available at micro-payment Web sites. The most important lesson may be of a less tangible variety.
Despite the overwhelming amount of imagery available for licensing, traditional buyers are far from satisfied. So says PhotoShelter, which surveyed over 700 of its customers to reveal that nearly three-quarters of respondents have a difficult time finding the types of images they seek.
When I argued at the recent CEPIC conference in Malta that stock photo prices should be based on end use, one RF distributor asked, "Why is use pricing fair? When you buy a pencil, the price is the same regardless of how it will be used. Shouldn't photos be priced in the same way?" The answer is no.
Research conducted by iStockphoto in the U.K. supports the notion that there exists a much larger market than already tapped by microstock. Though the iStock market sample was somewhat small, the survey illuminates several definitive image-use trends among small and medium-sized businesses.
This month has seen a flurry of activity from online content superstore Newscom. The company has brought on several new brands and reorganized its sales and business development operations to "reach new markets and develop relationships with new partners," said managing director Bill Creighton.
Days before the planned Getty merger with private-equity firm Hellman & Friedman, a corporate memo offers the industry leader's perspective of the current competitive landscape. Company management places total visual-content revenues at $7 billion to $8 billion per year, with original commissioned work generating 61%.
Digital Railroad has upgraded the technology of its Marketplace, a sales platform that recently became the focus of the business. Among new features is a rights-managed pricing calculator that integrates the Picture Licensing Universal System international standards.
SnapVillage is officially out of beta. In preparing for the full commercial launch, the Corbis-owned microstock, which now has some 300,000 images available for sale, has upgraded its image-handling and back-end technologies. The company is also running a 25% discount on its subscription service for the month of June.
Alamy has launched a program called Limited Use that makes it possible for those selling images as RM and traditional RF to make the same images available to some customers for nominal fees - without risking loss of revenue at the higher end of the market.
LicenseStream, the content-licensing service touted by California tech-company ImageSpan since last fall, is now generally available. Offering individual and enterprise-scale options, LicenseStream wants to speed up and simplify licensing digital media, as well as eliminate 90% of the costs.
Corbis' plans for the 55th International Advertising Festival, which begins on June 15 in Cannes, focus on the role of photography and celebrity in advertising. During the week-long festival, Corbis will host and sponsor a number of events, including a rights workshop and several exhibits.
Photolibrary's latest advertising effort by TBWA/Tequila Singapore has made a splash on the global ad-award circuit. To date, the creative won metal at The Spikes, an Asia-Pacific ad-awards show, and the international One Show and Clio Awards.
Digital-art marketplace Zymmetrical of Vancouver, Canada, has partnered with Atlanta-based AdByNet, a full-service online advertising agency. Under the agreement, AdByNet users gain access to Zymmetrical's inventory of photos, images, graphics, fonts and videos.
The Picture Archive Council of America has launched a service to assist buyers in locating creators of seemingly orphaned images. The first live test of Orphan Search matched a photo with its owner in under an hour.
Nikon Instruments' annual Small World Photomicrography Competition has become the first major contest to fully meet the new standards for photo contests, which were developed by the U.K.-based professional lobbying group Pro-Imaging.
Hertzliya, Israel-based Visual Photos has opened an office in Moscow. The expansion is a joint venture with Russian partner MediaRight, a content-syndication company with a previous focus on audio.
Swiss photo agency Kursiv plans to release KIM Keywording in early summer. Set to preview in Malta during the CEPIC 2008 Congress, the new software is intended for professional image agencies and photographers with e-commerce offerings as well as corporations that shoot or use large volumes of images.