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Articles from July 2008
For an industry that talks about creative research, the amount of pre-Olympic promotions that focus on mundane concepts and imagery is baffling.
After a period of sustained economic softness, U.S. print magazines are beginning to show a significant decline in ad revenues. According to figures released by the Publishers Information Bureau and TNS Media Intelligence, the first half of 2008 closed with a 3% revenue decline over the previous year. Ad pages went down by over 7%.
Steve Kapsinow, Jupiterimages' community manager for StockXpert, has announced that the microstock's inventory will soon be offered through the company's traditional brand Photos.com.
While finding distributors for one's production has always been a key aspect of the CEPIC Congress, there was a greater sense of urgency this year. One producer, Alex Mares-Manton of Asia Images, reported that in two-and-one-half days at CEPIC he was able to sign contracts with 14 distributors and complete handshake deals with 46 others.
The Photobuyer's Handbook, written by longtime image-industry analyst, consultant and author Julian Jackson, is a 102-page e-book that provides an overview of the stock business, with an emphasis on photo research.
AOL Pictures is going the way of Yahoo! Photos. According to an internal memo that made its way onto the Internet last week, the company is shutting down the service alongside other products that have not gained sufficient traction or brought in enough money to offset operating costs.
Return-per-Image (RPI) may offer a false sense of return-on-investment. Photographers would be better advised to calculate return-per-shoot. Before microstock, stock distributors were clamoring for more RF, but demand has changed. At the recent CEPIC Congress, distributors were looking for RM collections. Photographers need to carefully determine which model is more advantageous for them.
Press syndication agency Barcroft Media has partnered with Daphne Barak, a longtime TV and press interviewer, whose work appears on TV and in leading newspapers worldwide.
PhotoShelter's Shoot! The Day, held last weekend, produced an estimated quarter of a million images; many will be available for licensing this week. The company believes it to be among the largest single-day contributions to stock photography in the history of the industry.
The American Society of Picture Professionals has released best-practice guidelines for locating copyright owners of photographic and visual art. Intended as a living document, the guidelines will be updates as new registries and technologies become available.
Alamy continued its steady revenue growth in the second quarter and was up almost 20% compared to Q2 2007. The company had gross sales in Q2 2008 of $8,520,000, up from $7,132,000 in Q2 2007.
A Toronto photographer made an interesting decision about his inheritance.
Jupitermedia's stock was selling for $1.43 per share on July 24, giving the company a market capitalization of $51.53 million. The stock was up 27% from a 52 week low of $1.13 on July 21, but that's not necessarily good news.
Toronto-based IdÃ©e Inc. has announced the addition of The European Pressphoto Agency, Matrix Photos, Capital Pictures and Feature Flash to the client roster of PixID, the image-monitoring service that helps owners track image use in print publications.
a21 has announced that it may soon have a new majority shareholder. The Florida-based publicly traded company has executed a non-binding Letter of Intent with Vermont-based Applejack Art Partners. If the agreement proceeds as outlined, Applejack will own the majority share of a21 stock.
Entertainment industry nonprofit California Copyright Conference has issued
a statement protesting the proposed U.S. orphan-works legislation.
Magazines' struggle with economic woes will hit photography even closer to home. Combined with increased migration to the Internet, a price raise will make magazines that much less appealing. It is not going to be pretty: They will have to reduce staff and eliminate positions. Photo-editor responsibilities will be passed to art directors and let go.
moodboard will launch moodboard 2.0 at PhotoPlus in October to add to its current three offerings: micro, premium and moodboard+. Moodboard was launched a year ago by Mike Watson and a number of other ex-Digital Vision senior staffers. Watson sold Digital Vision to Getty Images in 2005 for $165 million.
AOL has launched a new general consumer Web site Pixcetera to focus exclusively on high-end photography. Featuring content from the image industry's leaders, Pixcetera offers users the opportunity to browse, rate, share and comment on images organized in popular lifestyle categories.
California start-up GumGum, which aims to monetize images using a traffic-based licensing models, is seeking financing to further expand its business. First Round Capital is leading venture capitalists with $500,000; its partner Howard Morgan is joining the GumGum board. The company seeks to raise $1.2 million.
New research says executive-level marketing and intellectual-property skills are in short supply. Though the underlying causes for the shortage differ, market conditions are exacerbating recruitment problems.
AGE is the latest traditional agency to introduce a midstock price offering in an attempt to defend against microstock's steady cannibalization of traditional RF sales.
Last week, the World Intellectual Property Organization and its Geneva neighbor, the Society for Economic Research on Copyright Issues, hosted a two-day congress to examine the economic importance of copyright. While a number of issues made it onto the agenda, attendees overwhelmingly focused on copyright's role in the global creative industries.
If Getty assigns a significant portion of its existing editing staff to concentrate on searching Flickr for images with that "different look," the odds of getting an image accepted may be better by having it available inn Flickr rather than in the Getty queue.
London-based moodboard is encouraging amateur photographers to get in touch prior to the launch of its next business phase, which the company said "will open up more earning potential for amateur and hobbyist content than rivals such as iStock." Company founder and ex-Digital Vision owner Mike Watson said he planned to unveil developments at PhotoPlus in October.
This week, the American Society of Media Photographers announced that it expects the next iteration of the House version of the proposed U.S. orphan-works legislation to be released imminently. ASMP has tentatively endorsed the House bill, though it has continued to lobby for additional improvements that would offer greater protection to its photographer members.
AGE has launched its low-budget royalty-free (LBRF) model easyFotostock that it first outlined in October 2007. This new Web site is designed for customers who want images of average quality, but are not prepared to pay RF or RM prices.
The Stock Artists Alliance has nearly completed the first major phase of its metadata project, financed by an award from the U.S. Library of Congress. SAA project leader David Riecks said he was surprised by the high rate of metadata use among stock agencies.
In examining the Getty/Flickr deal, it is hard to understand how the Flickr managers could have given so much to Getty for so little.
For the second time, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has sided with the National Geographic Society in Greenberg v. NGS, in which photographer Jerry Greenberg claimed that the publisher violated his copyright by reproducing images shot for the print magazine in a CD compilation.
Getty's gross revenue for Q2 2008 was $218 million with net income of $33.7 million. The $218 million is the same level of income as the same period in 2007, but down from $233.2 million in Q1 2008.
Three years after Corbis purchased eMotion, a provider of hosted asset-management applications, the company has sold it to Canada-based Open Text for approximately $5 million in cash and assets.
Red Cover Picture Library located in the United Kingdom has entered into a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) to restructure its debt.
For those currently selling images through Getty, the key question is: How many and how fast will Flickr images will be added to gettyimages.com? Getty editors are going to choose the photographers they want to deal with and invite them to sign a contract. The contract will authorize Getty to license the images as RM, RR or RF, but not microstock.
With an 18% increase in first-quarter revenues over 2007, 9-year-old sales platform Alamy is focusing on the next stage of growth. In addition to seeking out new revenue streams by expanding the traditional image-licensing customer base, in progress with the launch of a series of limited-use image licenses, CEO James West is considering international expansion.
French-born stock-industry veteran Paul Melcher is the new director of the North American division of leading British editorial agency Rex Features. Melcher will head a soon-to-open New York sales and production office. Rex also has U.S. operations in Red Bank, New Jersey, and in Los Angeles.
The week following Getty Images' exit from the New York Stock Exchange sees a second major announcement from the industry leader, which now delivers imagery to celebrity-hounds via Apple iPhone and iPod touch. The new JAMD Mobile application is joining others available at the new Apple App Store, a built-in feature of the portable product line, as well as the online interface of the iTunes software.
According to Allen Murabayashi, Getty Images went to Flickr only after PhotoShelter repeatedly turned down offers to have its image collection distributed through gettyimages.com.
Getty Images and Yahoo!-owned Flickr have partnered to offer a new creative-image collection exclusively through gettyimages.com. With a goal of launching the offering within months, Flickr is currently building a platform to allow Getty photo editors to invite select members of the popular photo-sharing community to participate. At launch, the Flickr Collection is expected to number in the tens of thousands, with thousands of images added each month.
The British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies, which regularly surveys pricing trends, has released initial findings on the U.K. publishing industry. The industry, which is growing twice as fast as the rest of the economy, is the largest local media segment, eclipsing film, fashion, music and television. While publishers have always been a key image-licensing market, this yearâ€™s big trend is the rise of the ebook, both in the U.K. and other leading and emerging global economies.
At the recent CEPIC conference in Malta, Bruce Livingstone, CEO of iStockphoto said the company currently represents 60,000 artists and about 4,000 of them are exclusive. He also pointed out that gross sales in 2007 were $72 million and 30% of that, or about $21 million, was paid out to contributors. Last year, the average price per image downloaded was $4.10, but the price varies depending on the size of the file. Non-exclusive photographers get 20% of the sales price and exclusive photographers get 40%, so the exclusive photographer would receive approximate $1.64 per image downloaded.
The Digital Railroad blog has published details on the rationale behind the company's 50% increase of its share of image sales through the Marketplace. CEO Charles Mauzy also revealed some useful sales statistics and planned allocations of the newly generated revenue. But not all contributors are happy.
We are on the cusp of dramatic changes in the way educational information is supplied to students. The major technological issues have been solved. The potential economic benefits for new players in this market - Amazon.com being the most obvious - are overwhelming. Creatives will make more money. School systems will have more choice in teaching materials and save millions.
The last two Corbis "Creative IQ" reports profile business trends the company said were responsible for current and future image needs. On the entrepreneurial front, startups by ethnic minorities are outpacing their Caucasian counterparts in both the U.S. and the U.K. In addition, retiring boomers are causing a shortage in skilled science, engineering and technical employees.
Alamy's blog has been filled with negative comments relative to Alamy's Novel Use Scheme introduced last month. The concept of selling pictures for low prices is difficult for traditional stock photographers to accept, particularly because an increasing number of their customers are using microstock images for commercial projects.
At the close of market on July 2, Getty Images stock will cease trading on and be delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.
Advertising spending on the Internet will increase 26% in 2008, overtaking radio, and is expected to be more than 10% of the market. By 2010, Internet ad spend is predicted to reach $61 billion, slightly ahead of the $60.5 billion magazine ad segment of the market, per ZenithOptimedia.
The Associated Press has often been the subject of criticism among freelance photographers, whose complaints have ranged from low rates to corporate policies. As a result of several new policies, this summer has seen a surge in negative coverage of the news conglomerate among photography, online-publishing and the AP's core newspaper markets. There are also indications that the once-unshakable monopoly is beginning to lose bread-and-butter clients.
Social-networking teens indicate that they are receptive to advertising on these sites. This could be good news for PicApp, which is making images available for free to bloggers and those creating social-network sites. Each image published is accompanied by an ad and image creators share the ad revenue.