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Articles from July 2009
Designers are currently upset at the increasing push by customers toward doing spec work. As a photographer, I'd like to offer a little perspective.
A recent Linkedin and Harris Poll study of consumers and advertisers involved in the advertising decision-making process revealed disparate views. Apparently, those who determine the look-and-feel of an ad campaign are not necessarily in sink with their target audience's opinion. Still, both sides agree on some approaches, such as ads that are entertaining or funny.
The Picture Archive Council of America has announced a conference program that emphasizes emerging technologies and survival in the current economic conditions. The 14th annual event will be held in Miami in mid-October, and early-bird registration discounts end on August 15.
Since Getty Images finalized its acquisition of Jupiterimages in February, traditional and microstock industry insiders have been waiting to see how the leader will integrate former Jupiter brands. This week saw another step in this relatively quiet process: iStockphoto announced that it took over management of the Internet's leading free image Web site Stock.xchng.
With all the depressing news, it is good to hear some good industry news occasionally. SuperStock is looking to hire a comptroller and an account executive.
Corbis-owned Veer has fully launched of Veer Marketplace, the first microstock community to be part of a traditional agency's Web site. The Marketplace was initially announced in February and has gradually added features and functionality since.
used Robert Lam's photo of a jar of coins on the cover of the magazine, with the headline "The New Frugality." The copy read: "The recession has changed more than just how we live. It's changed what we value and what we expect---even after the economy recovers." Lam received $30 for use of the image, which suggests we should expect a lot less.
Women's blog network BlogHer has integrated PicApp as a publishing tool for its 54,000 members and 60 editors. According to founder and chief executive officer Lisa Stone, BlogHer chose PicApp to have "a single source of premium, legal images from prestigious content providers."
LA-based AudioMicro.com has announced a licensing deal with the Discovery Communications-owned sound effects library The Hollywood Edge. The move adds 55,000 professional-quality sound effects to the crowdsourced audio marketplace.
Noted attorney Edward Greenberg and commercial photographer and former Professional Photographers of America president Jack Reznicki have released a new video-based course on copyright registration. Specifically, the two New Yorkers address the intricacies of the new online copyright registration system.
LicenseStream creator ImageSpan and liveBooks, a porftolio Web-site company, have forged a partnership to provide customized services to liveBooks' 5,000 photographer-customers.
If you are among those who think newspapers and magazines will always be with us because customers want them, consider that this year's newsprint consumption in the U.S. is down to a third of what it was in 1990.
The numbers below show the number of downloads for each of 124 of iStockphoto’s 150 top earners in the months of March, April, and May of 2009, based on total download statistics supplied daily by iStockphoto and compiled by istockcharts
Florida-based GlamourKey is a stock business that uses green-screen technology to offer royalty-free fashion and glamour stock footage of models with keyed-out backgrounds. The company says it is the first in the world to offer this type of product.
If you sell pictures for use in print publications, take a look at Backcast Online Magazine---not so much for the content, although it is great, but for the concept, which could be a huge new opportunity and salvation for editorial photographers.
Skyrocketing infringement rates and the seemingly inevitable arrival of an orphan-works legislation have scared the bejeezus out of content owners and inspired companies such as PicScout and The Copyright Registry to develop new products. The Associated Press is in both camps: the cooperative just announced that it is building an online registry of content to monitor its use, protect it from infringement and enable new business opportunities.
The advertising model for funding the costs of newspaper and magazine content creation and delivery seems to have outlived its usefulness. Is there an alternative to meeting the needs of advertisers, content creators and consumers?
On Wednesday, the Stock Artists Alliance announced to its members that it intends to pursue a merger with the Association of Visual Artists: "It has been a tough, but essential, reality for us all to acknowledge that as a small association in an industry that's been hard hit by internal and external challenges, SAA needs to adapt in order to continue to serve you, our members, as effectively as possible," reads the letter signed by a six-member SAA board, lead by president Shannon Fagan, and past SAA presidents Leland Bobbé, David Sanger, Zave Smith and Roy Hsu.
Photo District News
is beginning to prepare for this year's convention by touting the results of a recent survey that ranked PDN PhotoPlus Expo #1 in timely purchases following the trade show.
The European Union's telecommunications chief Viviane Reding recently said that it is not piracy that is destroying the recording industry's business model, but a failed business model that is leading to piracy. This sentiment applies as much to the imaging industry as the recording industry, and it should be a wake-up call to business owners.
Karen Bernstein, a 30-year industry veteran and longtime international business development consultant to the New York-based Everett Collection, has passed away after a 3-year battle with a brain tumor.
ITN Source has won a competitive bid to supply 210 hours of content to Digital Images for Education. Scheduled to launch next summer, the initiative is financed by the JISC Collections, whose mission is to support U.K. education and research by delivering affordable, relevant and sustainable online content. ITN has also announced a similar deal in China and the launch of its seventh YouTube channel, with programming that targets book readers and provides marketing opportunities to publishers.
Recently, a very talented and successful photographer who produces both rights-managed and traditional royalty-free images was bemoaning the sorry state of the stock photo industry. He said: "We need a little respect [for our work]."
Ad spending plans are trending upward for most major media, according to the most recent data from an every-other-monthly tracking report surveying the "advertising confidence" of key media decision-makers.
Last week, the British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies alerted its members that it is supporting the National Portrait Gallery in its intent to pursue legal action against Wikipedia. Following the download of 3,000 high-resolution images from the its Web site and their subsequent appearance on Wikimedia Commons, the Gallery has attempted to discuss the issue with the online encyclopedia and, in the absence of a response, issued a lawyer's letter to a Wikipedia administrator. Wikipedia is saying the Gallery does not have a case, as the public has the right to access public-domain content.
The Stock Artists Alliance reports that the first two months of its getMETAsmart program have seen nearly 800 picture professionals attend seven free seminars across the U.S. In addition to SAA-sponsored sessions on metadata, five events included presentations on search-engine optimization by online-archive company Photoshelter.
A recent WhatTheyThink survey found that 70% of the owners of printing businesses in the U.S. expect 2009 revenues to decline compared to 2008. If less is being spent to create printed products, less is being spent on the photographs that are used in them.
London-based Ingram Publishing announced the release of Creative Symbol Collection Part 2, which consists of 5,000 vector images. The entire collection is also available through PurestockX as single-file downloads.
iStockphoto's move to segment its microstock collection into standard-priced images and the premium Vetta collection, priced 10 times higher, complicates the choices of contributors when trying to determine where to place images in order to maximize return. Should photographers enter into exclusive agreements with iStock in hopes that some of their images will be selected for the Vetta collection, or continue to distribute their images through multiple microstock sites?
California start-up GumGum has closed a Series A-1 financing round with $2.6 million in new financing from GRP Venture Partners and First Round Capital.
Those looking for free images, bloggers in particular, are getting a lot of attention from media and technology companies. In addition to GumGum securing another round of financing and the recent launches of Fotoglif and OffiSync 2.0, both of which endeavor to make it easy to source free images online, Google has integrated sort-by-usage-rights into Google Images.
Photographers need to be prepared for and anticipate career change. Consider the career of Ron Rovtar, a successful stock photographer in the 90s, now happily selling real estate and using his photographic skills to photograph architecture.
Toronto-based Fotoglif has joined GumGum and PicApp in the ad-supported online image-licensing space. Former studio owner and Fotoglif founder Michael Betts says the business offers photographers a big opportunity, while also rewarding publishers financially.
Getty Images and Major League Baseball Properties have announced a multi-year extension of their agreement, under which Getty will continue as the exclusive Major League Baseball commercial photo partner and licensor of its image archive.
"We have reset and won't rebound and re-grow," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on the continued decline of print as an advertising medium during the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.
OffiSync 2.0, released last week, has integrated Google Image Search, enabling users to easily find and insert images posted online into documents and presentations---to the chagrin of many a copyright owner.
The American Society of Media has launched a redesigned Web site with expanded resources available to all photographers and members of the photographic community---not just ASMP members.
Photographer-owned Viewfinders has redesigned its Web site with an emphasis on improving search. The 10-year-old Portland agency that focuses on imagery of the Pacific Northwest also implemented PLUS Packs, the standard developed by the Picture Licensing Universal System Coalition.
The growth of the U.K. stock retailer's collection has naturally led to more stringent quality control procedures.
Photographers and agencies are concerned about unauthorized image uses and the best ways to protect their copyright. The focus is often on catching the criminal---finding the individual who has made an unauthorized use---but there are two aspects to copyright protection that need to be considered. Much more attention should be paid to making it easy for individuals who find an image they want to use---whether on the Internet or in a printed publication---to locate the image owner and determine if a fee must be paid for the rights to use that image.
Dubai-based ArabianEye announced the launch of stills production and photographer representation Web site arabianEyeproduction.com.
Getty Images photographers won 4 of 16 prizes at The Press Photographer's Year 2009, a competition that recognizes press photography taken for the U.K. news media. Independent London photographer Rosie Hallam won the top prize, Photograph of the Year, for an image taken at an elephant orphanage in Nairobi.
Joe Sohm started out as a teacher of American history but became a full-time photographer, and for more than 30 years, has produced images of people and lifestyles in every state in the union in his personal quest to illustrate the depth and breath of all that American democracy represents. His Visions of America collection contains 28,000 tightly edited images. Sohm has had a very successful career licensing rights to these stock images---one image at a time, around the world, through multiple distributors. As the stock photo business changes, Sohm, always a man with a grand vision, has moved on to new things.
Splash News is promoting a complete library of moving and still images on every aspect of Michael Jackson.
Available as a free upgrade for existing users, KIM Keywording 1.5 offers several workflow improvements, including the ability to prioritize keywords.
Want to be part owner of Blend Images, LLC, one of the leading stock-photo production operations in the world? Jack Hollingsworth, one of the two concept originators of Blend, is asking $250,000 for his shares in the company.
Nashville microstock Dreamstime has introduced Stock Rank, a photo-review tool that offers its community members a competitive way of testing their photo IQ. At the same time, Dreamstime announced that it has amassed 6 million images.
Multiple trend observers have highlighted the growing lifestyle trend of long-term travel. Brought on by recession, the trend has college graduates and baby boomers that have had difficulty securing employment setting out for open-ended trips.
Sarasota-based royalty-free retailer MediaFocus has announced the addition of image credits to its stock-photo Web site.
Market value for most products depends on how they are used---the value the customer receives. The distinguishing factor is often between renting
a product: from DVDs to photo equipment, renting based on value received is a very common practice, which has been all but eroded in the photo industry with the proliferation of microstock.
Daum Communications, the largest Internet service provider in Korea, has integrated the PicApp image-licensing plugin into Tistory, a blog platform that services over 300,000 publishers and receives 159 million page views per month.