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Articles from August 2007
BBC Motion Gallery has expanded its stock library with archival footage from the Austrian Broadcasting Corp., Austria's largest public-service broadcaster.
Wave, a new royalty-free collection launched by Canadian stock agency First Light, addresses the environment and its impact. Wave focuses on imagery showing positive practices, lifestyles, responsible recreation, sustainable energy production, organic agriculture and protected habitats. The collection includes both still and footage stock.
California-based PixelMill has added 4,500 royalty-free music tracks from Jupiterimages to its online inventory. This extends an existing agreement between the two companies.
In light of Getty Images' latest moves, I predict that very soon (certainly in less than a year) virtually every company producing RF images will try to sell their images through as many microstock portals as possible, as well as traditional portals.
New York-based Fotolia says it is the largest microstock agency, with nearly 2.3 million images in inventory. Fotolia attributes this growth to the high contributor commissions, which it says averages 50% of the sale price.
Corbis has announced that it has opened a gallery in the three-dimensional virtual world of Second Life, the online game that has grown to more than 9 million residents since its birth in 2003. For now, the goal is to turn the gallery into a social gathering spot and a cultural landmark.
Citizen Image, the New York-based citizen photojournalism agency, has launched an assignment service. In beta since the beginning of 2007, the online assignment board provides buyers with "specific images of breaking news events from camera-equipped bystanders, as well as specific stock images for commercial purposes."
Getty Images will use Punchstock.com to launch a new RF brand called Valueline on August 31. Prices for Valueline images will be $19 for a 1mb low res image and $49 for all other RF file sizes from 10mb to 300mb.
After several weeks of running a beta version of the redesigned gettyimages.com alongside the old site, the company has switched to the new interface.
Getty Image has announced a new Web-use price of $49 for a 500k 72DPI file of any of its images, regardless of brand or pricing model. This fee entitles the purchaser rights to use any selected RM image on any commercial or editorial Web site, email, mobile devices or multimedia project for one year.
Though recent revenue reports of leading stock-licensing companies have disappointed investors, Jupiterimages CEO Alan Meckler says his company's rights-managed business is on the rise. Meckler credits Getty Images' refusal to distribute Jupiterimages stills several years ago as largely responsible for the current upward trend.
In the last 10 years, price and demands have changed in the text and trade book industry. At present, there are pricing requests for circulations of up to 1.5 million, and it is not uncommon to get pricing requests for 500,000 to a million circs. Prices, like circs, have changed, too.
To celebrate its five-year milestone, Turbo Photo plans to make over 1,000 Web-resolution images available free of charge for the month of September. New subscribers get a choice of 50 free images as a signing bonus.
Corbis has partnered with Moving Pictures Magazine to produce and license celebrity images, interviews and video from the Toronto International Film Festival.
While copyright infringement lawsuits are an ever-present part of the photography business, much recent litigation has been directed at search engines. Content owners, including Viacom, Universal and Perfect 10, are alleging that a number of Web 2.0 companies have committed various offenses, ranging from direct infringement to facilitating content misappropriation by others. Now industry groups are actively weighing in.
PicScout, which has offices in San Francisco and Herzeliya, Israel, has expanded its copyright-monitoring service to include Australia. The Israeli company services the Big Three stock agencies and smaller, specialty agencies alike.
Getty Images has launched a business-to-business affiliate program, which will allow Web site owners to earn commissions by pointing traffic to gettyimages.com. The company hired LinkConnector, an affiliate-marketing company based in Cary, N.C., to manage the program.
Yahoo! has announced that it will close its photo-sharing site Yahoo! Photos on Sept. 20. The company decided to focus all its efforts on Flickr, though users can transfer their images to various sites.
AOL has launched a new version of Truveo.com, an online video search engine for professional-caliber and user-generated video. According to AOL, users prefer them to user-generated content.
Hollywood is going green - on screen. "The 11th Hour," a feature-length documentary that premieres in Los Angeles and New York on August 17, explores industrial civilization's impact on our ecosystems. To reduce the carbon footprint of its production, the film used 300 stock-footage clips. Using stock was among a number of environmentally friendly measures.
There are many reasons why we are likely to see a further decline in overall industry revenue." Overall industry revenue will go down; however, given the $70 million to $100 million that micropayment is adding to total industry revenue by bringing new buyers into the market, there hasn't been much falloff in dollars yet. It's not because customers are spending significantly less money. The pie is just being divided among a lot more suppliers.
Getty CEO Jonathan Klein received a salary increase of $50,000 last week, bringing his base compensation to $1 million. Klein's revised compensation package also includes restricted stock unit grants, valued at approximately $3.5 million, and payment of relocation expenses. Klein did not a bonus last year, since Getty Images failed to meet its 2006 revenue projections.
Traditional stock photographers argue that it's impossible to make money selling at microstock prices. But microstock photographer Erik Reis has found it a viable business option.
Corbis CEO Gary Shenk has pledged to make the company profitable by focusing on stock and rights services. Which is why Corbis is positioning itself as a partner that can take the logistics-related pressure off advertising creatives who use rare or celebrity footage.
Florida-based Art Life Images is taking a streamlined approach to building its sales force. While a number of stock-licensing agencies employ telecommuters as photo editors, off-site employment remains relatively rare in the industry - particularly when it comes to sales executives.
Veoh Networks, a California-based provider of broadcast-quality video over the Internet, has filed a Federal lawsuit against Universal Music Group. In response to "unreasonable threats" by Universal, the lawsuit seeks a preemptive injunction that would prevent Universal from filing a copyright infringement suit of its own.
Some in the investment community see a dramatic slowdown in the growth of the imaging market. I disagree. Overall, I think industry revenue is flat. Microstock is growing rapidly, but the revenue generated from these sales is being offset by a loss in traditional revenue.
a21, Inc. has reported $5,696,000 in revenues for 2Q, down 7% from the previous quarter.
The SuperStock revenues were down $130,000, or 4% for the stock image division.
About half of design (53%) and advertising professionals (46%) see Web site and email campaign design as a sales opportunity. That's according to The Multichannel Mix - Creatives, a 147-page study that provides an overview of the current media landscape as it applies to creatives, including ad agencies, graphic designers and commercial photographers.
Four years from now, more money will be spent in the U.S. on online ads than newspapers ads. This is bad news for image producers because the average price paid for a picture used in an online ad is much lower than the price for print use. It also seems likely that many micropayment photos will be satisfactory for Internet and mobile use, further depressing prices.
Jupitermedia's 2Q revenues of $34.7 million fell short of the company's projections of $36 million to $37 million. While total revenues were slightly below first-quarter earnings, revenues from images have risen from last year.
The Stock Artists Alliance and the American Society of Media Photographers are among the eight organizations awarded a total of $2.15 million by the U.S. Library of Congress. The funds will be used to ensure the survival of digital media.
Photographers want to know how they can make money shooting video. For the moment, that's a problem. There doesn't seem to be much revenue being made from producing short-form videos. However, it's important to know how to do it -- and these tips can help.
Still photographers need to focus on several critical facts for survival. The future is the Web, not print. The Web is a video medium, not a medium for still images. Learning to produce short-form video is essential.
The New York City Mayor's Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting has announced that it will redraft the proposed rules for issuing permits to films or photographs on public property. According to MOFTB commissioner Katherine Oliver, the redraft addresses feedback received by the office during the past two months.
During his recent conference call, Jonathan Klein, CEO of Getty Images, outlined a number of priorities for the company â€“ getting units licensed and revenue stable tops the list.
Alamy has launched a new search engine. It was developed to support collection growth and provide the platform for upcoming new tools and features. The company's goal is to give contributors greater control over how their images are indexed.
Stock Index Online has announced the addition of SEARCH for Specialist Stock, an aggregator image-search engine, to stockindexonline.com. The parent company of the Stock Index brand, The Publishing Factory, has positioned SEARCH as the alternative to "a business controlled by the two Gs: Google and Getty."
Getty Images CEO, Jonathan Klein, intends to operate out of New York for about a year beginning in September. The rest of the executive team, with the exception of a soon to be names senior vice president of marketing, will remain in the Seattle headquarters.
Investors punished Getty Images in the first day after its announcement of its Q2 2007 results. The stock dropped 19.4% to $36.14 from its previous close of $44.84. If we go back two years to November 2005 when the stock price hit its peak in the mid-$90s, we see a steady decline. There are big drops almost every time Getty has made a quarterly announcement. A chart of the stock price over five years looks like a climb of Mount Everest, reaching the peak in November 2005 and now almost returning to the bottom again.
Getty Images reported revenue for Q2 2007 of $218 million, up from $204.8 million in Q2 2006 and $212.6 million in Q1 2007. Net income for the quarter was $33.7 million, with earnings per diluted share of $0.56. This compared to $23.2 million or $0.37 per share in the second quarter of 2006, but was down from $38 million or $0.63 per share in Q1 2007.
Gross revenue generated by Getty Images in Q2 2007 was $218 million, up from $204.8 million in the same period in 2006. According to CEO Jonathan Klein, revenues for the "creative stills imagery" side of the business were flat at about $161 million. However, it should be noted that this number includes iStockphoto revenue, not normally considered a part of creative stills. The number of iStock downloads in Q2 2006 was about 2.5 million and downloads rose to 4.25 million in the recent quarter. If iStock revenue was removed from both quarters, creative stills would be down.
Fotolog, a photo-blogging Web site and social network, announced that its community has surpassed 10 million users. In addition, Fotolog recently entered into agreements with Google and AOL.
The trends of image oversaturation and micro-segment growth continue, and many professional stock photographers are anticipating or already experiencing a decline in revenues. As a result, many pros are looking to supplement their income by expanding into video, trying to secure more assignment work, seeking additional distributors and even joining the growing ranks of microstock providers themselves.