Dramatic Rate Increase at Business Week

Posted on 3/15/2000 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



March 15, 2000

Business Week has announced a major increase in assignment and space
rates for the images they use. Stock uses should be similar to the space

rates, if not higher. The space rates are dramatically higher than the
editorial numbers in "Negotiating Stock Photo Prices" or "PhotoQuote",
but these rates include foreign editions and reprint uses.

The motivating factor for the rate changes were a move about a year ago
by group of San Francisco area photographers who decided to stop
accepting assignment from Business Week until there was some improvement
in the rates. Following this the Editorial Photographers (EP) on-line
forum was developed to discuss business issues. This forum now has over
1500 members around the world. These photographers began negotiating
with Larry Lippmann at Business Week and later Seth Resnick became head
of the negotiating team. The following is Resnick's report of the terms.

Changing Business Model

The business model of editorial photography has changed dramatically
over the years for both the photographer and the magazine.
Unfortunately the model has placed more money and more rights in the
hands of the magazines and less in the hands of photographers. I am
happy to announce today a change with the business model of a major
publication that acknowledges the needs for all parties to benefit.

By now everyone is aware of the foundation of EP and what was a
tumultuous relationship with Business Week. What many of you don't
know is how quickly a tumultuous start took a turn for positive
change and win for all. Change does not happen over night especially
in a corporation as large as McGraw Hill. First there were changes in
the day rate. I was quick to point out that is was the start of a
process of change. Many of you were critical that it was to little to
late. The communication channels remained open and friendly. Soon
came a change in the space rate and eventually came a change in
reprint rates. While many of you appreciated the efforts and the
change that followed some were still critical of Business Week. I
have always maintained that deals take a long time to make a win win
for both sides and have always said that change was not finished.

Personally I have spoken to Larry Lippmann about issues for nearly a
year on an extremely friendly note with a positive outlook. There
have been focus groups, meetings and continued talk all of which were
necessary in the corporate world.

In particular we discussed for nearly a year a change in the actual
model of editorial photography. Business Week has now taken the
initiative to change the model and as President of EP they have my
full support and I fully endorse this new model which I will outline

This model may have some minor changes but this is the basic premise
for the new model which should start on or about May 1, 2000. The
legal department at McGraw Hill needs to get all of this in writing
and it may very well happen before May 1 but it also may happen after
May 1. The critical part is that it will happen!

1. Business Week will have an actual contract which will be for four
years. The contract will need to be signed if you want to work with
Business Week.

2. The day rate will increase dramatically to $850.00 plus expenses
against space and will increase each year. The contract raises the
day rate to $1000.00 per day within the time period. The exact amount
of the change each year between $850.00 and $1000.00 has to be
finalized but the increase will go from $850.00 to $1000.00

3. The rate to shoot a cover will be $2500.00 plus expenses up from

4. The space rate will double across the board and will apply to
stock images as well. The new space rates will be as follows:


1/4 page   


up from $225.00   

1/3 page   


up from $275.00   

1/2 page   


up from $325.00   

2/3 page   


up from $400.00   

3/4 page   


up from $500.00   

Full page   


up from $600.00   

Cover Rate   


up from $1500.00   

5. The rights that Business Week seeks will in essence be paid for in
advance whether they exercise the rights or not. This is a complete
change in the model of photography. They will gain the right to use
the images in the International Edition, Foreign Edition, Joint
Ventures and online and the rate will include reprints but not
reprints of the cover which will have additional compensation as
outlined below.

I believe this to be fair compensation because it will be applied to
every assignment. Most of the images in Business Week run 1/4 page or
less and are not reprinted so the payment in advance for every
assignment will balance in the end.

The rights apply to concurrent use only so that if you shoot an
assignment and something is re-used in two months you will get
additional compensation in the amount of twice the current space rate.

6. The reprint fees for the cover will be the same as the current rate.








50,001 - 100,000   


Greater than 100,000 to be negotiated.

7. Considering that a cover typically will always be reprinted and
that there will probably be additional space rate, one could expect
to generate a minimum of almost $5000.00 for a Business Week Cover

There are small details to work out and I have already suggested a
cap to reprints. The minor details will get worked out but this is a
great deal and one that finally changes the model compensating
photographers for the extra rights in a fair fashion.

I ask all of you to embrace this new model. We have always been quick
as a group to criticize and now we can be just as quick to applaud.


Seth Resnick

What's Next

EP has also been having discussions with Time Inc since last summer. We
expect to see some reaction from Time in the near future. Other major
publications such as New York Time, Forbes, National Geographic, etc.
will find it much more difficult to argue that photographers should work
for them at their current low rates now that Business Week has agreed
to pay more reasonable fees.

Copyright © 2000 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of www.selling-stock.com, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to: http://www.jimpickerell.com/Curriculum-Vitae.aspx.  


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