292 DRAMATIC RATE INCREASE AT BUSINESS WEEK
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
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:
up from $225.00
up from $275.00
up from $325.00
up from $400.00
up from $500.00
up from $600.00
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
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.
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 301-251-0720, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Be the first to comment below.
You must log in to post comments.
Sign up to receive our FREE weekly email listing new stories posted.
If you’ve been shooting all summer and haven’t had time to keep up with your reading here are links to a few stories you might want to check out as we move into the fall. To begin, be sure to complet...Read More
This story provides links to several stories that relate to the Visual China Group (VCG) acquisition of Corbis and the role Getty Images has been assigned in the transfer of Corbis assets to the Gett...Read More
Many think search will be solved with better Metadata. While metadata is important, there are limits to how far it can take the customer toward finding the right piece of content. This story provides...Read More
For new readers, or those who may have missed some of what I have written over the last few months, the following are a list of stories worth looking at to get a sense of where the industry is headed.Read More
It’s that time of year when high school seniors are waiting for college acceptance letters and thinking about future careers. If you know someone who is thinking about photography as a career you mig...Read More
For many the end of the year is a time to review past experiences and consider whether it makes sense to chart a new course in the year ahead. Stock photography has changed dramatically for professio...Read More
Every so often I put together a list of the most important stories we’ve published in the recent past. If you are engaged in the business of stock photography the links below are to stories that we’v...Read More
In all the excitement about 35 million FREE images it is worth looking back at some of things that have been happening at Getty Images in the last three months. After watching revenue decline for the...Read More
If you’re looking for an overview of the state of the stock photo industry as of October 2013 the stories listed below are a good place to start. Regular readers of Selling-Stock will have seen all t...Read More
If supplying pictures for educational use is a significant part of your business plan you need to be aware of how the market is trending toward digital delivery and how that is likely to affect the p...Read More
More from Free Stuff