Eyewire Aquired by Getty

Posted on 8/12/1999 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Getty Images, Inc. has announced the acquisition of EyeWire, Inc., one of the largest

providers of royalty-free photography, video, audio, typefaces, software and other

design resources to creative professionals and business users.

Under the terms of the all-stock transaction, which closed August 5, 1999, EyeWire

shareholders will receive 1.85 million newly issued shares of Getty Images common stock

currently valued at about $33 million.

Getty CEO Jonathan Klein told Thom Calandra's Stockwatch that he was paying two times

what he expects will be more than $15 million of EyeWire revenue next year. He also

told CNET that EyeWire generated $12 million in sales last year.

EyeWire had its origins in 1985 as the industry's first distributor of individual

digital typefaces on CD-ROM. The company was purchased by Adobe Systems Incorporated in

1994 and operated as Adobe's visual content division. In September 1998 it was

purchased by the division's management team and at that time EyeWire president Brad

Zumwalt said, "The company has a growth rate of 50% per year and revenue exceeding $20

million annually." (See story 196.)

At that point EyeWire repositioned itself as an Internet-focused business and moved to

launch a portal site serving the graphic design community. It is interesting that

eleven months after taking this new direction current revenue on an annual basis has

fallen from "in excess of $20 million" to somewhere between $12 and $15 million. EyeWire

says the Adobe revenue included portions of business they did not carry on with once

they became independent.

EyeWire's distributes a monthly catalog to approximately 700,000 business users in the

visual content industry. In addition to marketing their own wholly owned content they

have become a leading distributor of third-party products, through agreements with some

of the industry's top vendors such as Adobe Systems, for design applications; AutoFX,

for image manipulation tools and typefaces from industry leaders such as International

Typeface Corporation (ITC), FontHaus, and Elsner & Flake.

Expect to see EyeWire drop its efforts to launch a Rights Protected division of their

operation as was announced in June (See story 229).

Charles Mauzy will remain with the company and work on other projects.

Key Benefits For Getty

  • The acquisition marks the first time new product categories beyond still and

    moving imagery have been added to Getty Images' product offering. These new product

    lines extend Getty Images' collection beyond still photography and moving imagery,

    adding royalty-free audio, video, illustration, clip art, over 800 typefaces, and a

    variety of design applications.

  • EyeWire has one of the industry's largest and most comprehensive customer

    databases of design professionals worldwide.

  • Eyewire's strong relationships with the emerging business-user market is expected to

    help build the foundation for the Business User division of Getty Images.

  • EyeWire's strong relationships with non-photographic content providers will add

    tremendous value to Getty's hub websites.

  • Removing a potential competitor for "portal dominance" from the field.


  • Copyright © 1999 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: 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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