348 GETTY DUMPS ARTVILLE PHOTOGRAPHERS
November 1, 2000
Getty Images is moving to close down and consolidate brands. We reported in September
(Story 338) that
Planet Earth Pictures, a nature and wildlife agency in the UK was being
closed and all the images were being returned to the photographers.
In late September Getty began notifying photographers with images on the Artville royalty
free discs that as of January 1st Getty would no longer be marketing photographic work
through Artville. It is our understanding that they will continue to market illustration
work through that brand. Artville has about 250 titles and approximately half of them are
Photographers were told that "the majority of the images in the collection did not meet the
Getty Images' quality standards," and thus they found it necessary to stop selling this
It is unclear how much revenue Getty might be giving up with this move, but it is believed
that gross sales for Artville products are several million dollars annually. Of course,
Getty's hope is that with Artville products no longer available their customers will be
happy to settle for the images that PhotoDisc or Eyewire offer. The strategy, of course,
is to sell a high volume of a limited offering, rather than giving the customers greater
variety and choice.
With Artville, scanning costs were not a consideration in continuing to sell the products
because every image was already scanned at high resolution. In addition Getty has decided
to destroy their inventory of photographic discs as of January 1st rather than continue to
sell the product.
New Option For Photographers
Fortunately for the photographers who supplied the content PictureArts Corporation has
moved to continue to make this material available to buyers. PictureArts will launch Brand
X Pictures early in 2001. This new Royalty Free service will have over 6,000 images on 60
to 80 titles at launch.
PictureArts is the parent company of FoodPix stock images and Burke/Triolo Productions.
Jeffrey Burke, president of PictureArts, said, "Our experience in the stock picture
industry, both with FoodPix and as a major contributor to the Artville brand, gives us a
good viewpoint from which to launch such a venture. We are confident that our unique mix
of traditional and cutting-edge imagery will appeal to graphic arts professionals
Brand X Pictures will be composed of two distinct collections; the 'X" collection, which
will offer a wide variety of useful, proven subject matter and the "Lit" collection, which
will feature highly stylized, unique images. Burke said, "We are very fortunate to have
acquired the future licensing and distribution rights to most of the Artville photography
collection. We feel there is some outstanding photography there which hasn't been in the
marketplace for very long, and therefore has great sales potential. The 'Lit" collection
has some incredible images that all the artists are proud to put their names on, which is a
very important point for us."
PictureArts will aggressively market and promote the Brand X Pictures product line
worldwide. In North America images will be available through on-line, telephone and other
direct sales channels. The products will also be available worldwide through selected
on-line and mail order resellers.