Getty Expands to Consumer Market

Posted on 5/12/1999 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



May 12, 1999

Getty Images, Inc. has announced the acquisition of, a leading provider of framed and

unframed art and art-related products on the Internet.

The Chicago-based company operates in the approximately $9 billion global

consumer art market. This should be compared in size with the roughly $1.25

billion worldwide business-to-business stock photography market.

This acquisition marks the expansion of Getty Images' current online business

into the much larger consumer art market, a move that will significantly

increase Getty's potential customer base and market opportunity. It will

also leverage Getty Images' extensive collection, consisting of more than 30

million images, by making it available to the consumer marketplace through has more than 100,000 images online, including works by artists such

as Monet, van Gogh and Picasso, and photographers

such as Herb Ritts and Robert Mapplethorpe.

The company's successful web site generated more than 400,000

average user sessions per month in the first quarter of 1999. Sales orders

have increased by more than 40 percent per month since January

1999. has established itself as a premier consumer art web site on

the Internet, with major merchant partnerships with almost 7,000 affiliate

web sites, as well as the leading online portals, Yahoo! and America Online.

Under the terms of the agreement, shareholders will receive 4.51

million newly-issued shares of Getty Images common stock. Under certain

predetermined conditions, the shareholders may receive in the future up to an

additional $84 million of consideration, consisting of shares and cash,

depending upon

the value of Getty Images stock at the time of the payment. (Bloomberg News

says this package could total $202 million.) will

operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Getty Images and will form the

foundation of the consumer division of Getty


"We are delighted with the synergies that this acquisition creates for Getty

Images and to," said Jonathan Klein, co-founder and chief executive

officer of Getty Images. "With this acquisition, we move from leading the

business-to-business market to being at the forefront of both the

business-to-business and

consumer markets. Through's successful e-commerce web site, we are

now able to reach millions of online consumers, making our wealth of content

available to a much wider audience than before."

The web site features proprietary technology that allows

customers to visualize more than one billion custom matting and framing

combinations for their selected print on-screen

before purchasing. It offers a number of value-added services such as the

ArtClique Savers Club, which offers consumers discounts

and special offers; art-care tips with every purchase; monthly feature

galleries; and My Gallery, a personal gallery that can be created, saved and

shared. also offers Art Print Index (, the art

industry standard for sourcing and buying art wholesale. The site will

continue to add art and

art-related content and services in its quest to provide a vertical hub for

art consumers that is the most inviting destination for discovering and

purchasing art. As part of the strategy, will be adding a gift

center featuring dimensional art, an art auction and other art-related

products and services.

"The big winners in this deal are the consumers," said Bill Lederer, founder

and chief executive officer of "Purchasing art in the analog world

is a time consuming, daunting

process. We believe the initial success of our web site demonstrates that

people want a better solution. Joining forces with Getty Images provides our

customers access to one of the

largest collections of some of the world's greatest art and imagery through

our web site."

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, 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:  


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