Getty's Q1 Revs Rise 9.7%

Posted on 5/2/2008 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Getty Images has reported revenue of $233.2 million for Q1 2008, up from $218.1 in Q4 2007 and up significantly from the $220 Q1 estimate supplied at the end of January. Revenue increased 9.7% compared to $212.7 million in Q1 2007 and came mainly from increasing licenses of editorial and micropayment imagery.

There was no conference call with analysts and little detail relative to various lines of business.

In the press release, the company said the "increase was partially offset by lower revenues in the company's traditional creative stills business when compared to the prior year. Sequentially, the traditional creative stills business achieved growth of about 1% over the fourth quarter of 2007 on a reported basis and was flat on a currency neutral basis."

Two years ago, 80% of Getty Images revenue came from creative stills. This quarter it is down to 54%.

Based on the 1% figure, RM revenue should have been about $72.69 million down from $81.64 a year earlier. Traditional single image RF was probably about $53.57 million, down from $63.10 in Q1 2007. The other lines of business are much harder to estimate.

Earlier in the quarter, Getty said iStockphoto's 2007 revenue was almost $72 million and it expected microstock revenue to be $122 million in 2008. Working back from these number and subtracting microstock and traditional RF from total 2007 RF revenue, the average quarterly revenue for CDs, VCDs and Subscriptions would have been about $6.2 million. I used this same figure for Q1 2008. It is entirely possible revenue from this business category was even lower and steadily declining, given that the average 2006 revenue for the category was about $9 million.

Based on the trends in the last few quarters, I believe "Footage" and "Other" would have grown some.  I placed Footage at $12 million and Other at $15 million.

That leaves Editorial and iStockphoto. The press release said "the increase (in revenue) came mainly from increasing licenses of editorial and micropayment imagery."

Q1 2007

Q2 2007

Q3 2007

Q4 2007

Q1 2008

Q1 Estimate

Gross Revenue









Rights Managed






Traditional Single Image RF






CDs, VCDs, Subs.












Other (Assign.)
















Editorial - News/Entertain






So far, I have accounted for $159.46 million of the $233.20 million in revenue, leaving the combined total for iStock and Editorial at approximately $73.74 million. In Q4 2007, these two segments of business accounted for $62.90 million. It is interesting that the $10.84 million difference accounts for almost all the rise above the $220 million that Getty previously estimated for the quarter.

I estimate Editorial at about $43 million. Getty got its big jump in this category in Q2 2007 after it acquired WireImage, but since then, quarterly increases have been modest. There is no reason to believe the same wouldn't have been true for the last quarter.

That leaves approximately $30.74 million for iStockphoto, a 30% increase over Q4 2007 revenue. iStock instituted a big price increase in January, and it looks like it is paying off. This number is also approximately one-quarter of the $122 million estimate for the year. iStock revenue may be even higher if I have over-estimated revenue for CDs, Footage, Other and Editorial, but I doubt it was lower.

One important bit of information that can't be determined from these numbers is the proportion of iStock's revenue that was due to an increase in unit sales and the proportion due to price increase. We can't assess whether the price increase has slowed unit sales growth.

The company indicated that the $2.4 billion sale of the company to Hellman & Friedman is still on track. The transaction is expected to close in the second or early third quarter of 2008. Previously, they had predicted closing would take place in the second quarter.

Copyright © 2008 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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