New Alliances

Posted on 11/13/1996 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)


New Alliances

November 13, 1996

West Stock, a Seattle stock photo agency, has announced that they are now
supplying images to Digital Stock Corporation of Solana Beach, CA, a leading
publisher of high quality, royalty-free CD-ROM discs. The first disc produced
from this relationship has 100 images, is called Faces of the World, and is now
available through Digital Stock's distribution channels.

Faces of the World has 100 high-resolution images of everyday people from
diverse cultures, including business, professionals, seniors, teens, and
children and sells for $249.00. It is expected that West Stock will participate
on many of the Digital Stock products in the coming years.

Digital Stock has been rapidly expanding its collection by the release of
thirty-six new titles so far in 1996. It plans to release more than fifty new
discs in the coming year incorporating images from West Stock and other sources.

West Stock specializes in high-quality, model-released images of people doing
everyday activities. These images target the needs of customers developing
product advertising. Because this type of photography dates rather quickly with
the constant change of styles, West Stock works closely with photographers
attuned to such changes to continually upgrade its collection. These
photographers must understand fashion, beauty, and style, as well as good
photography technique.

"We are very enthusiastic that this relationship joins West Stock's
high-quality images with Digital Stock's high-quality production and
distribution processes. The discs produced from this relationship are likely to
set the standards in the industry for years to come," said Mark Karras, chairman
of West Stock.

West Stock's Initial Entry in the Clip Disc Market

West Stock was the exclusive image provider for PhotoDisc when they started
producing royalty-free discs in 1993, and has supplied images for probably close
to forty PhotoDisc products (they refuse to release the exact number). The last
disc on which they participated was released early in 1996.

In early 1996 PhotoDisc started working directly with photographers. PhotoDisc
had determined that it was more important to own the content outright than to do
collaborative arrangements with stock agencies.

It has been West Stock's philosophy not to put "prime" catalog images that
might be licensed for various exclusive uses on the clip photo discs. West
Stock tries to supply a different type of subject matter on the discs than they
put in their print catalogs because they believe the desk top publishing market
needs a different kind of image. These images have sometimes been referred to
as "seconds", but that may be an inaccurate representation of the work.

West Stock keeps the very best for their catalogs and licenses rights to those
images in the traditional manner. Some of their photographers indicate that 95%
of their sales with West Stock are from the print catalog images.
One photographer indicates that he is earning in the range of $280 per year,
per image from those on the discs.

There are indications that some of the photographers who have lots of images on
the discs are earning in excess of $40,000 per year from royalties on the clip

PhotoDisc Results

There are also indications that sales on PhotoDisc's on-line site are in the
range of $100,000 a week (over $5 million of their estimated $25 million a year
gross sales). PhotoDisc has about 32,000 images on-line and users can license
these images individually for fees that range from $19.95 to $49.95 for
advertising and brochure use and up to $179.95 for book covers and products for
resale where more than 100,000 copies will be sold.

We suspect that given the way their site is designed, most of the $100,000 per
week is from clients who are purchasing discs rather than purchasing rights to a
specific image, but we have no way of determining actual sales.

Copyright © 1996 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:  


Be the first to comment below.

Post Comment

You must log in to post comments.

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive our FREE weekly email listing new stories posted.

Follow Us

Free Stuff

Recent Stories – Summer 2016
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
Corbis Acquisition by VCG/Getty Images
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
Finding The Right Image
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
Where Is The Stock Photo Industry Headed?
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
Photography As A Career
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
2014 Stories You May Have Missed
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
More Stories In 2014 You May Have Missed
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
Getty: A Three Month Review
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
State Of Stock Photo Industry: 2013
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
Education Market Shifts To Digital
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