November 2001 Selling Stock

Posted on 11/1/2001 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

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NOVEMBER 2001 SELLING STOCK




Volume 12, Number 2



©2001 Jim Pickerell - SELLING STOCK is written and
published by Jim
Pickerell six times a year. The annual subscription rate is $120.00 to have the printed
version mailed to you. The on-line version is $100.00 per year. Subscriptions may be
obtained by writing Jim Pickerell, 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-251-0720, fax 301-309-0941, e-mail: jim@chd.com. All rights
are reserved and no information contained herein may be reporduced in any
manner whatsoever without written permission of the editor. Jim Pickerell is also
co-owner of Stock Connection, a stock agency. In addition, he is co-author
with Cheryl Pickerell of Negotiating Stock Photo Prices, a guide to pricing
stock photo usages.

Thought For The Month


I believe the (September 11th) attacks will work to accelerate acceptance and use of
electronic communications and electronic publishing. The acceptance was already growing. Now
it is assured.


Joseph W. Webb, Ph.D., Trend Watch


PORTAL OR PRINT?



October 19, 2001 (Story 434)- One of the big questions for people trying to sell Rights
Protected stock in the United States is what is the best way to promote the work -- a portal,
or a print catalog.


If you're flush with money you do both. Will all those who are flush with money in this
economic environment please identify themselves.


How Effective Are Online Catalogs?


In Random Thought 38 (Story 427) I laid out what we currently know about online sales and came
to the conclusion, based on year 2000 sales figures, that 37% of the revenue from U.S. stock
photo sales resulted from images being found on the web.


A recent Corbis Stock Market survey determined that the MAJORITY of art buyers and graphic
designers in the U.S. go to the web first when looking for images.


Getty's revenue from images found online was 46% of their total revenue in the 2nd Quarter of
2001, up from 42% of total revenue in the 1st Quarter.


In February 2001, 58% of Masterfile's North American sales came from customers finding the
image on their website. That percentage had been rising every month since they set up their
site. As of August 2001 it was almost 75% of sales. This includes images that are in the print
catalogs, but the images were ordered online.


Print Catalog Sales


Given the above numbers, and considering that 10% to 20% of total revenue in the U.S. market
still comes from images being found as a result of general file search, something in the range
of between 25% and 40% of total revenue may continue to come from images found in print
catalogs.


While down from the 70% to 80% of revenue that resulted from print catalog image sales a few
years ago, 25% to 40% is still significant.


However, remember that current sales from print catalog come from the combined total of all
the print catalogs that have been put into the marketplace in the past decade or so, not just
the ones that have come out in the past year. A certain percentage of buyers need very current
imagery and will reject anything that is slightly out of date. But many images in older
catalogs still continue to sell better than the images in the new edgier catalogs. This means
that the market share for new images, from new prints catalogs, is only a fraction of the
percentages above.


Thus, given the relatively small percentage of sales that are likely to result from images
found in any new print catalog, most U.S. agencies are finding that it doesn't make much sense
to pay the cost of mailing catalogs, let alone the costs of printing and purchasing multiple
dupe sets.


We acknowledge that print catalogs are still an important selling tool outside the U.S. But
the market in the U.S is different. Some people point to Getty and Corbis and say print
catalogs must still work in the U.S. because Getty and Corbis are using them. We believe their
catalogs are being used more to draw customers to their web sites than to sell the images in
the books. Getty also benefits from the fact that their photographers pay much of the cost of
production and distribution of their catalogs.


If the primary purpose of a print catalog is to get the brand's name in front of the customer
and promote the web site when the catalog first arrives, it is necessary to ask if this the
most cost effective way to promote?


Results of a recent Corbis Stock Market survey reported to their photographers indicated that
customers prefer frequent, smaller catalogs rather than the larger occasional ones. These
catalogs are considered easier to store, simpler to browse and more user friendly. Stock image
users say they are impressed by catalogs that offer fresh, innovative imagery as well as
inspire them with new layouts and presentations. However, they don't say how often this
inspiration results in actual use of one of the images shown in these books.


Promotion Of Web Sites


If you are using the web to sell images, the number one issue to consider is how the site will
be promoted. What is the marketing strategy that continually reminds potential customers of
the site's existence?


Clearly, it is not enough to just put images on a web site. The site must work efficiently and
be promoted. Among the reasons that Masterfile's site is so successful is that they have
strong brand identity built over more than two decades. Also, their consistent advertising in
major trade magazines and the mailing of two major print catalogs a year helps promote the
site.


If the catalog is not going to be used for long term search, logic would indicate that the
same dollars spent on more frequent direct mail, e-mail promotions and trade magazine
advertising might produce better results.


It appears that many of the print catalogs mailed in the past few years have been dumped
(along with the other junk mail) shortly after they hit the customer's desk, due to lack of
storage space.


Portals Vs Personal Or Small Agency Web Sites?


Given that sellers must use the web to market their images, why is it more effective to use
portals rather than personal or small agency web sites?


  • First, portals enable participants to share promotional costs, effectively leveraging
    their promotional dollar.


  • In addition, buyers seem to like to go to sites where the selection of imagery is large
    enough to give them a good cross section of subject matter in any category they search. They
    also tend to like a site that offers a variety of points of view rather than a very narrow
    editing philosophy.


  • The cost to any individual or company of operating a web site are reduced when using a
    portal because, in effect, these costs are shared on a proportional basis by all the
    participants.


    Buyers are sometimes frustrated by too many images on a particular subject, but it seems that
    the best solution in these cases is for the agency to offer custom research and custom light
    boxes, rather than very tight initial editing. Not all portals agrees with this strategy, but
    there is good evidence that it is currently the most successful way to approach the U.S.
    buyers.


    Portal Models


    There are two portals in the U.S. that have some track record and experience. They are
    PictureQuest.com and Workbookstock.com. PictureQuest has been operating since the mid-90's,
    and has approximately 357,000 images and over 175,000 registered users. They get their images
    from approximately 50 agencies and have both Rights Protected and a Royalty Free sections on
    their site.


    Workbookstock.com has several years experience in operating a portal. They have always focused
    entirely on Rights Protected with no Royalty Free. They accept work from individual
    photographers as well as stock agencies and have recently revamped their site to focus on very
    high end, contemporary imagery. They have about 23,000 images on the site and 46,000
    registered users.


    Other portals of interest are Alamy.com, Photononstop.com and Stockmedia.net. For more about
    Alamy.com see (Story 424) and Photononstop.com (Story 435). Stockmedia's technology is
    currently used by SolusImages.com, Sportschromeonline.com, and globalphoto.com. Expect to see
    additional announcements of other agencies adopting Stockmedia's technology in the near
    future.


    "5 star restaurant" or a "one-stop hamburger chain"?


    One stock agent operating outside the U.S. recently asked, "If you're going to sell online in
    the U.S. don't you have to be with either Getty or Corbis?" To illustrate his point he used
    the following metaphor, "Isn't a 5 star restaurant better then a one-stop hamburger chain?"


    The key to this question is in the use of the word "chain". Owners of McDonald's franchises
    earn good revenue even though they are all small restaurants. Among the reasons are shared
    advertising and promotion, and brand identity. They also serve their local communities and
    understand the needs of their customers.


    Stock photo customers don't care if your the biggest, or if you have a reputation for
    representing the work of the best photographers. They only care if you have the right image,
    at the moment they need it. Getty, in particular, has rejected a lot of images customers want
    to use. U.S. customers want alternatives to Getty and Corbis. They will use the small
    suppliers as long as they know where to find them.


    It is also not necessary to be the biggest to be profitable. (In fact, neither Getty or Corbis
    are profitable.) Smaller operators can generate more profits, if they do a few things right.
    They must:


    • Join together on portal sites so they can share the costs of operation and promotion.


    • Find less expensive ways than traditional print catalogs to promote the existence of
      their portal, and show their images.


    • Maintain reasonable prices through negotiation.


    • Provide a service of researching their online database for their customers. This is
      particularly necessary if the site offers a broad cross section of imagery. (Custom research
      may not be as important when there are only a few images in every category.) It may also be an
      advantage if the seller has an analog file to back up the online offering, and provide more
      depth when needed. Researcher who understand the subjects they are researching are also
      important.


      There are strong indications that customers don't have the time to do all of their own
      research. They prefer to call someone (an agent), outline their general needs, and have that
      agent prepare a custom lightbox for their consideration. Part of the success of portals will
      hinge on the quality of this research and how the service is promoted.


    • Get more images online where they can be seen. Masterfile has discovered that when they
      put general file images onto their web site these images began to sell. Many of these images
      were in the files for years and never sold. This would indicate that the normal print catalog
      selection process is too tight for what buyers want and need and that somehow, in the old
      research process, these images never made it to where the buyers could see them. Now when they
      are available to the buyers (on the web) they sell.


    • Get their images into a variety of outlets that promote in different ways and reach
      different segments of the market.

    The marketing strategies of portals vary. Some buyers prefer to use one portal and some
    another. Thus, from a marketing point of view it is often best to have images on several
    portals rather than just one.


    As more and more images become available online customers in the U.S. are rediscovering the
    value of the smaller agency that knows their customers and goes the extra mile to provide
    service. Look for these customers to head back to these smaller agencies as Getty and Corbis
    cut staff in an effort to try to get profitable.


    INTERNET BUYERS FIRST CHOICE




    September 25, 2001 (Story 429) - A recent Corbis Stock Market survey determined that
    the majority of art buyers and graphic designers in the U.S. go to the internet first when
    looking for images.


    The survey showed that catalogs are an important tool still used for searching and brain
    storming, but customers prefer frequent smaller catalogs that are easier to store, simpler to
    browse and more user friendly than the larger, occasional ones. Stock image users are
    impressed by catalogs that offer fresh, innovative imagery and inspire them with new layouts
    and presentations.


    One question for photographers who pay to have their images in such catalogs is will these
    catalogs increase sales for the specific images shown, or just the brand? Under the new Corbis
    agreement photographers will not pay any catalog fees, but under the old Stock Market
    agreements photographers are still charged catalog fees. It is unclear whether TSM
    photographers will be charged catalog fees, if they haven't signed the new Corbis agreement.


    GETTY THIRD QUARTER RESULTS



    October 24, 2001 (Story 437) -- Getty Images, Inc. has announced its financial results
    for the 3rd quarter ended September 30, 2001. Total revenue for the quarter was $107.5
    million. Revenue was down 12.4 percent from the 3rd quarter of 2000, excluding Art.com, which
    was closed in May 2001. On a currency neutral basis, revenue for the quarter was $112.1
    million, down 9 percent from the year-ago quarter, excluding Art.com.


    The company expects to report revenue of between $95 million and $105 million for the 4th
    quarter of 2001. If they make the top number their gross sales for the year will be about
    $454.1 million, down a little more than 6% for the year. When asked by analysts for an
    estimate of how much industry sales are off overall, Getty Images CEO, Jonathan Klein, would
    not provide a figure. Selling Stock estimates that sales in North America for 2001 may be down
    as much as 15% to 20%. Sales in Europe may not be suffering as much. This would indicate that
    despite the downturn Getty is still doing much better than the rest of the industry.


    E-commerce


    E-commerce revenue in the quarter was $51.5 million, or 48 percent of total revenue, up from
    35 percent of revenue in the 3rd quarter of 2000. This does not include disc sales. It is
    worth noting that total e-commerce revenue was down slightly from $52.9 million in the 2nd
    quarter. With the October launch of their new gettyimages.com that offers search in German,
    French, and UK English as well as American English, it is expected that they will see a big
    jump in e-commerce sales in the 4th quarter and easily break the 50% barrier for total
    e-commerce sales.


    Klein indicated in the conference call to investment analysts that Getty Images expects to end
    the practice of sending analog images to clients by the middle of 2002. This says a lot about
    client readiness to accept digital files. Based on their creeping growth of e-commerce sales
    as a percentage of total sales, it is hard to see how they plan to deal with the other 52% of
    sales when they go to full digital delivery.


    The first thing to recognize is that e-commerce sales don't include RF disc sales, or
    situations where a digital file, rather than film, is delivered on a custom CD-ROM shipped by
    traditional means to the customer. These numbers were not revealed, but it seems likely that
    this type of digital delivery already accounts for a large percentage of Getty's total
    delivery. Otherwise, they would not anticipate eliminating analog delivery by the middle of
    2002. With this type of delivery there is still a lot of work in getting the image to the
    customer, but it certainly eliminates any return or re-filing costs, and it eliminates the
    need for dupe sets of images.


    Royalty Free


    Klein said Royalty Free represents about 1/3 of Getty's total revenue or approximately $35
    million in the 3rd quarter. This percentage on a full year's sales would put Getty's RF
    revenue at between $140 and $150 million. Their RF brands include PhotoDisc, EyeWire and
    Artville.


    Back in May 2000 when sales for the 1st quarter 2000 were $104.8 million we were able to make
    some estimates about sales of each brand (See Story 310 online). At that time we estimated
    sales of PhotoDisc, EyeWire and Artville at $27 million. Thus, if we were off on the low side
    then, and if Klein's 1/3 is really not quite 1/3, it still appears that Getty's RF sales have
    continued to grow steadily in the past 18 months, as a percent of total revenue.


    This aids Getty's cash and profit position because they get to keep a larger percentage of the
    total monies collected from RF sales than from Rights Protected sales.


    What's Happening To Rights Protected


    Given the good news on the RF front, what's happening to Rights Protected sales (including the
    film division)? In the past we have estimated film division sales at about $40 million
    annually. If we assume that is holding at a no-growth level through 2001, and we also deduct
    the lowest RF estimate of $140 million for 2001, Getty's estimated Rights Protected income for
    still photos for the entire year will be about $275 million. The 3rd quarter share of this
    income would have been about $62 million.


    Again, it is instructive to look at our 1st quarter 2000 breakdown (Story 310 online) by
    brand. Our estimates for an income stream that was about the same as in 3rd quarter 2001 were:
    Stone, $35 million; TIB, $12.1 million; and VCG, $3.7 million for a total of $50.8 million.
    (In that quarter VCG was only part of Getty for 9 days. Even with all of VCG's problems since
    Getty acquired them, a full quarter of sales should be much higher.) VCG's revenues when Getty
    acquired them were about $90 million annually. If we assume those revenues have dropped to
    half that amount VCG should still have generated about $11 million in sales in 3rd quarter
    2001.


    Klein indicated that in the most recent quarter TIB was seeing "double digit growth" (at least
    10% over the previous quarter). This may be up from a lower number because sales at TIB fell
    off for a while after they were acquired until all the other images were re-scanned and
    uploaded on the new gettyone.com web site. TIB photographers have indicated that their sales
    have started to return to normal levels in the last few months. Given how well the brand is
    doing it is also interesting to note that Getty has turned TIB into their "classic stock"
    brand.


    To complete our analysis of Getty's Rights Protected images we must also account for the
    historical and editorial brands: Hulton Getty, Archive, Allsport, Liaison and Newsmakers. For
    the 1st quarter 2000 we estimated that total revenue for these brands was $14.2 million.


    When asked to give some indications as to how the various brands were doing Klein indicated
    that the news segment of their business had a substantial increase in sales after September
    11th, but that it represented a small part of their total sales. Their sports brand, Allsport,
    was hurt by the reduction of sporting activities in September. In addition Allsport does
    better in years when there are major sporting events like the Olympics and there has been
    nothing like that in 2001.


    Thus, putting all these numbers together and trying to reach the $62 million in sales for the
    quarter we come up with the following numbers:
























    Brand   

    Changes Since 1Q 2000   

    Millions   

    Historical & editorial   

    level with 1Q 2000   

    $14   

    VCG   

    down 50% from 2000   

    $11   

    TIB   

    level with 1Q 2000  

    $12  

    Stone  

    down from $35 million in 1Q 2000  

    $25  

        

        

        

        

    Total  

    $62  



    These numbers may be off somewhat, but it is hard to come to any conclusion that doesn't show
    Stone's sales dropping significantly when compared to 1st quarter 2000, a time when gross
    sales of the company were about at the same level they were in 3rd quarter 2001. In the
    conference call Klein refused to supply any information about Stone's sales when Peter Appert
    of Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown asked specifically about that brand.

    Market Share

    Klein said the company's goal is to eventually have a 50% to 60% market share of the industry.
    Based on industry information provided earlier this year and reported in online Story 410 they
    may already be there.

    The statistics from the PACA and CEPIC surveys indicate that gross worldwide revenue from
    still photography was about $1.277 billion for year 2000. But, at least $600 million and
    possibly more of that, according to the survey information, is for editorial uses, an area of
    the industry where Getty Images does not seriously compete. This means the commercial and
    advertising side of the business is only about $677 million.

    Getty acknowledges that they are aiming to sell to the high end advertising side of the
    business and that they are not strong in editorial. Based on the numbers above only about 13%
    of their annual sales come from the editorial side of the business. Even assuming that their
    commercial brands make some sales into the editorial and publishing environment, it is hard to
    see how much more than 25% of their total revenue could come from editorial users.

    Thus, 75% of year 2001 sales, or an estimated $310 million of Getty's year 2001 revenue, will
    be to corporate and advertising customers. This is already 45.7% of the $677 million number.
    If sales for 2001 are actually 10% lower than 2000 (about $610 million) then Getty's portion
    of the corporate and advertising side of the business would be 51%.

    Other Insights

    About 56% of Getty's 3rd quarter were in North America, down from 60% in 2000. European sales
    represent about 38% of gross revenue, up from 35% a year ago. The remaining 6% is mostly from
    the Asia/Pacific region.

    Average usage prices have remained constant throughout 2001. Klein says stock customers are
    not price sensitive and price reductions would not increase demand.

    Prior to September 11th, in an effort to cut costs, Getty had cut their staff by more than 300
    people bringing the total staff worldwide to under 2000 people. They recognized a $3 million
    savings in the 3rd quarter as a result of these reductions and expect to save approximately
    $20 million on an annualized basis. Klein insists that when the economy turns around it will
    not be necessary for Getty Images to staff-up in order to increase sales. We "can handle much
    more revenue with no increase in costs," he said. One example of the cuts that he gave is that
    VCG, and the various brands they represented, had 66 sales people when Getty acquired them.
    That number is now down to 12.

    Financial Information

    EBITDA was $21.8 million, compared to $27.4 million in the 3rd quarter of 2000. The EBITDA
    margin was 20.3 percent, which exceeded the high end of the guidance provided by the company
    and compared to 21.6 percent for the 3rd quarter of 2000 and 19.5 percent in the 2nd quarter
    of 2001. After-tax cash flow per share for the 3rd quarter was 34 cents, compared to 37 cents
    per share in the 3rd quarter of 2000 and 31 percent above the First Call consensus estimate.

    The net loss for the quarter was $18.2 million, or 35 cents per share, down 33 percent from a
    net loss of $26.4 million, or 52 cents per share, for the same period in 2000. Excluding a
    charge of $4.8 million, primarily related to severance costs associated with the staff
    reduction in August, the net loss for the quarter was 30 cents per share and 19 percent better
    than the First Call consensus estimate.

    For 2002, the company expects revenue to be between $430 million and $460 million, the gross
    margin to be approximately 74 percent and the EBITDA margin to be in the range of 22 to 25
    percent. The company expects capital expenditures for 2002 to be about $45 million.

    "We were both pleased and encouraged to meet and significantly surpass all of our third
    quarter financial expectations despite a weakened global economy and the impact of September
    11th's tragic events," said Jonathan Klein. "Our plan for the fourth quarter and beyond is not
    only a continuation of our discipline and vigilance on the cost side of our business but also
    a renewed focus on stimulating revenue by gaining more market share in this challenging
    economic environment. With our new gettyimages.com Website launched earlier this month and a
    comprehensive new sales initiative in place, we believe the company is well-positioned to
    protect and enhance our revenue objectives and, even more importantly, to prosper when the
    market's strength returns."

    "Prior to September 11th, we had already taken swift and decisive action to meet the economic
    challenges that we faced, reducing our worldwide staff by more than 300 people and cutting
    back on expenses throughout the organization," said Liz Huebner, senior vice president and
    chief financial officer of Getty Images. "We decreased selling, general and administrative
    expenses by five percent over the second quarter of this year, and expect to continue to
    reduce S,G&A in the fourth quarter. The combination of a strong gross margin and tight expense
    controls enabled us to achieve an EBITDA margin that was a full percentage point above the
    high end of the range we provided in July."


    NEW ONLINE SITE AT GETTY


    October 19, 2001 (Story 436) - Getty Images Inc. has redesigned gettyimages.com, in an
    effort to increase scalability and efficiency for the company as well as provide significant
    benefits to customers worldwide. The company generates nearly half its revenue on the Web, and
    expects the percentage to increase steadily despite the fact that in recent quarters it has
    seemed to plateau at just under 50%.

    When finally completed in the middle of 2002, gettyimages.com and its accompanying back-end
    systems will result in:

  • Single site customer access to the best still and moving imagery and services across all
    brands and products, including stock photography, news, sports and entertainment, all at
    gettyimages.com;

  • A unified view for the company of its customers, allowing it to serve, sell and market
    to customers more effectively; and

  • The realization of the efficiencies of integrating all the acquired businesses into one
    Web site, one sales order processing system, Oracle financials, a single real-time rights
    control environment, one customer database and localization of language and currencies.

    "With the launch of gettyimages.com, we have completed the most difficult and costly aspects
    of this initiative," said Jonathan Klein, Getty Images CEO. "The integration of the largest
    part of our business, rights-managed images, has been completed, along with establishing the
    technology, business process, finance systems and customer interface platform for the
    continued transformation of the whole of our business."

    It is worth noting that in the past quarter during the transition to this new system sales and
    many of the payment reports sent to VCG photographers have not included royalties for overseas
    sales. As a result Getty found it necessary to review all the data and write additional checks
    to each VCG photographer entitled to royalty payments from overseas sales. Getty expects to
    catch up in the reporting on the sales made this summer's with the reports that will be dated
    31 October and 30 November.

    Consolidation Provides Increased Efficiencies

    In addition to enabling the company to transition from multiple technology and finance systems
    and platforms to one scalable Web architecture, this company-wide initiative includes the
    transition to one centralized sales order processing system, one integrated accounting system
    and one master customer database. This will allow the company to maximize its sales and
    service resources and service its customers more effectively. The company anticipates that
    this consolidation effort will result in significant operating cost and capital efficiencies
    over the next year.

    Klein said, "from an operational perspective, the new (site) functionality will revolutionize
    the way Getty Images runs its business. From a customer perspective, gettyimages.com simply
    makes it easier, faster and more hassle free for our customers to find the right images and
    produce striking, provocative and meaningful communications."

    New Features

    Gettyimages.com, includes the fully localized gettyimages.co.uk, gettyimages.fr, and
    gettyimages.de. The French and German sites will be searchable in the local languages and it
    will be possible to make transactions in the local currencies. Getty expects this full
    e-commerce capability to revive European sales which had been falling off in recent quarters.

    Features of the new site include:

  • International language and currency capabilities: Customers can now search for and
    purchase imagery and related materials in US English, UK English, French and German. The site
    transacts in dollars, Euros and British pounds. Purchases in France and Germany are in Euros,
    with the invoice translated into local currency as well.

  • Advanced search capabilities: Customers experience more accurate search results
    including the ability to look for imagery by entering conceptual terms and a clarification
    feature that limits possible ambiguities.

  • Efficient and flexible licensing tools: gettyimages.com offers simplified licensing by
    giving customers the ability to license multiple images simultaneously and purchase exclusive
    image licenses on-line. Customers can save time by licensing an image for multiple uses in
    multiple territories on one invoice.

  • New tools to organize, present, commission and license imagery allowing customers to
    organize imagery in online workspaces and e-mail the images to clients and colleagues.
    Professionals can also commission photographers and obtain rights and clearances online.


    $135,000 SALE


    September 12, 2001 (Story 437) - Corbis has licensed one of Chuck O'Rear's commercial
    images for $135,000. They refuse to disclose the name of the client, or the subject of the
    image due to a confidentiality agreement, but it is believed that the image is the one used as
    the opening screen on Microsoft's new Windows XP product.

    If this is the picture, the bottom half is a green rolling hillside and the top half is a pale
    blue sky with puffy clouds, mostly on the right hand side of screen. The windows icons overlay
    on this background.

    O'Rear lives in Napa Valley and this rolling countryside scene is very reminiscent of some of
    the landscapes one finds as they drive north from San Francisco through Napa Valley.

    The image has already started appearing in newspaper stories about the product. Microsoft is
    expected to spend in excess of $1 billion on the marketing blitz to launch this product and it
    is likely that the image will be featured in much of the marketing of the software. That
    considered, $135,000 is a steal.

    O'Rear's has one of the 40% contract's that were given to WestLight photographers when Corbis
    acquired WestLight. Thus, O'Rear received $54,000 for this sale. Corbis did fly O'Rear to
    Seattle to pick up the money.

    We are also told that the image was originally found by the customer on the Corbis web site
    without any help from a researcher. Corbis pointed out that this in no way diminishes the
    value that their 70 researchers bring to the table, but points out that the web site earns its
    keep as well. Since it was Microsoft doing the searching, it might be assumed that they had a
    lot more incentive to use Corbis as an image source than other Corbis customers might have.

    The only image I am aware of that has sold for more than this amount was Dirck Halstead's
    picture of Monica and Bill Clinton hugging on the White House lawn. According to sources that
    picture went for $150,000 for one year unlimited worldwide right. It seems likely that
    O'Rear's picture will get even more exposure than Monica and Bill's did.

    It is also interesting to note that Microsoft reported in its 2001 proxy statement that it
    purchased $400,371 worth of image rights from Corbis in 2001. This reporting was required
    because Bill Gates owns Corbis.


    GREENBERG WINS!!


    National Geographic Loses In Greenberg Case

    October 10, 2001 (Story 433) - The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected National
    Geographic's petition to hear the case of National Geographic Society vs. Jerry and Idaz
    Greenberg. The decision by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta that NGS had
    infringed Greenberg's copyrights will stand as the final decision. This is the first of four
    cases pending against NGS for copyright infringements related to its various CD and DVD sets
    containing every issue of National Geographic from 1888 until now.

    The case now goes back to the trial court in Miami where it began for a mediation session to
    determine what costs, expenses, legal fees, damages, and penalty payments the Greenberg's will
    receive.

    NGS is expected to continue to play hardball until the and to delay the outcome as much as
    possible. Despite the Supreme Court decision an NGS spokeswoman told the press that NGS will
    "...continue fighting those cases. We believe in the correctness or our legal position."

    It is interesting to note the organizations that are supporting NGS and who would prefer that
    they pay little or nothing for these rights. The list of organizations that filed "amici
    curiae" (friend of the court) briefs in support of NGS's petition include: Magazine Publishers
    of America, Inc.; Newspaper Association of America, Inc.; Association of American Publishers,
    Inc.; Advance Publications, Inc.; The Copley Press, Inc.; Dow Jones & Company, Inc.; Forbes
    Inc.; Gannett Co., Inc.; Georgia Press Association; Gruner + Jahr USA Publishing; Hachette
    Filipacchi Magazines, Inc.; The Hearst Corporation; Morris Communications Corporation; The New
    York Times Company; New Yorker Magazine, Inc.; Playboy Enterprises; Primedia Inc.; Time Inc.
    and The Tribune Company; the American Library Association; Association of Research Libraries;
    American Association of Law Libraries and the Medical Library Association.

    Greenberg had an "amici curiae" brief from ASMP.


    PHOTONONSTOP


    October 19, 2001 (Story 435) - Photononstop (formerly Groupe DIAF/SDP), a French
    company, has partnered with Envision in New York to expand the marketing of their work into
    North America, and to market worldwide, the work of the photographers represented by Envision.
    The new American operation will be branded Envision Stock Photography, Inc, and is a
    Photononstop subsidiary.

    Photononstop was created as a result of the merger of two French agencies DIAF and SDP. They
    have a general non-specialized file. They currently have selling relationships with 30
    different sub-agencies throughout Europe and in Australia, Japan and South America. With the
    addition of Envision Stock Photography they have opened the door to marketing the work of all
    their suppliers in the U.S.

    Up to this time Envision had specialized in food, travel and nature, but now it will become a
    general agency handling all types of subject matter.

    Photononstop's new site (www.photononstop.com) has more than 90,000 images online. They have
    rights to market 40,000 of those images in France, and worldwide rights to the other 50,000.
    The 50,000 will be available to U.S. customers in January 2002. Currently search is only
    available in French, but the English version of the search engine will be available at the
    January launch.

    In testing the site we found it to be very slow to bring up the home page and perform
    searches, but Joachim Koutzky, President of the International Division of Photononstop, says
    this is due to old server technology that will be replaced in early November.

    Envision Stock Photography currently uses the 20/20 technology to display the 6,000 images on
    their web site at www.envision-stock.com. Koutzky indicates that the goal of Photononstop is
    to have one central Internet platform and to have all suppliers using the Photononstop
    software and interface. However, there is no final decision as to how Photononstop will relate
    to the 20/20 technology. The 20/20 technology is widely used by a number of small and medium
    sized stock agencies in the U.S.

    Each selling sub-agent will operate independently in its market. Supplying agencies are
    responsible for their own scanning and keywording. There is no general procedure of keywording
    enforced by Photononstop.

    Envision Stock Photography will be distributing all of Photononstop's print catalogs in the
    U.S. Photononstop is paying the total costs of the production of these catalogs, the dupe
    sets, and the postage for mailing the catalogs. This is an unusual situation since normal
    industry practice is for the selling agency to purchase print catalogs and dupe sets from the
    producing agency, and pay all mailing costs.

    It is unclear whether other image supplying agencies in the Photononstop network will be
    expected to front all these cost if they wish to distribute their catalogs in the U.S. We also
    have no information on the percentage splits between the selling and supplying agency.

    Photononstop is seeking to represent the images and brands of other European agencies and to
    give them an entre into the U.S. market. Koutzky says that while these arrangements may be
    different from the usual agency/sub-agency model they will be able to customize different
    models for different agencies.

    Photononstop is jointly managed by Christian Delannoy, Gilles Taquet and Joachim Koutzky. The
    DIAF-SDP Group claims to have a stock file of approximately 2.5 million images aimed at
    advertising clients, and to have had a turnover of about $4.6 million (U.S.) in 2000. Sixteen
    percent of their sales came from the non-French market.


  • Copyright © 2001 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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