632 PICTUREARTS ACQUIRES NONSTOCK
April 16, 2004
PictureArts has completed an agreement with Nonstock Inc. to acquire the assets of
Nonstock's unique, rights-managed picture collection. PictureArts currently manages
two successful RM brands -- FoodPix and Botanica -- and the RF brand, Brand X Pictures. This acquisition probably makes PictureArts the fourth largest imagery
seller, in terms of gross revenue, with headquarters in the U.S.. It should be slightly
ahead of Jupiterimages which recently acquired Comstock (See
Story 625 ). (Amana, parent of
Photonic and Iconica, Zefa and Digital Vision are all certainly larger, but have their headquarters outside the U.S. Masterfile in Canada may be about the same size.)
"The acquisition of this outstanding collection marks an important milestone in the
growth of our company," says PictureArts' CEO, Jeffrey Burke. "Nonstock's images
will be a strong complement to our existing rights-managed and royalty-free brands.
They have a significant roster of Contributing Artists that we are eager to meet.
Their distribution network includes a number of strong agents, many that we already
successfully work with. We have big plans for Nonstock as a PictureArts company."
Nonstock was created in 1994 by Jerry Tavin and Janou Pakter as an artistic and
imaginative alternative image source. The collection now represents over 40,000
pictures from 500 artists, and is distributed worldwide.
"I'm confident that PictureArts will be able to take Nonstock in the direction it
needs to go for further growth. I'm very pleased to be joining with such a
progressive and successful company," says Jerry Tavin, Nonstock's founder and
president. Tavin has been appointed to the position of Senior Consultant for Artist
and International Relations with PictureArts.
The Nonstock office in Manhattan will soon become PictureArts' New York office for
sales and Nonstock creative. Integration of the Nonstock staff, data and images will
begin immediately, gradually folding all the Nonstock assets and operations into
Integration of accounting data and processes after an acquisition has been a major
problem for some companies in this industry, but Burke says they have a number of
former Getty and Corbis people on their staff and believe they have learned
from the mistakes of these companies. They are hopeful that they will have all
contributor information fully integrated by mid-May. Integration of all the images
into the PictureArts database and launch of a completely new PictureArts site is
expected to be completed by the end of this summer.
"We're excited to add the Nonstock library to our company," says Lorraine Triolo,
PictureArts' Creative Director. "Their collection has a solid core of original and
interesting pictures. Their Contributors include some excellent fashion and fine art
photographers with whom we are eager to work. Many of their photographers are from
outside the mainstream photo industry. We look forward to our first meeting with
them in about a month."
PictureArts has planned a meeting in Manhattan where Nonstock's Contributors can
become familiar with their company, talk about future plans for the brand and invite
them to expand their relationship with PictureArts through other collections.
Contributors are now being notified of the meeting and introductory details. All RM
contracts with contributors are on a 50/50 basis, but contributors should recognize
that a high percentage of PictureArts sales are made through Portals and Sub-agents
and that the photographer is receiving 50% of what PictureArts receives from these
portals and sub-agents, not 50% of the gross sale fee. Nevertheless, the total
revenue that PictureArts receives is significant (as mentioned above in the first
paragraph). It is also interesting to note as we pointed out in Story 610 that PictureArts images offered on the Getty Images site are priced at a much higher
premium than even Stone images and much more that TIB of Taxi images. Thus,
PictureArts photographers, even with the added cut, will probably earn almost as
much for the sale of one of their images as TIB or Taxi photographers earn from
the sale of their images.
"Our main focus initially will be the grooming and growth of the collection. This
begins with introducing our company to their artists, and their artists to our
creative group," says Burke. "We plan to make substantial investments in content
development. A fundamentally solid, and strategically appropriate collection of
pictures is the basis for all our future opportunities with Nonstock."