Press Releases 4

Posted on 9/23/2005 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

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PRESS RELEASES 4

Sept 23, 2005

Asia Images Appoints Managing Director

Asia's premium quality image agency, Asia Images Group, is proud to welcome Andrew Wilson as their Managing Director. Andrew, based in Singapore for more than 10 years, brings over 17 years of international management and business experience to Asia Images Group.

"In a market as diverse and fast-moving as Asia you need to be on the ball. It's great to be able to bring someone of Andrew's caliber onto the team to help lead our growth." commented Asia Images Group Founder and Creative Director, Alexander Mares-Manton.


Andrew is responsible for day-to-day operations, strategy and charting Asia Images Group's expansion plans. Andrew commented, "Asia Images Group has great potential. We have great photographers and strong production teams producing high quality content that is relevant to the major growth markets of Asia, including China and India."

Reuters Acquires Action Images


Reuters has acquired Action Images, the specialist sports photography agency in a deal designed to continue the expansion of Reuters global picture business. The deal brings together Reuters global sports coverage with Action Images' archive of more than fifty years of sports photography and a highly successful editorial and commercial photography business.

Action Images, based in London, has been a recognised market leader in sports photography for the last twenty years. Its clients include major sports clubs and governing bodies, international media publishers and sponsors. It has a team of photographers working on editorial and commercial assignments, and has developed an archive of more than 7 million sports images stretching back over 50 years with more than 1.5 million available online.

The deal enables Reuters to expand the sale of its pictures beyond its traditional media client base into the commercial market, and to build the Action Images brand in markets outside the UK. Action Images will also have access to Reuters world class sports news text and graphics, and will use these to create multi-media products for its clients.

Reuters will retain the Action Images brand and its founder David Jacobs is remaining as Managing Director of the Action Images business. Monique Villa, Global Head of News and Pictures at Reuters, becomes Chairman of Action Images, and Philip Kelly its Chief Executive.

Monique Villa, Reuters Global Head of News and Pictures, and Chairman of Action Images, said, "Bringing together Reuters world class sports photography with Action Images position in the editorial and commercial market is a really powerful combination. It is an important part of the ongoing investment and expansion of our picture business, allowing us to reach new marketplaces and cement our position in existing ones."

David Jacobs, Managing Director of Action Images, said, "This is a huge opportunity for Action Images. It allows us to take our business to the next level creating multi-media packages for our clients and reaching out to a truly global audience. It really opens up the sports photography marketplace, creating a new alternative for publishers, sponsors and sports bodies."

Reuters has acquired Image Group Limited, the holding company of the Action Images group. The gross assets of Image Group Limited as of December 30th 2004 amounted to £1,821,494.

SuperStock And WireImage Announce Agreement

SuperStock has announced an agreement with WireImage that will give WireImage the non-exclusive distribution rights to 6,000 images from its Purestock Royalty-Free collection. Purestock images provides customers with a wide range of images to meet numerous requirements.

WireImage known for supplying entertainment and sports images to editorial clients plans to add a "Creative" tab to its service that will make its RM library (WireImage Stock) and selected RF brands available to its editorial clients.

Currently WireImage has signed agreements with SuperStock's Purestock, Image Source, Design Pics and Blend Images.

"WireImage is a preferred picture source for many leading publications and we are regularly expanding our content to better meet the needs of those diverse publishers," said Holger Laufenberg, VP of WireImage-Creative. "Our agreement with SuperStock enhances the depth and breadth of our offerings within those markets and helps us to increase our reach into the commercial art buying market."

"We believe WireImage will become an outstanding vehicle for the delivery of our Purestock Images," said Thomas V. Butta, Vice Chairman and President of a21 and CEO of SuperStock. "Their sophisticated delivery platform and our wide-ranging content should greatly assist publishers to cost-effectively delivery up-to-the-minute images for the news, entertainment, fashion and sports markets."

Index Stock Expands Subscription Service to 80,000 Images

Index Stock Imagery (www.indexstock.com) launched its high-resolution subscription service, Index Open (www.indexopen.com) last fall with 25,000 top quality images for $599 every six months. Index Open is still only $599, despite recently passing the 80,000-image mark.

So far, Index has kept the price of Index Open stable, despite a huge increase in the number of images offered. It has been able to do this, because the strong customer response for this subscription product has created an ever-growing pool of royalties to split with its artists. (Index is an artist-oriented agency. All of its images come from independent sources. Index owns no images. Therefore, Index has to balance providing value to its customers against earning a fair return for its artists.) Index Open product manager Brent Phelps says he has considered raising the price for Index Open several times, but has been reluctant to make changes in something that seems to work so well. He feels, "Our artists are happy, since their images are generating good revenue, and our customers seem to appreciate our constant additions to the collection."

Mr. Phelps has conducted surveys with Index Open customers that indicate their two most important needs from a subscription are: to get regular infusions of fresh images and to have a simple license arrangement. The new images have satisfied this first need and Index Open has no limit on image use or other license hooks, that could trip up its users.

Index Open remains the only integrated approach to image licensing. A subscriber who searches Index Open will see a link to Index Stock's regular stock image site, where he or she can choose from over 900,000 Rights Managed and Royalty Free images, on the same subject. Index now also offers a similar subscription for lower-end users called Photos To Go Unlimited (www.photostogounlimited.com). For $99, users who only need 2 MB file sizes can get access for six months to the same 80,000 images that are available on Index Open.

Index Stock Imagery has a broad, deep library, composed solely of images contributed by independent artists and agents. Index does not own or create its own images. The company is a major International player in the stock photo industry, with a 900,000+ image library and more than 100 distributors. Its library includes more than 200,000 royalty free images and more than 20,000 illustrations. Mac users can enjoy a Mac interface, and all of Index's loyal U.S. customers receive gifts through the Image Points Program, which is featured on the Index Web site.

P.L.U.S. Coalition Creates Universal Language for Image Licensing

The PLUS Coalition, a non-profit organization on a mission to simplify and facilitate the licensing of images, has just completed an international, industry-wide review of the PLUS Glossary, the first component of the Picture Licensing Universal System (PLUS). Due for release in the fourth quarter of 2005, the PLUS Glossary will provide standardized terms and definitions for use in image licensing transactions.

The PLUS Coalition is the first international cooperative assembled to improve the image licensing process. In the Coalition, photographers, illustrators, stock agencies, ad agencies, designers, publishers and artist's representatives are working together to create an integrated system of licensing standards. The organization recently released its second draft of the PLUS Glossary to hundreds of industry "Reviewers" - leading professionals in the art, advertising and publishing industries - receiving their input and recommendations for defining, revising and adding licensing terms to the glossary.

Importantly, the PLUS Glossary is being edited and revised by the same people who will put it into practice once it has been approved and finalized. "The goal of our PLUS Glossary is to clearly define a wide range of terms used in image licensing and provide a single, comprehensive resource for those who create, license and use images," said Jeff Sedlik, CEO of PLUS. "The PLUS Glossary will integrate seamlessly with other PLUS System components to allow licensors and licensees to speak a common language and achieve a precise mutual understanding of the rights licensed in any transaction. The participation and support from the trade organizations representing artists, agencies and their clients worldwide has been overwhelming," Mr. Sedlik added.

Although image licensing transactions are estimated to exceed $6 billion annually, there are no industry standards defining the terms used in an image license, or the format in which a license is stated. As a result, the image licensing process is overly complex and prone to misunderstandings and liability. By creating a system of standards, the PLUS Coalition will allow image licensors and licensees to take advantage of current technologies to improve the process of acquiring licenses for both commissioned images and stock images.

The PLUS Coalition will not standardize or recommend pricing for image licenses.
Prices will continue to be determined independently by each licensor and licensee.
The PLUS Glossary will be a free on-line resource consisting of more than 1,000 licensing terms whose definitions have been pre-approved by all industries involved in image licensing, worldwide. A printed version is also planned, and will available for a nominal fee. The glossary will be regularly updated to accommodate emerging technologies and licensing trends.

Once completed, the PLUS Glossary will work in concert with several other PLUS components also currently under development by the Coalition. The "PLUS License Format" will provide a universal format for defining, communicating, storing and retrieving image licenses. License information will travel as metadata within image files in a standardized format, allowing anyone in possession of the image easily determine the scope of the licensed use. The "PLUS Matrix" will provide a standardized hierarchy of media categories and subcategories, allowing users to identify and differentiate specific types of media usage such as "Point of Purchase" and "Out of Home." The Matrix will also make the licensing process easier and more transparent by applying "PLUS I.D." codes to each type of licensed use, creating the industry's first standardized billing code system.

Once completed, the PLUS Glossary and other PLUS System components will exist as the most comprehensive standards in the world of image licensing, creating a new, universal licensing language that is easy to understand, and easy to use.

The list of organizations and individuals participating on the PLUS Coalition's Advisory
Council reads like a "Who's Who" of industry leaders. Nearly all of the major trade associations are participating, as are an impressive list of leading artists, art buyers, designers, artist representatives, stock agencies, software companies, and related standards bodies. All working cooperatively towards a shared goal: to bring image licensing into the 21st century.

To learn more about PLUS, visit www.useplus.org.


Copyright © 2005 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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