Random Thoughts 114

Posted on 12/16/2005 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



December 16, 2005

More Jupiter Acquisitions

JupiterImages, a division of Jupitermedia, has acquired the assets of Bigshot Media (www.bigshotmedia.net) and BBM.net(www.BBM.net) in separate transactions. Bigshot Media is the world's first and largest collection of stock flash footage. BBM.net offers royalty-free flash music loops online.

The company has also acquired all of the shares of Agence Images (www.agenceimages.com) with offices in Paris and Sophia Antipolis, France. Agence Images is a distributor of rights-managed digital images for business users and creative professionals.

No terms for any of these acquisitions were disclosed, but all are believed to be small in terms of gross revenue. All are expected to add little to Jupiter's gross revenue, but will complement their existing offerings and distribution.

Alan M. Meckler, Chairman and CEO of Jupitermedia Corporation said, "We anticipate significant sales and business synergies between Bigshot Media, BBM.net and our JupiterImages division as well as our other Jupitermedia properties."

In commenting on the Agence Images acquisition Meckler said that the company's specialty in RM distribution complements the RF distribution of PR Direct, one of Jupiter's recent acquisitions, and "solidifies JupiterImage's position as one of the largest organizations in the business of marketing royalty-free and rights-managed images in France."

In addition Agence Images already distributes a number of JupiterImages rights-managed brands, including Botanica and FoodPix and the founder, Laurent DiCostanzo, will now head the combined JupiterImages operations in France.

The company has also launched a new image collection entitled (re)view. (re)view is an archive of select retro, rights-managed images and is available at www.reviewimages.com. It includes images from the past that are humorous, kitschy, heartwarming, and emotional. The collection contains timeless subjects from sources including Bannister Babies, Henry Wolf, Echos, Vintage Images and Sickles Photo-Reporting Service.

"Adding (re)view to our JupiterImages collections enhances our offerings with a retro, rights-managed photo archive. This expands the breadth of our product lineup and solidifies our position as a leading source for stock images," Meckler added.

Correction on Black Star

In Story 782 we indicated that Black Star was a co-operative. In fact Black Star was founded as a stock agency in 1935, is celebrating its 70th anniversary and has never been a co-operative.

Photographer's Choice Survey Clarification

We have provided a slight clarification for the Photographer's Choice survey (See Story 784).

On the survey the question originally asked for the "revenue earned". More accurately it should have said, "the actual money collected in the calendar years 2004 and 2005". I realize that some of the sales for which photographers collected money in early 2004 were actually made in 2003 and some of the money collected in 2005 will have been for sales actually made in 2004. My goal with the survey is to determine the money photographers actually collected in two comparative 12 month periods.)

If you mis-interpreted the question and answered the survey incorrectly please let us know. If you haven't answered the survey yet, please go to the following URL (www.pickphoto.com/pcchoicesurvey-form.asp) and answer the five simple questions. Also be sure to tell your friends about the survey.

ISIA Online - New Association
In October a new stock photography association emerged called the International Stock Imagery Association (www.isiaonline.org). Membership is free.

The organization has been established on the premise that there is a "widely recognized need for a trade association that would include all segments of the many professionals involved in the production and distribution of stock images through the inclusive involvement of photographers, distributors, consultants, agencies, software and hardware producers, those in the graphic arts, and all other fields of stock imagery."

ISIA believes that through respectfully working together as individuals, there can be created a common meeting ground that can provide open communications, training and development seminars, industry updates, industry representation, and much more. (This sounds to me like the United Nations of stock photography.)

So far the board is still in the process of finalizing the organization's by-laws and determining how ISIA will move ahead beyond open communication. The main member benefit at the moment is access to the web site and its various links to information.

One of the great benefits of this organization is that it is all-inclusive. At the same time that could eventually lead to its downfall as it tries to deal with many conflicting ideas and points of view. Just sharing ideas and points of view does not necessarily result in consensus, or actions that can move forward on some course. (If you need an example just look at the United Nations.)

I had not perceived this "widely recognized need" for another organization. There are already a lot of organizations out there such as: ASMP, APA, PPA, NPPA, EP, SAA, ASPP, PACA, CEPIC, and many others that deal with certain segments of the stock photography business. All communicate with each other on certain levels, as well as with their membership. In nearly all cases there are certain initiatives that are more important for their membership, than others. Some associations have membership fees and others do not.

It doesn't seem to me that there is any lack of information out there, but rather such an abundance that no one has time to digest it all. Anyone who tries can easily get so bogged down that they do nothing but take in and respond to information without ever having a chance to effectively utilize any of it or work toward much in the way of effecting positive results. What is needed is a better way to sort, edit and disseminate all the available information into manageable bits based on the specific needs and interests of each individual in the production, distribution or user chain. Giving participants just what they need, but not burdening them with irrelevant information, and making it easy for each individual to determine what is useful and what is irrelevant could be a useful service. It is not clear whether ISIA will be able to do this, or whether it will just create more noise.

ISIA's Mission Statement and statement of Purpose are laudable, but it will be some time before any of us can determine how and what the organization will be able to deliver on these promises.

Adobe Adds Two More Brands

Adobe has added Blend and Stockbyte to the other 13 brands it represents and now has a total of 575,000 RF images available on Adobe Stock Photos.

The addition of Blend Images is interesting because the company is still a relatively small, but growing brand. Up to now Adobe has given the impression that they didn't want to deal directly with small brands and that they wanted them to come through a few primary distributors.

In theory, four of the new collections they added in October -- IPN Relay, Image Source Ltd., Brand X Pictures by Jupiterimages and Masterfile Corporation - were supposed to be consolidators of other brands as well as distributors of their own brand. Obviously, none of the smaller brands wanted to go through distributors and give up another percentage of the gross sale given how much was being eaten up by Adobe. In addition most of these other potential suppliers have fully functioning web sites and can easily supply Adobe directly. It appears that Adobe may have finally decided that dealing directly with small RF brands may be the only way to continue to add content.

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 301-461-7627, 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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