4RANDOM THOUGHTS 120
June 3, 2006
Getty Extends RF Discounts To End Of July
At the beginning of April Getty Images announced a 20% off sale during April and May on all RM and RF images on its site. Now they have extended the sale for the months of June and July, but only on their RF brands - Digital Vision, Medio Images, Photodisc, Stockbyte and Stockdisc. The company wholly owns all of the images on three of these brands and a good portion of the images on Digital Vision and Photodisc.
To participate in this promotion the buyer must display a Getty promotional banner in a prominent place on the buyer's homepage for the entire promotion time. The buyer will also get an extra 25% discount promo-code when purchasing a CD or DVD online and this discount will be applied to the end user price when processing the sales report.
In addition, it has become clear from analyzing the search order that the RF images from the 26 "Image Partners" represented by Getty are being pushed further and further down in the search order making it less and less likely that their images will be seen and chosen by the customers.
These 26 partners include: amana images, Blend Images, BLOOMimage, DAJ, Dex Image, Food Collection, fStop, Gallo Images, Glow Images, Gulfimages, Image Source, Imagemore, Ingram Publishing, TZA Stock, Johner Images, MIXA, National Geographic, Photo Alto, Photographer's Choi8ce, Photoinjdia, Purestock, Queerstock, Redchopsticks, Stock Illustration, Stock 4B and Westend61. Two other Getty wholly owned RF properties that are not included in the discount program are Rubberball and Retrofile.
With such discounts it is hard to imagine the average price per RF image staying at the first quarter level of $254 level, or going up, in Q2.
The Rise of Crowdsourcing
In the June issue of Wired Magazine Jeff Howe wrote an article about a relatively new trend which he dubbed "crowdsourcing". (See http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.06/crowds.html)
This article explained how in a number of different industries amateurs and the masses (the "crowd") are getting a share of the business because they can perform many of the necessary tasks as well, and significantly cheaper, than the professional.
He led his story with an anecdote about how photographer Mark Harmel lost the opportunity to license images to the National Health Museum in Washington, DC when the project director turned to iStockphoto. Everyone in the stock photo industry should read this story and think about its implications.
Internet Advertising Grows
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has reported that overall internet advertising revenues in the U.S. for 2005 totaled $12.5 billion. This exceeded 2004 revenue by 30%.
The report states that Search, Classified, Display and Rich Media ads all continue to grow at a healthy rate.
Universal McCann expects U.S. advertising revenue of all types to total $276 billion for only a 4.6% gain over 2004. Worldwide advertising revenues are expected to be $569.8 billion for a gain of 4.8% over 2004. This growth for 2005 was considerably lower than expected based on predictions at the end of 2004.
While internet advertising is only a small percentage of total advertising (less than 5%) its growth rate far outpaces all other types of advertising. Photographers should remember that a good portion of total advertising dollars are spent for radio, TV, classified ads and yellow pages and these methods of advertising make insignificant use of still photography. Thus, the growth of internet advertising takes on more significance than its relatively small percentage of the total might indicate.
Getty Increases Authorization of Share Repurchase
Getty Images, Inc. (NYSE: GYI), the world's leading creator and distributor of visual content, today announced that its board of directors has approved an increase to its share repurchase program of $100 million, bringing the total of the approved plan to $250 million. Shares repurchased under this program may be made at such times and in such amounts as management deems appropriate. At April 28, 2006, the company had approximately 62.4 million shares of common stock outstanding.
As a result of the increase in the share repurchase program, the Company has decided to sell certain short-term investments that are in loss positions that it had previously intended to hold. Selling these investments will result in a non-recurring, pre-tax charge of approximately $4 million in the second quarter of 2006. These previously unrealized losses had been disclosed in the Company's most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.
Getty To Close Some New York Facilities
The Company also announced that it has completed its evaluation of and made a decision regarding the use of certain of its New York facilities. As disclosed in the Company's most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, these facilities are under lease through an agreement that expires in March of 2015 and are subleased to another party through an agreement that expires in February of 2007. After the sublease expires, the Company has decided to permanently exit all of the excess space. As a result, the Company expects to recognize a non-cash, non-recurring, pre-tax charge of approximately $19 million in the second quarter of 2006 based on the present value of the lease costs, net of estimated sublease income, for the remaining eight years of the lease. This charge is within the range previously estimated and disclosed by the Company.
Duncomb Joins Bilderlounge
Andrew Duncomb has been named Director of Bilderlounge and he joins Anne Sarmiento and Michele Vitucci, former Tony Stone and Getty Images colleagues who started the company in 2004. He will be based in London and take responsibility for marketing, content acquisition and international distribution. Recently, he was Managing Director of Image100 that was acquired last year by Corbis.
Getty Accepts Unreleased Images
Getty Images is now accepting unreleased travel imagery into the RM Photographer's Choice and The Image Bank collections in an effort to grow their position in the editorial market.
To make it easier for photographers to submit this material they have made an exception to their "digital only" submission policy and are allowing photographers to submit travel images only in analog format until June 30th.
Win A Car At Punchstock
In a recent promotion Punchstock and UpperCut have promised a free 2006 Mini Cooper to anyone who buys $350,000 worth of image licenses by the end of October. That works out to about $840,000 in annual stock photo usage if the customer were to buy everything from Punchstock.
The interesting question is how many customers in the world are there who buy anywhere near this volume of stock photography, and could potentially qualify for winning the car?
Punchstock is also offering a Harley Davidson motorcycle, a Tiffany diamond necklace and Super Bowl tickets for more modest purchases as part of its promotion.