Random Thoughts 126

Posted on 10/28/2006 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

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RANDOM THOUGHTS 126


October 28, 2006

Corbis Expanding RF Collection

Corbis is making an effort to expand its RF collection and has said that during the first half of 2006 it acquired 90,643 RF images 16,364 of which are wholly-owned.

Image Source Pulling Out Of Corbis

Image Source has announced that it has declined to renew its agreements with a number of distribution partners including Corbis. The Corbis contract ended on September 30, 2006. Image Source will also be establishing a sales and marketing office in Los Angeles and Hugh Yarbrough who recently worked in international sales at Corbis will head that office. The company already has offices in New York, London and Cologne,Germany.

"Christina Vaughan, Founder and Chief Executive Officer said, "Image Source is committed to continue developing its leading market position through premium product and brand development. In a short space of time, Image Source has achieved great things. With a staff of over 80 talented people, we remain one of the fastest growing companies in the stock industry."

iStockPhoto Statistics

IStockPhoto has approximately 25,000 photographers who are currently uploading about 26,000 images a week. The company currently has 1,181,000 images on the site. The average photographer would have about 47 images on the site. At the current upload rate iStock will have close to 2.5 million images by the end of 2007.

Based on figures published by Getty Images iStock will probably generate between $16 and $18.5 million in revenue in 2006. They will have about 10 million image downloads and the average license fee is $1.85.

If we divide the $18.5 million gross revenue figure by the number of images the average image is generating about $15.66 annually. Photographers and illustrators get 20% to 40% of this number depending on the total number of downloads they have had since they started putting images on the site. If I assume an average of 35% that would be $5.48 million distributed to the content creators. Dividing that by the number of creators the average creator would earn $219.20 per year. However, averages don't always tell the whole story. The number one producer will earn around $200,000 in 2006 and the next two will earn around $100,000. Things start falling rapidly after that. According to information published on one of the contributors blogs I believe that less than 0.3% (three-tenths-of-1%) of the contributors are making more than $8,000 a year.

The process of choosing which images will be accepted for the site is not done by staff but by certain of the most experienced contributors, who have been designated as "Editors". Thus other contributors get to choose which images will be added to the site. The editors are paid $.50 per image they review, regardless as to whether the image is accepted or not.

    Sometimes it's hard to tell what are official company statements and what aren't. After I posted the above I received an e-mail from iStockphoto Public Relations outlining two errors in my story.

    In your recent posting on iStock stats, I wanted to alert you to two things:

    1. Our average image sale price is not $1.85, and although I don't know how it was said, I must correct that with you so you don't think it was an official company statement. As I understand it from people who were in the room, that figure was mentioned in a joking manner which one blogger mistook for fact--He has
    since removed this figure from his blog.

      (I got this figure from a stock photography blog. The information was provided to two bloggers who were given an interview in Seattle with Jonathan Klein and Bruce Livingstone. The information also seems consistent with the quarterly numbers for CD and Micro Payment sales provided by Getty Images to investors. If $1.85 is not accurate, it can't be too far off one way or the other.)


    2. There may also be some confusion over images submitted versus approved.

    We do see about 25,000-26,000 images submitted a week, but the acceptance
    rate varies, often hovering between 50-60 percent.

PunchStock Adds RM Images

PunchStock, primarily known as a source for RF images has added over 125,000 RM images from 25 brands such as Alaska Stock Images, Index Stock, bilderlounge, Robert Harding Picture Library, Stock Food and Stock Connection. Images from PunchStock's sister collection, UpperCut Images, are also included.

According to Miles Gerstein, President of PunchStock, a large percentage of their customers use both RM and RF and by offering both they can better serve their customers and leverage their marketing efforts.

GDUSA Comments

Two comments in the recent Graphic Design USA annual stock photography issue are worth giving some serious thought.

Tyan Breske said, "There is a tendency to too many staged shots, especially of people interacting. They end up looking like a collection of images from the 80's and not genuine at all."

Matthew Hitola said, "As the consolidation of stock agencies increases, the depth and breath of stock photography is decreasing."

Jupiter Acquires Cover Images In Spain

Jupitermedia Corporation has announced that its Jupiterimages division has acquired all of the shares of Cover - Imagen y Publicaciones, S.L. (www.cover.es). Based in Barcelona and Madrid, Cover Images focused on the distribution of local and international rights-managed images. Terms of this acquisition were not disclosed.

"We're excited to add Cover Images' impressive library of over 1.5 million images that are distributed in Spain" stated Alan M. Meckler, Chairman and CEO of Jupitermedia Corporation. "Combining our extensive royalty-free and rights-managed image collections with Cover Images' existing presence creates a terrific base of operations to grow Jupiterimages' position in Spain. This plan is based on what we have successfully been implementing in France and Germany over the past year," added Meckler.

Jupitermedia CFO To Leave

Jupitermedia CFO, Chris Baudouin plans to leave the company on December 31. Chris "B" as we call him decided that it was time to move on. He will be going into the financial planning business with a colleague who has been looking for an experienced partner. Chris' commute will be reduced from one hour to 10 minutes and he will no longer have to work 14 hour days, work on weekends and travel every few weeks to our various offices around the world. And finally he can spend more quality time with his three little boys -- sounds nice!

In his blog Alan Meckler said, "Chris B leaves us at a time when things are going well for our company. The new CFO will continue the work of financial intergration from our many acquisitions that Chris Baudouin has been tackling for many months and that we have discussed in quarterly financial conference calls with investors. Fortunately we will have a good transition period for change as Chris Baudouin will be with us for another few months. In addition, our President and Chief Operating Officer, Chris Cardell, was once my CFO back in the Mecklermedia days and is fully capable of running public company finances should the need arise."

The Future Of Video?

Randy Green sent me a note recently saying, "I'm a new subscriber and was greatly interested in the article on stock footage (Story 854). The points you raise are dead-on. As one who has straddled the motion and still industries for some 35 years, I have had the same perception that there is much more growth potential in the high definition video markets than in the still photo markets. The advent of the new, high-quality, affordable cameras like the Canon XL H1, along with the developing need for HD programming seems to be creating a unique opportunity for motion content providers, rivaled perhaps only by the early stages of the stock photo industry some 30 years ago. I, for one, would like to see more articles exploring this exciting sector of the industry.

I'm going to try to do more on the footage market in the future. It is interesting that in the last couple of quarters Getty's revenue from footage has been dropping and it was off about a million dollars this last quarter down to $9.9 million.

Stephen Hearn Also Leaving Jupiterimages

Stephen Hearn, VP of Worldwide Sales at Picture Arts (acquired last year by Jupitermedia Corp) and recently VP Emerging Markets at Jupiterimages, has left the company. Hearn said he had given the new tasks at hand a good try, but it was not to be and he felt that his job within Jupiterimages was completed. Asked what was next he said, "I intend to complete some personal photography projects and then consider the many options in the stock image and associated industries." Hearn was previously the Director of the Third Party Distribution Channel at Corbis.

Newspaper Advertising Revenue

Current quarterly reports indicate that newspaper advertising revenue is growing, but online revenue doesn't seem to be keeping pace with online readership. Online contributes 6% to 7% of total newspaper revenue according to Merrill Lynch but Web readership seems to be much higher.


Copyright © 2006 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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